Training For Kilimanjaro

Although Kilimanjaro is the most accessible and least technical of the 7 Summits, it is very far from a walk in the park!

The daily distance may not sound very demanding, but the combination of high altitude and rocky terrain means the hike can surprise the unprepared.

Most reasonably fit walkers should be able to complete the journey, however, good levels of physical fitness can be the difference between surviving the trek and enjoying the journey…

Healthwise is here to make sure you are as prepared as possible and maximize your chances of reaching Uhuru peak.

Training to climb Kilimanjaro is as much about your physical endurance as it is your mental stamina.

The former is important as you will be trekking 6 -20km per day for the duration of your climb. The ability to draw on physical reserves as your energy depletes is key.

However, your mental stamina is just as important as your physical endurance, particularly in summit night when we’ll hike +-20kms over 12-16Hrs, ascending 1200m then descending 2200m

Here are 4 things you can do to be perfectly prepared for the summit.

  • Strength Training
    • This will prepare your body for carrying your bag for 6-7 hours per day and improve your balance and co-ordination over rocky terrain. The strength training will focus on legs, core and upper body.
  • Cardio Training
    • This will make sure your body uses oxygen as efficiently as possible during the climb; Hugely important when you get higher and the oxygen gets thinner. Cardio training should consist of light to moderate intensity activities like long distance jogging, swimming, cycling and walking.
  • Practice Hiking
    • Climbing Kilimanjaro is in fact just one long hike. The best way to prepare for a long hike is to do a few yourself.
    • As well as experiencing the effects of a long hike, you’ll have a chance to break in your boots and test your kit for comfort.
    • We will be organizing a monthly hike around Gauteng but feel free to get out more often.
  • Mental Stamina
    • This is what gets most people to the summit! There will be times during the summit night that you will want to give up and go back down. Being able to dig deep and pull on your mental reserves is so important.
    • There are activities you can do to improve your mental stamina, most require pushing your body to the extreme, or what you think your limits are, and then pushing through to accomplish your goal.
    • Consider signing up for a 10km / 21km marathon event to push you beyond your comfort zone.

To make sure your training is going in the right direction, Healthwise has various programs available and we will arrange a couple of overnight hikes later in the year to make sure you are on the right track.

Programs will be emailed out in July so you do have plenty of time to prepare.

Good Luck!