Kilimanjaro Training Plan - Getting Prepared to Scale the Summit


One question we get a lot is 'how fit do I need to be to climb Kilimanjaro?'. Whilst a high level of fitness will make the climb a lot easier it by no means requires super human fitness. We often take people who have left their fifties well behind them and are not in peak physical condition. In fact, if your carrying a few extra pounds this is a great way to lose weight!. This being said, a solid Kilimanjaro training plan will allow you to better prepare for the climb and give you more opportunity to enjoy yourself when you're on the mountain.

The bare facts are that you will probably be walking 6-7 hours per day with a rough accent of a 1000m. You'll need determination, Kilimanjaro is a long slow grind that wears you down. If you can do an hour spinning class or jogging for a solid 45 minutes, if you can do this without wanting to kill yourself then you're probably okay to summit Kilimanjaro.

Practice Hiking

Like most things, practice makes perfect. There is nothing more important on your Kilimanjaro training plan, so get your hiking boots on and start trekking. Hiking practice allows you to understand the stress your joints will be put under and how well you can deal with this.

It also allows you to wear in your boots as this takes some time and can often be uncomfortable. Start with a comfortable distance that suits you and slowly try to work your way up to a 5-6 hour trek. If you can do this a few times then you'll be in good stead to climb Kilimanjaro.

Aerobic Training

Aerobic (or cardio) training will be a key factor in allowing you to climb Kilimanjaro. Aerobic literally means 'requiring free oxygen' and refers to the use of oxygen to adequately meet energy demands during exercise via aerobic metabolism. Aerobic exercise builds up your cardiovascular system allowing you process limited oxygen in a more effective way. This is key for Kilimanjaro as it is a long distance exercise at altitude which will give the body less oxygen per breath.

Aerobic exercise, unlike anaerobic exercise, requires oxygen for elongated periods of time. Examples of aerobic exercise would be lane swimming, long distance jogging, walking and cycling. One crucial thing we tell our customers is don't rush up the mountain! Trying to ascend too quickly is a huge mistake. Our porters can often be heard saying "Pole Pole", meaning 'Slow Slow' in Swahili. Because of the altitude your body needs time to adjust - no matter your fitness levels! However, having a good cardiovascular system will help with this, but it wont prevent it. Kilimanjaro is not a sprint, it's a marathon! We recommend putting the slowest hiker to the front of the group. Depending on fitness, we recommend a 3-6 month Kilimanjaro training plan. Your hiking practice will help, but we also suggest running 6-12km three times a week. If you're using a treadmill remember to set a slight incline.

Strength Training

Any Kilimanjaro training plan should also include strength training. Although not as important as your aerobic training, strengthening your upper body, core and, in particular, your legs, will greatly increase your chances of success. You'll be on your legs at least 7 hours a day, you therefore need them to be strong enough to take the punishment.

Why Choose Kibo Trekking Safaris

Kibo Trekking Adventures is a reliable tour operator and Travel agency in Tanzania, with our head office based in Arusha Tourist City and with a branch Dar es Salaam Chief Pride Kisutu. Our main objective is to offer a Personalized, Efficient and Competitive Service to our esteemed customers

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