So many have asked how I am training for the climb. The best way to train for Kilimanjaro is to hike. Up mountains. In high altitude. Unfortunately, the suburbs of Chicago offer no such mountains, so one has to resort to other means.
Tim and I did do a ‘training’ hike in September, up Mt. Humphreys (highest peak in Arizona baby, 12,633 ft). On that trip we tried out our new hiking boots, packs, and trekking poles and cool zip off convertible pants. After 3 (or 10) false peaks, it felt awesome to get to the top. Look how happy we are 🙂 Minutes later we saw thunder clouds off in the distance (see pic at the top), so we high tailed it out of there, making it into the trees before the hail came down.
Back in the flatland of America in Chicago, we’ve been working out roughly 6 days/week they last few months, consisting of:
- Running – we’re training for several races this year, Nicki is training for her first marathon in October
- Climbing the stairmaster… lots
- Strength and cardio training at the gym
- Nutrition! This has been the biggest thing – these past 7 months we have been getting fit and healthy using an awesome nutritional system which has resulted in weight loss, more energy, muscle development and overall we feel good!
This is more working out than we’ve done in our entire lives! It feels good and we’re going for ‘good enough’ to stay healthy and fit enough to make the trek to the top.
Some have suggested purchasing a mask which you can wear for training, simulating the reduced oxygen levels at high altitude. My philosophy has been that I’m choosing not to put myself through something unpleasant, in preparation for something unpleasant! Not to mention the appearance of this Silence of the Lambs-like device! Look, the altitude is going to be tough. Real tough. The fittest athletes can succumb to AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) at high altitude. We’re going with our best health and fitness, mental toughness, and our faith that God will carry us through whatever happens.