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Tour du Mont Blanc: How Fit Do I Need To Be?


If you’re doing the full 170km / 105mi circuit of Tour du Mont Blanc, we like to think about it as an endurance event rather than a sprint to the finish. The reality is, you’re not going to go further than your daily destination, no matter how early you get there - so why not slow down and enjoy it?

However, in saying this we also believe that the more prepared you are the more you will enjoy Tour du Mont Blanc.

Below, are some simple tips and handy pointers from experience about preparing for your Tour du Mont Blanc experience. Some other ideas you may like to consider are swimming, cycling, getting a fitness professional or going to the gym.

Don’t obsess over training - just add it into your daily routine

There is no point obsessing over your training. Getting a fitness professional might be a good idea if you're starting from scratch and you want the comfort knowing you are leaving no stone unturned. However, preparing for Tour du Mont Blanc can start with a few minor changes to your daily routine such as:

  • Are you able to walk to or from work, or at least part of the way? A simple tip here is to get off the train a few stops before your usual stop and walk to the office.

  • Can you get a walk in during your lunch hour?

  • Can you change your regular catch up drinks or coffee with friends and go for a walk or hike first?

  • Set yourself some daily step challenges. To do this you can use your iPhone or invest in a fitness watch. 10,000 steps per day is a great starting point.

  • Gradually add more to your weekly routine as we get closer to your time of departure.

6 Months to Go

Great, you’ve got plenty of time but it'll be here before you know it! Are you able to implement the above small changes into your daily routine?

  • If you’re doing the full TMB, then your longest day is going to be approximately 22km, which is Day 2 from Les Contamines to Les Mottets. On our tours, we shorten it so you’re not walking along the main road, however, most other tours don’t do this, so it’s important to prepare for this distance as the penultimate challenge.

  • When setting up your training, think about the above 22km as your goal. You don’t need to be achieving this now but it gives you something tangible to work towards.

  • From the above tips, how are you going to start implementing some minor changes into your daily or weekly routines that will help prepare for Tour du Mont Blanc?

3 Months to Go

Now it’s time to start thinking about Tour du Mont Blanc

  • Tour du Mont Blanc is now within reach but there’s no need to really change what you’re doing, so long as you are squeezing more walking into your everyday life and gradually increasing your distances or time on your feet.

  • Are you able to implement a dedicated walking or hiking session at least one day per fortnight? You might want to think about adding a few hills into your walks if possible.

  • As you’re getting closer to your departure date and feeling comfortable, try adding a few back-to-back walking days.

1 Month to Go

Tour du Mont Blanc is really not very far away now - what should you do?

If you’re a reasonably active or fit person then there is nothing to worry about, even if you haven’t started training. Tour du Mont Blanc is not a walk in the park and there are certainly some challenged times but it doesn’t have the extra elements such as altitude sickness, unstable footing or prolonged (hours and hours) periods of ascending or descending. It's a balanced walk, and your experience can be improved by adding luxury TMB components.

  • Can you add more distance to your work commutes and/or walking routine?

  • Try getting 3 weekly 5+km walks in

  • Can you find some steeper hills? If they’re short hills, try doing repeats.

  • Try to do a couple of back-to-back hiking days if possible.

If you have any health issues that you’re concerned about, please ensure that you contact your doctor. We see recovery as a very important element of Tour du Mont Blanc and you should also implement this into your training.

As mentioned above, we don’t see any point in obsessing over Tour du Mont Blanc. It is your holidays but the more you can prepare, we promise, the more you will enjoy it!

Unsure what to pack? Why not visit our TMB Resources page to download your comprehensive list and visit our blog on The Essential Pack List for Tour du Mont Blanc.

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