As mountains go, Kilimanjaro is not a “technical” climb, it mainly just involves a lot of walking (a LOT of walking). Tens of thousands of people climb Kilimanjaro each year, and people of all ages and fitness levels have reached the summit – reliable sources on the internet and in real life have said that you do not need to be ultra-fit to succeed and it is actually best not to over-train.
However, there will be plenty of other obstacles to contend with during the trip, mainly altitude acclimatisation, and I don‘t want a lack of fitness to even cross my mind while I concentrate on things like breathing and walking and staying warm.
Also, while I do make the effort to walk whenever I can, I rarely walk very long distances or up hills, so this is going to take my legs and lungs a bit of getting used to. As well as plenty of local training walks, I am planning the following walks / mini challenges throughout next year:
3 Peaks Challenge (Snowdon, Skafell Pike and Ben Nevis)
Alpine hiking (if I really have to, I think I could put up with a trip to the Swiss Alps ;o)
On top of that, I have somehow been talked into running the Adidas Half Marathon next March. This is an altogether different and rather horrifying challenge, made exciting only by the fact that the run is on the Silverstone race track. The furthest I have ever run is 10km in April 2013 (Parkinson’s UK Run Highclere event) and this is just over double that… I’m already pretty terrified but for now I’m taking it one run at a time and hoping I start to enjoy it soon!
So it looks like I will be spending the winter running, running and more running (with a few walks thrown in), before switching to walking, walking and more walking in the springtime.
For now, it’s off to the gym!