April 15, 2011
How do I train for my Kilimanjaro trek? To answer this question and get you ready for your Kilimanjaro summit, we’ve partnered with the experts at Fit For Trips and have created route-specific, personal training regimens, custom-designed for you and your fitness level. Many of our guests, and all of our US Kilimanjaro staff, have used Fit For Trips to prepare for their climb, with nearly 100% summit success!
To get the low-down on reaching great heights, we had a Q&A session with Marcus Shapiro, the founder and CEO of Fit For Trips:
Q: What are some of the concerns your clients have before climbing Kilimanjaro?
A: I commonly get asked about altitude. Although altitude issues can affect anyone, being properly fit can help Kili climbers deal with many of the discomforts associated with high altitude symptoms.
Simply making it to the summit is another common concern. In brief, climbing stairs, treadmill work, specific ‘trail fitness’ resistance training exercises and hiking are essential to a successful summit.
Q: What is the most important thing to remember while training?
A: Always be aware of how your body is adapting to the training demands. Are you constantly feeling tired and sore? If so, then you might be over-training and need to take steps to decrease your training intensity or volume. Once you have recovered, you can resume training in smaller doses. However, doing so will likely increase the amount of time needed to become properly fit for your trek. This is why it is helpful to start training in advance – 12+ weeks – of your departure date. Travelers who are already fit can be aggressive and ramp up the training quickly in the pre-departure phase, say eight weeks prior to departing.
Q: What is your background in personal training?
A: My degree in athletic training from the University of Alabama coupled with my Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) designation is an unusual combination but significant in the world of personal training. My athletic training education enhanced my ability to work with clients who have sustained orthopedic injuries. The CSCS designation – prevalent in collegiate, professional and Olympic conditioning coaches – ensures that clients receive the most progressive and up-to-date training techniques. I am trusted by my colleagues in physical therapy who refer to me their discharged patients.
I launched the online fitness company, Fit For Trips, with Thomson Safaris as the first partner in 2009. I hold Thomson near and dear to my heart for trusting me with their guests.
My interests and experience go way beyond the world’s highest peaks. I am also an active father of two boys, the inventor of a portable dry-land training device for paddlers and creator of virtual software for personal training.
Next week, in part 2 of this post, Marcus will share his top 3 recommended exercises to prepare for Kilimanjaro.
January 17, 2011
We’re only a few weeks into the New Year but if you’re finding those resolutions are already falling by the wayside, take some inspiration from Helga to stick with them. At 78, this Thomson trekker set her goals on conquering Kilimanjaro and became the second-oldest woman ever to reach the top. What’s more is that she climbed with grace and humility.
She said about her accomplishment, “I never think of it as anything special. It came as a big surprise to me that I am the second oldest woman to successfully have reached the summit. I’m sure it is only thanks to Thomson’s superb crew.”
Wilfred, the group’s guide, commented that she was an inspiration by saying, “Bibi is my rock star, she makes everyone in the group happy.” (Bibi is Swahili for Grandmother) So what’s Helga’s secret? She cites a strong positive attitude and living by this mantra: It is good to try something we think we cannot do because we find out, we can.
Find out why Helga set her sights on conquering Mount Kilimanjaro and details about the trek in her article, Kilimanjaro Adventure – Why Climb the Mountain?
November 5, 2010
The New York City marathon is this weekend and our Kilimanjaro department is abuzz, quite a few of our guests are participating in the race. We wish our friends luck and hope they run as fast as an ostrich. Yes, an ostrich!
Cheetahs usually get all the glory when it comes to speed – after all, they are the fastest land animals, with top speeds of about 70 mph – but cheetahs would never win a marathon. Cheetahs are unbeatable in the 100 yard dash but distances beyond 100 yards cause these cats to overheat. Ostriches on the other hand, are not only fast but are also one of the most efficient runners. These humongous birds use half of the energy humans do at their top speed, which allows them to run longer distances.
The secret to the ostrich’s efficiency lies in the “spring” in their step. According to a recent study, “Ostriches generate over twice as much power from recoil of elastic energy stored in tendons than humans, which means they need less muscle power to run at the same speed.”
Read more about a recent study featured on BBC Earth News drawing comparisons between the ostrich and the human gait.
Source: BBC Earth News
October 6, 2010
Last week, Spanish trail runner Kilian Jornet, ascended and descended Mount Kilimanjaro in the incredible, record-breaking time of 7 hours and 14 minutes.
At 22 years old, Jornet has an impressive list of accomplishments under his belt, winning both international running and skiing competitions. He is sponsored by Salomon which takes him to some of the most rugged mountains on the planet to train and compete while testing Salomon’s gear.
Typically, a successful Kili climb is dependent on how well, and if, your body acclimatizes to high altitude. The more time you allow for the ascent, the better. How can anyone make it up to 19,340’ within hours? See the video below for a look into Jornet’s intense training program (which he performs at altitude), which animal he uses as inspiration to perfect his climbing technique, and his unwavering positive attitude. He says, “When you train, anything is possible.”
You don’t have to be super-human to get to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro! Find out more about training and acclimatization.
September 30, 2010
The stunning images and bold expeditions of photographer and mountaineer, Jimmy Chin, have inspired the imaginations of countless adventurers around the world.
Earlier this year, Jimmy trekked Mount Kilimanjaro with Thomson Safaris for the Summit on the Summit celebrity charity climb that included the likes of Emile Hirsch, Jessica Biel, and Kenna, and was filmed for a documentary on MTV.
Listen to the interview below, where we caught up with Jimmy via phone and chatted about his experience on Africa’s tallest mountain.
June 21, 2010
Congratulations to Ali Riley, of our Boston office, for reaching the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro!
As a member of our marketing department, Ali reviews countless photos of Tanzania and Mt. Kilimanjaro, so she was thrilled to finally be on the other side of the photograph and experience the mountain for herself. She joined our 6-day Umbwe Route trek, which is one of the more demanding ascents on the mountain.
Ali enjoyed the challenge of the climb and shared with us that the push to the summit required not only physical strength but also a healthy dose of mental fortitude. She said, “Altitude can humble you in an instant – you really have to dig deep and want it! My guides and fellow trekkers not only made the trip fun but also offered an incredible amount of support. It’s an experience I’ll never forget.”