We have just under two months before leaving to hike Kilimanjaro – meaning it’s time to step up our training game. As HikeAddicts, we like to hike as much as humanly possible, but we love to cross train and enjoy other activities and sports.
When I found out I was doing this hike back in the Fall, I decided to drop all activities that either:
a) Don’t train specifically for the hike
b) I don’t LOVE
c) I may hurt myself (as a clumsy person this happens more often than not)
Here are some of the things we’re doing to get ready to hike the tallest free-standing mountain in the world.
There is one thing that our Dream Mountains leader, Shawn Dawson, INSISTS that all climbers do: stair training. Anyone who has done a big hike with Shawn previously says that stair training makes a HUGE difference.
So what is stair training? There’s a 32 story building downtown Ottawa that we walk up and down, many times. Here’s what our plan looks like: Kilimanjaro Stair Training
Stair training helps with pacing, breathing, and obviously builds muscles that you may not be touching in the gym.
There’s one thing about stair training….I don’t like it. At all. The first couple of times, I could barely walk for several days after (that’s getting better as I slow down and have adjusted my foot placement).
It’s also incredibly boring – however other Dream Mountains team mates always seem to be willing to join – having a buddy makes everything better.
There’s something about popping in your headphones and lifting weights that makes you feel alive. With hiking, you’d think the emphasis is having strong legs, but I think having a strong core and a strong balanced body is even more important.
The benefits to weight lifting – especially for women – are endless (here’s 7 amazing reasons).
This one is kind of obvious. Do the thing you’re training to do. Here are some of our favourite winter hikes.
I LOVE yoga to train for a big hike, obviously for physical benefits, but especially the whole breathing and calming your mind thing while you’re physically uncomfortable. It will come in handy at 19,000 feet when we can barely breathe and moving at a snails pace to summit.
We only get the Rideau Canal a few weeks a year to skate on, and so far have been taking full advantage of it. It’s great cardio, and great for the legs!
I’ve been doing Muay Thai (sorta like kick-boxing) once a week just to mix things up. It helps with stress relief, it’s a solid fat-burning workout, and the kicking really helps open up my TIGHT hip flexors.
Running (Vicky’s forte)
Similarly to yoga, running is great for physical and mental training. The obvious benefits being building muscle and stamina, but A LOT of it is a mind game. Working on quieting your mind on a tough run takes practice and self discipline, both of which we’ll need while conquering the beast that is Mount Kilimanjaro.