My training for Kilimanjaro consisted of three different building blocks:

  1. Couch to 5K program
  2. Hiking
  3. CrossFit


#C25K – This was by far the most important one in the beginning. This is the program that got me off the couch and eventually running a 5K. You start with alternating running and walking (60 seconds running, 180 seconds walking) and build up week by week. The program works. I had a hard time getting through week 1 I was so out of shape. I can say that without this program there is no way I could have even dreamt of climbing Kilimanjaro. If you are more sedentary, like I was, this is the perfect first step. There are several programs and apps out there.

My personal favorite was the UK’s NHS Choices C25K. I liked the music and accent. Other options include:


HIKING – Hiking has become a drug of choice. I absolutely love it, especially when I can hike in the mountains. I hike alone and also with groups of friends and sometimes even with my little family. Finding a local hiking group is really a great way to work hiking into a regular rotation. There are local hiking meet-ups, and then groups you can gather yourself. I happened to find a group of local ladies interested in getting healthier and fit and who happened to love hiking as well. This group has truly been a wonderful gift.

Look for local hiking meet-ups, as well as local trails:


CROSSFIT – Yes, CrossFit. It isn’t for everyone. I never thought I would become a CrossFitter. Never. (Side note: never say never) But over this past year I found out something about myself: I need structure or I won’t do it. Equally, I need a very specific, progressive plan (that I don’t have to come up with) or I won’t do it. After I completed the #C25K program, I struggled to find a consistent way forward. Yes, I was a member of a gym. Yes, I went occasionally. No, I never really pushed myself because I never really knew what to DO. With the #C25K, everything was planned out for me. All I did was show up with my shoes and earbuds in and press play. I needed something similar to propel me forward. Enter CrossFit. Guess what? All I do is show up with my shoes on and a bottle of water. Every workout is planned for me and there is a coach to help push me when I need to be pushed. This has made all the difference in the world for me. My body is changing before my very eyes. My confidence has grown in leaps and bounds. Every day I make it to the box, I look at the board with the day’s warm-up, skill and WOD (workout of the day) and think to myself “There is no way. No way I can do that.” And every day I show up, I do it. (yes, there is some scaling down at first, but that is fine and I am progressively getting stronger by the week)

I found a local CrossFit box (their term for “gym”) that has a women’s class that meets the same time 5 days a week. I love that it is all women… took the intimidation level down about 10 notches. My first day there was an open house and every single women who had been going to this box said that the main reason they come is the community. I dig that. Learn more about CrossFit in the following links and see if it is a right fit for you: