Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro - 2 - Physical Training

I started my training for Kilimanjaro with our KC11 team in April 2017, this about 9 months before actually going to Tanzania to attempt the mountain. 

The team’s training schedule started easily with a Sunday trek every week, but then we started to add more days gradually in our training days. 

Summer in Malta is very hot and humid, so this presented us with some “problems” - mainly to avoid the gruelling heat of the sun - simply solved by starting our treks at 5am in the morning! This didn’t really solve the problem, since in August we were experiencing temperatures of around 25 degrees at night and with the first rays of the sun it went rushing up to about 28 in a matter of minutes. 

Training with the team is great and there are opportunities to engage into more elaborate and longer treks, like the 2 day around Gozo trek or a 3 day trip to Sicily to climb Etna (I will add another post all about this soon). But also individual training is key. 

Learning to train, walk for longer distance, carry your day pack (with weight), being relatively on your own and learning more about your body, how to overcome pain, fatigue and “bad thoughts” is essential. 

On the mountain all these scenarios come handy. Sometimes you’re on your own, you’re tired, you’re in pain and only you yourself can “heal” those feelings. 

My suggestion is not to limit yourself to just group training, go out training yourself, do extra time at the gym - get disciplined. While I was in Kilimanjaro, there were times I really wished I was more disciplined and that I had trained more, but then all I could do was to suck it up and push on! 

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