How a Flatlander Trains for Mountaineering?
A flatlander is a person who lives at low altitudes which have least significant altitude changes. Exercises like cardio and muscle workouts performed at low altitudes are completely different when compared to the workouts of at high altitudes. People living at high altitudes have different skills to adapt themselves to the environment out there. As we know, oxygen level beyond the altitude of the A-frame (tree size) tends to decrease as we move higher.
People living at low altitudes, breathe in a lot of oxygen as they run whereas, people at higher altitudes don’t require a lot of oxygen as their lungs would have adapted well to use the available oxygen. Further, flatlanders when going for a run or a hike to high altitudes cannot perform well as they have done at low altitudes. This is because the lungs of the flatlanders have adapted well to the use of ample oxygen. Additionally, the brain of the flatlanders gets de-motivated and creates a feeling of hallucination and fatigue at great heights. Flatlanders can also train in such high altitudes to gain stability by using limited oxygen. Here are some tips regarding the training of a flatlander to conquer the mountains.
- Right mountain
Picking the right mountain for a flatlander is the first and foremost task to train at high altitudes. Knowing about natural disturbances, hindrances, valleys, poisonous insects and plants, tribal people and the streams that originate in that mountain is more crucial for a flatlander. Find a trial in that mountain; mark the distance and the exact way to reach home back. Having the best suitable high altitude gear like a vest, hiking shoes, masks etc can be of great help to the flatlander. Mountains with wild animals, traps, deadly pits, etc should be avoided and also mountains with the incessant flow of people into the mountain shall prove to be very safe to anyone training in the mountain woods.
- Right buddy
Having a trustworthy and eminent partner while you train in the hard trails of the mountain is essential. Traveling alone into the dense forest or mountain can make your trip worse. One cannot expect the construction of roads in the mountains just for the sake of your training and so it is evident that the path can be rough and inconsistent. While training on the mountain slopes, placing the steps in the trails should be carefully done as you may stumble and hurt your joints and ankles. Returning back with the dislocated joints from the mountains would be almost impossible and so the need of another buddy is essential to help you at hard times. Moreover, the buddy you prefer should be talented to support you in your training. Don’t discover a coward as your buddy as he can prove to be futile.
Unlike a flat land, mountains often show their cruel face to most of the hikers and trainers who go there for training. As you are busy with your workout, due to reduced supply of oxygen and high oxygen requirement anything unusual like a headache, fatigue, vomiting, breathing problems, heart attacks etc can happen within seconds. Negotiating with your buddy at that time, won’t work. Prepare a plan before you begin your training and both of you should be ready with appropriate plans to help each other. Such preplanned strategies can help you when the situation goes bad.
- Treadmill- inclined
We know that the states like Florida, Minnesota don’t have proper hills to train in mountain slopes. Unavailability of mountains alone would not contribute to the deprivation of the training. Set your treadmill to an inclination of 15° so that you treadmill becomes steeper. Now the steeper path can provide you a tougher challenge. Even though you run with your usual flat land speed you won’t be able to attain the same flat land distance in that specified time. This is because of gravity which provides you some resistance against your walk or runs. This uphill climbing can provide enough training to the posterior backside muscles, thighs, gluteus providing additional strength to the legs. Moreover, while you work out on a treadmill your forward movement will be supported by the treadmill allowing you to apply less pressure on the roller. This can be realized when you run on a real trail which makes you apply more pressure on the ground to propel your weight
- Downhill hiking
Downhill hiking or moving down the stairs can provide a powerful workout to the quadriceps muscles. But, there is no option in the treadmill to travel downhill. Hence, climbing and descending the hill several times can provide you sufficient and superior workout. Individuals who are not able to find any hill can climb the stairs up and down to get equivalent results. Moreover, walking backward for a certain distance can also help you to work out your quadriceps muscles and make you suitable for mountain adventure. Try to walk on the dirty absorbent beach sand which can hold your leg every step you place on it providing enough resistance. Interval workouts can also produce the same results as that of downhill hiking. Interval workouts are intense workouts which involve hard workouts for 2 minutes followed by mild jogging for 3 minutes.
- Mental control
At great heights not only our body would suffer punishments from nature but also our brain will grieve. Due to the lack of enough oxygen in the mountain, the brain cannot get enough oxygen for its function. This condition is called altitude sickness. People who are not acclimatized are highly prone to altitude sickness. Hence, it is clear that gradual training with variable heights can train a flatlander more efficiently. Increase in the altitude can also fill your brain with liquids as the number of oxygen molecules in the air is very low. So, the heart has to work with the blood carrying a minimum amount of oxygen thus depriving oxygen of every cell. To compensate for this instability, the lungs have to work faster to get more oxygen leading to excess breathing, vomiting, nausea, weakness, swelling etc. Hence, flatlanders should gradually adapt to variable heights before going for exact training.
- Fuel properly
Food consumption while working out at the mountain has no constraints. Carbohydrate-rich substances like whole grains, fruits, and starchy vegetables can provide you enough carbohydrates to your body. The minerals, fibers, anti-oxidants in the fruits and vegetables can help you to recover from muscle damage. Lean protein materials like fish, meat, nuts, beef, beans, cheese and food with good fats like canola, avocado, and olive can be consumed without restrictions. Don’t care too much about fat consumption because most of your fat will get burnt in the mountain workout.