This is Anneke. This is her at the top of Africa, having competed for very first trek to conquer Kilimanjaro. Learn how she got fit for this high altitude hike, in just 30 minute a night.
Now Anneke was in an interesting situation when we first met. She was eight weeks out from Kilimanjaro, and she knew she desperately needed to get fit!
But she lived an INCREDIBLY busy life: two full-on jobs, a young family, barely a spare minute to herself.
And when we dug into what type of training was realistic to fit into her week, it was pretty evident that a typical preparation program would not work for her.
The only time she really KNEW she could train, was 30 minutes each night - between when she put the kids to bed and when she had to do her final work for the night.
Which is obviously not an ideal situation!
But that is the beauty of coaching. And we made the very best of the tricky situation.
As she thoroughly enjoyed cycling, Anneke ended up buying an exercise bike for her living room.
And we broke her sessions into:
Now at first glance, this seems to have one MASSIVE hole in it...
Where is the hiking? The walking? Or, at the very least, the long duration exercise?
And unfortunately, we concluded that it just wasn't realistic to aim for this.
If she could find time to some shorter walks through the week great. And if she could squeeze a couple of longer walks with her daughters on the weekends, even better!
But if not, we didn't want to add more stress to her life, beating herself up for missing it.
We discussed and accepted the fact that this was going to be her limiting factor on the mountain. And more than likely it would be a serious struggle on Summit day.
But while we probably couldn't guarantee she would be 'comfortable' on the mountain, we would do our best to get her to the top!
So Anneke put her head down, she did all the training asked. She worked hard, asked questions, followed all the advice, dug deep into the education side of things and put everything suggested into action.
And while it wasn't easy...
She did it!
I received this email from her after her climb (with about the exact conclusion I was expecting!):
"I definitely think the training helped; although think maybe I should have done a little more aerobic capacity work, just to get used to endurance exertion with less oxygen.
So moral of the story?
Everyone is different. Everyone had different situations. Different capabilities. And different approaches to training.
And while sometimes certain situations will seem incredibly tricky...
If you get the right help, you can go a lot further then you would first think.
And if you do feel like you need some extra help with your hiking fitness, the Online Summit Program is waiting for you:
Rowan is a personal trainer who specialises in training for hiking, trekkers and mountaineers for their bucket list adventures.
Summit Strength is a personal training for hiking service created specifically to help hikers have the best chance of a safe, enjoyable and successful adventure.