Climbing the tallest mountain in Africa is a demanding physical activity. You should train and become reasonably fit before starting the climb. We recommend 8-12 weeks of training.
Aerobic training will help your body to function efficiently with less oxygen; it will also equip your body to withstand the stress associated with mountain climbing -consecutive days of hiking, dehydration, altitude, weather, poor sleep, and poor appetite.
Start your training at least two months before departure to Tanzania. At a minimum, train for three days every week; each training session should last at least one hour. When training, hike as much as possible because that is what you will be doing on the mountain. If you live in an area without mountains, hills or conducive trails, you can train on a stair master machine at your local gym.
If you do not have access to a gym, you can still train by walking as much as possible; try to have at least two days of extended walking every week. When training, walk or hike for at least 3 hours while carrying about 10kgs on your back; when using a Stairmaster Machine, walk on it for 1-2 hours, at a pace of about 30-40 steps per minute while carrying weights of about 10 kgs.
Whether hiking or walking, start with shorter intervals and a slower pace; gradually increase your pace and time intervals as your fitness improves. On the mountain, you will walk for hours carrying weights of about 10 kgs, so you should introduce some weights in your walking or hiking exercise plan as soon as your fitness begins to improve.
Apart from walking and hiking, you can also participate in other physical activities such as swimming, running, and cycling; these activities will improve your body’s aerobic endurance capacity. During the last ten days of training, reduce the intensity of your exercises and get enough rest to help your body recover.
If possible, train in the boots that you will be using for the actual mountain climb; this will help break in the new pair of shoes. Last but not least, maintain a healthy lifestyle; drink enough water, eat healthily, and get enough sleep. If you train well and rest adequately, you will increase your chances of reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.