You Are Here: Home » Backpacking Destinations » Africa » Training for Kilimanjaro

Training for Kilimanjaro

With less than 5 weeks from departure, I hope that my current training plan will help me reach the summit of Kilimanjaro. So what have I been up to anyway? Training, training, and yes, more training!! While the hike itself is not the most extraneous, hiking in high altitude is difficult.

Although I’m always fairly in shape because I workout regularly, hiking to Kilimanjaro motivated me to take my workout to the next level. To really push myself and get in the best possible shape ever. I’m averaging working out between 4 to 5 times per week. I’m clearly at the peak of my training schedule. My regular training routine is the following:

  1. Weight training workout: I attend a weight training class at least once per week. It ensures that I get at least one complete workout of weight training. The trainer also incorporates a circuit in the class so it’s a very complete workout, with the use of weights, bike and cardio. When I go to the gym only, I’ll make sure to workout my upper, lower body and torso (abs and lower back) with the use of free weights. I rarely use machines.
  2. Cardio workout: I’ve been doing lots of cardio. I attend a taebo class that combines both taebo and plyometrics so let me tell you that after 90 mins, I’m pooped! I’ve also been jogging outdoor for 45 mins. I get bored with jogging so I normally jog nonstop for about 25 mins, then do about 5 minutes of sprints (from one tree to another) and then continue jogging until I reach home. When I’m at the gym, I’ll either do 30 mins on the step master or one hour on the treadmill (5 mins intervals, jogging and walking at a maximum incline). I do however need to break in my new hiking boots so I’ll have to do a few 10km walks before I leave. I don’t want sore feet on the mountain!
  3. Hiking: The best way to train is to actually hike. In addition to the Mount Marcy hike I did one month ago, I’m now heading to Mont-Tremblant for a second day hike. Although these mountains are much smaller than Kilimanjaro, hiking sill remains the best way to train.

I have 4.5 more weeks of intense training left. Then, I’ll be giving my body a rest so I’m 100% for the hike. Hopefully everything works out as planned.

About The Author

Tanya is an adventurous person who most enjoys the cultural aspect of traveling. She traveled to North, Central and South America, Europe, Africa and Europe. When she's not hiking mountains, she spends her time visiting local schools or families. It's a nice break from the 9-5 corporate life.

Number of Entries : 243

Comments (4)

  • Phil

    Hi Tanya,

    I certainly sound like you will be in great shape for your trek, I would recommend that you taper your training in the last couple of weeks to give you body a chance to recover from the intensive training. On Kili the most important thing is to take your time, you will hear the guides and porters say; “pole, pole”, which means slowly in Swahili. The slower you go, the better your body will acclimatise and the greater chance you have on summiting. If you need any more info then please have a look at my website:

    You will have an amazing time, make sure you take loads of pictures and videos if you can.

    Good Luck,


    • Tanya

      Thanks for the advice Phil! Yes, I will start winding down my training soon. I’m currently suffering from shin split :( I did hear about how the hike is very slow and that faster hikers (ie more in shape) sometimes don’t make it up because they suffer from altitude sickness. As much as I never walk slow, I’ll have to force myself on this hike. I actually already visited your website when planning for my trip. It’s a great website!!

      • Phil

        I get shin splints as well, not fun! Make sure you give it plenty of time to recover and stick to no impact training like cycling or swimming.

        Your guide will dictate your pace and although it will feel very strange at first, you will get used to it after a couple of days.

        Glad you have visited our site and liked the info, how come you didn’t book through us!! :)

        You have obviously done allot of research into your trip, how did you find the information on our site, and is there anything that you think we should add?

        If you need any more info, please let me know.


        • Tanya

          I knew that question was coming up! I actually booked my trip before checking out your site. I wasn’t really thinking when I booked. Then, reality struck and I had to start planning and that’s when I cam across your site. Great job! I found a lot of useful info. I may have suggestions for you when I get back from my trip.


Leave a Comment to Phil

© Off Track Backpacking 2012. Website Design by Kinex Media.

Scroll to top