Some of the questions we get asked most frequently at the Charity Challenge office are “how fit do I need to be to take on this challenge?” and “do you have any advice to help me with my fitness training?” These can be difficult questions for us to answer, as different people have different levels of fitness and varying physical conditions.
But we do understand that the best kind of advice you can get is from people who have been there, done that and have literally got the charity challenge T-shirt. So check out below for the top 5 tried and tested tips from our charity challengers on how to get fit and ready your charity challenge!
Mix it up – Getting fit isn’t just about going to the gym, the more interesting you can make it for yourself, the more likely you are to stick with it! Join a sports team, take up a new hobby or start power-walking to work. Recent Kilimanjaro conqueror Hanna mixed up her regime by doing a bit of running, swimming and cycling. Previous Charity Challenger Ken Menconi made his time at the gym interesting by keeping it varied – “Before the trek I worked out 6 days/week combining spinning with overall body work out, treadmill, stairclimber and yoga (for balance and centering myself).” The more varied you can make your training, the more parts of your body gets a workout and the more prepared you are to meet whatever your challenge throws at you!
Train with your kit – One if the best ways you can prepare yourself for your charity challenge is by getting used to and training with your kit. Recent Etna Challenger Neil Berridge strongly recommends spending some time in your walking boots “I was able to walk to and from work and broke them in really well…Result for me was that I had no blisters during the trek.” Fellow Etna challenger Becki Lake also can’t recommend training with your kit enough, – “Training with the actual rucksack you will be using is a must! And training with the weight you will be carrying as well!” You can do lots of walking and trekking preparation, but if you don’t get yourself used to carrying the weight of your rucksack on your back it can be a real shock to you when you begin your challenge.
Focus on the leg muscles – whether you’re cycling, trekking or sledging, you are going to be really working your leg muscles on your charity challenge, so strengthening them up is a must! Hill-walking is a great way of working your leg muscles, building up your endurance and getting used to navigating uneven terrains, as Kilimanjaro trekker Phillip Brown testifies of hill trekking, “what better way to train for climbing a mountain!”
This principle works for Cyclists as well, as Great Wall challenge cyclist Chris Hibbins says, “get lots of big steep hills practice. I say if you can cycle most the cycle routes in the lakes you will be fine”. If you don’t have the time to disappear into the hillside, there are still lots of other things a little closer to home you can do to work up your leg muscles. If you work/live a couple of floors up, forgo the lift and start taking the stairs, get off a tube/bus stop early and walk the rest of the way home. Exercise Bikes, Elliptical Cross trainers and treadmills are also great gym equipment for working the leg muscles.
Make your exercise regime work for you – As I hinted at above, not everybody has the time or inclination to put in hours and hours at the gym or take a couple of days off to walk/cycle around the countryside. If you’re one of these people, then exercise equipment hire might just be your charity challenge salvation!
We have teamed up with Hire Fitness who are the UK’s leading fitness equipment hire company. You can hire all popular types of equipment from Hire Fitness for 4 weeks or more, which will be delivered and installed into your home or office. This way, you can get a 20 minute session on a cross trainer done before you head out to work without having to leave your home, or you can get an exercise bike installed in front of the TV and watch Charity Challenge Veteran Denise Van Outen on Strictly Come Dancing whilst pumping away. When training for her ‘Essex2India’ cycle challenge with us, having a Hire Fitness exercise bike installed in her living room was a massive part of Denise’s own training preparationss! You can visit the Hire Fitness website here, Hire Fitness offers 15% discount on all hire of 16 weeks or more for Charity challenge participants! Visit your members’ area for more details.
Sign up for a training weekend – For those who want to make sure they are on track with their training, we work with Expedition Wise to offer superb tailored training weekends for all charity treks from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon. They offer both cycling and trek preparation training weekends. Sumatra Jungle Trek challenger Elizabeth Woodcroft went along to one of these weekends and found it really useful “I got to know which level I was at and what more I needed to do”. Kilimanjaro challenger Lauren Lloyd likewise found her weekend training invaluable.
“This weekend was worth every penny…The leaders are obviously made for this kind of job and their knowledge and passion for expedition life was shared endlessly. No question was seen to be too petty and every answer was given in depth. I would thoroughly recommend that anyone intending on going on expedition should attend an Expedition Wise training weekend”
So there you have it! Take note of these 5 rules and should be well on your way to conquering your charity challenge and having the time of your life! For more top tips, and to learn more about all our charity challenges, please visit our website at www.charitychallenge.com, and, to keep up to date on all our challenge news, subscribe to this blog by clicking on the orange RSS button, you can also enter your email address into the adjacent box to subscribe to our mailing list.