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Mt Kilimanjaro - Trekili Eco Expeditions

How to Prepare for a Mountain Climb

Posted December 26, 2013 | Comments Off

Climbing mount Kilimanjaro is no small undertaking, so it is essential that you give yourself plenty of time to prepare before you embark on your international mountain trekking expedition.

If you’re an experienced mountaineer then you will understand what is required in order to get to the summit. But if you are taking your climbing to a new height or taking your first steps above the clouds, this is a serious challenge that requires a lot of physical training in order to ready your body for what lays ahead.

hypoxic chamber training for mountain trekking

At the very least we suggest that you train for 2 months but in an ideal world 3 to 4 would be good if you’ve never submitted before or for quite some time.

Because of the varying altitude, climates and terrains you’ll be facing, you need to prepare your body so it is able to handle all of this without too much trouble.

The porters and mountain guides will keep you trekking at the right pace and monitor you every day to ensure you adjust well to the altitude changes, and so you’re prepared at each stage for the change in climate.

How to Prepare for a Mountain Climb

There are 4 key area’s that you can focus on before you embark on your trekking expedition, these are condition training, strength training, cardiovascular training and flexibility training.

Before you start training, get yours boots and backpack ready so as your training progresses you can break both of them in to prevent blisters and chafing.

Hiking is the number one activity we suggest you do in order to prepare. You will be walking for several hours a day with around 7kg of weight on your back, so start off by just breaking in your boots and empty rucksack and then build it up from there each week.

Keeping a steady pace is extremely important throughout your training, this isn’t a who can get to the top fastest scenario, it’s who can get to the top without being heavily affected by the altitude!

Don’t change pace, change the incline, the length of climb, the terrain and the climate but try to retain the same pace on every type of walk.

If you can do day hikes for four to six hours, with moderate elevation changes (460m, 1500ft) while carrying a 8 kg pack, or if you can walk on a stairmaster for 1-2 hours, at 30 steps per minute while carrying a 8kg pack, then you’re probably ready for the real thing.

Your longest/hardest workouts should be performed two to four weeks before your departure. For the last two weeks, you should taper off your training and in the final days; rest so that your body has time to recover before your actual climb.

Here’s a few other type of training that would greatly benefit you in your ascent and descent:

  • Weight training
  • Body weight training
  • Interval training
  • Stair training
  • Hypoxic (altitude) training
  • Pilates / Yoga
  • Fitness boot camp
  • Extreme challenge
  • Mountain biking
  • Skiing
  • Your food and liquid intake is just as important as your exercise. Eating a natural diet of protein, grains, fruit and vegetables and consuming a good amount of water each day is recommended.

    You can also prepare mentally by climbing some higher peaks so you get used to new heights, try meditation, try a new sport or exercise to push you out of your comfort zone. The right mindset will take you a long way on your trek to the top.

    The bottom line is, the healthier you are the easier your climb will be.

    So if climbing Mt Kilimanjaro is a goal of yours but you’re not yet in great shape, now is the time to make a new year resolution to get in better shape and scale new heights.

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