Training For Kilimanjaro Should Build Stamina And Endurance

by Nichole Cunningham

Situated mainly in the East African country of Tanzania, Kilimanjaro, at a height of 5895 meters, is its continent's highest peak. Although it is one of Africa's most famous landmarks and of great height, it is reasonably accessible for amateur mountaineers and tourists to climb. Training for Kilimanjaro expeditions is till important though, and there are a number of things which it is wise to incorporate into your preparation.

Firstly, cardiovascular fitness will be key; your heart and lungs need to be in top shape to be able to cope with the demands of climbing a mountain. The best way to train to improve this aspect of your fitness is to run. Begin with short distances and build up to long runs of an hour or more when you feel able to do so. Incorporate hills into your runs wherever possible.

Not everybody is suited to running long distances though, with some people vulnerable to injury. This is especially true of older athletes, or people who already have some kind of vulnerability present in their physical make-up. Cycling is a good substitute for running in cases such as this, and it is also possible to build up your basic endurance levels by using the cardio machines at your local gym.

Interval training will also provide a useful boost to your anaerobic fitness, something that you will need when it comes to tackling especially testing or steep sections of your climb. Intervals means alternating short bursts of very intense activity which pushes your heart rate to high levels, with short periods of low intensity activity. This actually burns fat very efficiently as well as helping your body better cope with sudden demands which might be placed upon it.

Intervals can be programmed into most cardio machines that you will find at your local gym. Long stretches of running or cycling, combined with interval sessions, will establish great levels of basic fitness. You will still need to improve your body's specific conditioning when it comes to the actual work of walking long distances up steep climbs.

This means that you must incorporate long hikes into your training in order to allow your leg muscles and feet to become accustomed to the demands that will be placed upon them. Walking in mountainous country is advisable. It may also be a good idea to learn and practice some basic navigation skills, just in case you become lost at any stage.

In addition to navigation, it is also useful to have mastered some wilderness survival techniques, which could come in very handy if anything unfortunate happens. Any mountaineer should also know some first aid, especially for injuries which might result from falls or strains. It may well be necessary to provide basic treatment until help arrives in case of emergency.

If you make sure that your training for Kilimanjaro includes these elements, then you should be in good shape for your trip. Being fit and well prepared will make it even more memorable. The views from the top really are something to savour once you get there.

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