More than a physical challenge!
Taking part in a challenge event is all about achieving your goals. We will send you a detailed training schedule when you sign up. You will need to prepare well and commit to train hard so you can enjoy this experience of a lifetime.
There are many aspects to the trip which will make it feel like a challenge, it’s not just a matter of reaching the summit or cycling to the top of the hill! There will probably be basic washing facilities and toilets; tropical or sub zero temperatures to deal with in an unfamiliar country with a different culture; you will be thousands of miles away from your family and surrounded by people you don’t know!
It’s not a race!
All our challenges are a team effort, supported by a crew of devoted and experienced staff, all of whom, are there to help you reach your goal. There maybe times when you find it tough and you will have to dig deep to remember why you are there, focus on the charity you are supporting and remember to keep looking up at the incredible scenery around you. But when you return home, and your sore muscles have recovered you will be left with an incredible sense of achievement, long-lasting memories and new friendships!
If you have not walked for some time, you should begin by walking 2-3 times a week for around an hour. This should then increase to weekend walks to around three hours with one or two stops on route. Build up the hours you are walking, so that one month before the event you can hike for 6-7 hours a day over undulating terrain. We strongly suggest that you take a weekend off and trek on both days, this will get you used to walking when you are already tired from the previous day.
Whilst training outside, you should always wear the boots and socks that you plan to wear for the event. You should also get used to carrying a small day pack weighing around 4-5 kg.
Your day pack should include water, snacks, a compass and a small medical kit. Always tell someone where you are going and roughly what time you will be back. Please remember to take your mobile phone with you. We strongly recommend that you use trekking poles while on the trip as they will be a great help with your balance when on uneven terrain and will also take some of the pressure off your knees. It is a good idea to practice with these in the UK so you can get used to using them correctly.
It is always better to train outdoors, but work and family commitments may make this difficult during the week. In this case you should do other forms of exercise, join a gym and ask a fitness instructor to set a program for you. Stepping, jogging, uphill walking and aerobic classes will all help to increase your overall fitness and stamina.
If you have not cycled for some time you should begin with a couple of half-hour rides per week. After two weeks you can increase to a third ride of approximately 45mins and after a month a fourth ride of one hour. After two months you should be doing up to 2 hour long rides three times per week. As the day of departure draws closer, you should be able to cycle comfortably for 5 to 6 hours on hilly terrain. Preferably take a weekend off and cycle on both days, with regular breaks every couple of hours. This will get you used to cycling when you are already a little saddle sore from the previous day.
Regardless of weather, it is always better to train outside than on a bike in the gym, although incorporating both in a training program will help to give you a better overall level of fitness.
Things to Practice on your bike
- Cycling with wind resistance
- Drinking from your water bottle while riding
- Hill climbing
- Long periods of time in the saddle
- Cycling off-road – on gravel, sand and rough terrain
The gears on your bike will assist you. Learning how to use them properly will dramatically improve your cycling ability. You should practice changing gear while cycling uphill (into a lower gear, so the pedaling becomes easier and quicker). When you are cycling fast on-road, you should be in as high a gear as possible (harder to pedal, but faster on flat terrain). Try to get a good balance so you don’t strain your knees or tire yourself out.
Make sure your saddle is at the correct height; otherwise you may suffer pain in your knees or legs. When you are in the saddle, your toes should just touch the ground. If you are not used to having your saddle so high, raise it a little at a time.
During your training do not forget to wear a cycle helmet, keep hydrated, carry a small medical kit and a puncture repair kit. Always tell someone where you are going, roughly how long you will be and if possible take a mobile phone with you just in case you have any problems.