July 26, 2012
I went for a training hike on the Frankenstein Cliff/Arethusa Falls loop trail in the White Mountains near Crawford Notch last weekend. I really love getting away to the Whites; the terrain challenges my legs for a great workout, and getting out of the city gives me the opportunity to visualize and mentally prepare myself for Kilimanjaro!
Since I’m a naturally competitive person, I have to constantly remind myself to slow down; when I finally do, I am able to enjoy the hike, or workout, so much more. Slowing down also allows me to focus on proper technique and efficiency… something that will have a big payout when I’m closing in on Kilimanjaro’s summit!
During my hike last weekend, I practiced the rest step, a technique hikers use to conserve energy. Watch the video below to learn how this technique is especially effective on long hikes requiring muscle endurance, such as my upcoming 9-day Western Approach Route trek.
This week I’m back in the gym and increasing the intensity of my workouts in anticipation of tapering, or resting, for the week leading up to my departure…it’s approaching quickly! In other preparation news, my boots are almost completely broken in, though I’ve noticed a few chafed spots on my feet, so I tried Moleskin on these areas and it worked great during last weekend’s hike! I plan using Moleskin throughout my trek to proactively prevent the formation of blisters.
Less than 20 days until I leave and I’m slowly starting to pack my duffle; more on that in my next post…
|Post 2: Training in the Gym|
July 20, 2012
There’s no denying it – a Tanzanian safari is a trip of a lifetime.
Our guests tell us Tanzania is like no other place they’ve visited, and we couldn’t agree more! Here in the Boston office, we consider ourselves very lucky to be able to go to Tanzania from time to time…and, no – it never gets old. In fact, we find ourselves longing to return between visits.
“I miss the sweet Jambo, Jambo in the morning. I miss the soups made by scratch by our amazing camp chefs! I miss the quiet moments in the Land Rovers listening and watching as hundreds of elephants pass by just yards away,” shared Thomson Staffer, Evan.
We fell in love with the following video, which captures a little bit of the magic of waking up in the Tanzanian wilderness. Listen carefully as the bird calls increase, and let yourself imagine the other natural wonders that are in store! It was filmed in the Serengeti at dawn by our friend and seventeen-time past guest, Michael Ellis. Of course nothing compares with being there, but we thought you might enjoy it!
Sometimes it’s these quiet moments that stay with you for a lifetime.
July 10, 2012
I thought I was going to have to spend hours cranking out several miles on the treadmill in order to train for my upcoming Kilimanjaro trek, which was not a thrilling prospect for me, to say the least! But after working with Fit For Trips on a customized training program, I learned there is more to training for Kilimanjaro than I originally thought. My program incorporates cardio, strength and endurance training via a variety of exercises. I really like having a specific workout plan each time I go to the gym; it has been keeping me focused and makes me very confident I’ll be properly prepared for Kilimanjaro’s Western Approach in August.
What about the dreaded treadmill, you ask? Well, it is still a part of my workout regimen – it’s a necessary evil, I guess! However I’ve learned that running on the treadmill isn’t the most efficient way to train for Kilimanjaro. Believe it or not, to train for Kili, you need to practice walking! Slowing the treadmill down to a walking pace (and at a steep grade) was counter-intuitive to me at first but now I can see that it’s the closest thing to being on the trail. I’ve recently increased the intensity of my treadmill workouts by wearing a weighted backpack…yes, I’ve received a bunch of curious looks from others at my gym as I’m stomping up the treadmill with a bag of weights on my back but the benefits far outweigh the initial awkwardness.
My stair workouts have been great too. Instead of doing this on a Stairmaster, I prefer 8-10 minute sets on a single flight of stairs because it not only forces me to focus and puts me into the zone but it also gives me the opportunity to train for the descent… don’t forget, you have to walk down several thousand feet from the summit! I hear the descent can be tough on your knees, so I’m definitely taking the time to strengthen the muscles to support my joints. Upgrading to a larger flight of stairs is on my to-do list!
I have terrible balance so one of the most challenging exercises for me is the sideward bound-pause. When I try to do it, it is more like “sideward bound-hop-wobble-hop.” Watch how it is done in the Fit For Trips clip below; it’s not easy!
As a swimmer, I’ve never had to work the smaller, stabilizing muscles in my hips, knees and ankles but these small muscles are the key to keep me from stumbling over rocks and roots on the trail and will help to reduce the risk of injury. As they say, practice makes perfect, and the more I practice the sideward bound-pause, the less I’ve been wobbling on the pauses.
I figure this trek will also challenge my mental fitness, so I placed a photo (the one of the Furtwangler Glaciers at the top of the post) at my desk to keep me focused on my goal. It is helping me visualize the moment when I will finally take a stroll amongst the famous glaciers of Kilimanjaro. I can’t wait!
Route-specific training programs set up by Fit For Trips for Thomson Safaris’ Kilimanjaro treks. Custom programs are built with individuals’ fitness level and lifestyle in mind. Find out what other trekkers are saying about Fit For Trips.
Look for more posts as we follow Rachel through her training program. If you’ve climbed Kili before, wish her luck, share a story or offer words of wisdom via posting a comment below!
|Post 1: Meet Rachel|