Making the once in a lifetime trek up Africa’s largest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro, is a decision not to be taken lightly, the excursion is both exhilarating and life-changing, but in order to successfully navigate the mountain, you must ensure are in good physical shape, as there is no point in beginning the journey only to turn back a couple of days later, therefore plenty of exercise related to mountain climbing is essential. If you have access to a gym, be sure to use equipment like the stair master, as it creates an inverted climbing effect much like that of a mountain trek. Many treadmills also provide a similar inverted function.
However, the best method of preparing for mounting climbing is hiking experience. After all, this is what you are going to be doing when on Kilimanjaro. What better preparation could there be? Naturally it will be impossible to find a hiking trek that approaches the intensity of Kilimanjaro, but going on day hikes across the hills of the UK is undeniably a good source of training. Many rambling companies and organisations offer hiking trail opportunities which can be beneficial to your training, as long walks are an integral part of any mountain excursion.
The bare minimum amount of time you should begin training before you undertake an excursion like climbing Kilimanjaro should be at least two months. For this preparation you should include daily walks which begin at a slow pace and then gradually increase in speed as you progress. You should also take a rucksack with you to simulate the kind of bag you will be hiking with on the mountain. For this you should start off with only small weight before gradually making the rucksack the equivalent weight of the pack you will be using.
To simply begin your training at a fast pace with a heavy rucksack will be too much for you to manage. This is not only bad for your health, but will also make you doubt your chances of successfully climbing the mountain. Furthermore, make sure that you train while wearing the same boots that you will be taking with you to Kilimanjaro. This is necessary as the walking involved in your preparation will ensure they are sufficiently ‘broken in’ enough to be comfortable. This is vital because you will obviously be wearing these boots for long periods in all kinds of climates.
Try to make your training as often as three times a week with each session lasting at least an hour in length. However, be sure to make your last couple of sessions before the climb less intense than the previous few, as your body will need time to recover and be in excellent shape for when you begin.