Acclimatisation is imperative and important if you are planning to participate and run the Ladakh Marathon. It depends entirely on one’s personal body condition as some acclimatise very fast and some take several days. We strongly recommend arriving in Leh at least a week to 10 days ahead of race day so that you are well acclimatised for the race. The earlier you arrive in Leh, the better it is for your run!
For Silk Route Ultra and Khardung La Challenge – runners are advised to arrive at least 10 days in advance.
For Half Marathon and Marathon – runners are advised to arrive at least 7 days in advance.
For 05 km Ladakh Run for Fun and 10.5 Km Race – runners are advised to arrive at least 5 days in advance.
High Altitude sickness occurs when your body does not adjust to the altitude due to lack of oxygen. It is common to feel light headed when you land in Leh as the air is thin and rarified. Following the rules of acclimatisation, you need to take things easy in order to acclimatise properly and not rush around. On arrival, it is imperative to take “complete rest” on Day 1. You need to sleep on arrival, go slow, not move around too much and not go to the high points around Leh. It is also important to keep yourself hydrated so drink plenty of water, soups and avoid alcohol for the first few days. Diamox, a diuretic, is taken by most people from the previous night before arriving in Leh. Those allergic to sulphur drugs should consult with the doctor for an alternative. Serious conditions of altitude sickness is about fluid retention in the lungs (High Altitude Pulmonary Edema) and High altitude cerebral edema (fluid retention in the brain), taking a diuretic aids the process of acclimatisation. It is not a medicine for altitude sickness but an aid to help you acclimatise.
With proper acclimatisation, altitude should not be an issue which is the reason we recommend runners to arrive at least a week ahead of race day to prepare themselves. With so much to see and do in Ladakh, you can spend several days and weeks visiting the various sites, enjoying activities like trekking and rafting and at the same time practicing for Race Day! So Runners, come early, enjoy this awesome place and run for Ladakh!
For more information on acclimatisation please check the link below:
Healthy in the high Himalaya