Thursday, 10 May 2012

6 Weeks to is stepped up!

It's insane how fast this journey is going...just the other day we were booking flights (March?) and here we are approaching June...scary and exciting at the same time.
With 6 weeks to go, I feel quite confident (yikes) that my fitness levels are on track - I'll never be quite as fit as the men on the team, but I can hold my own...I'm more of a slowly does it kind of person....I will do it, but not at the speed of lightening!

I learnt a few interesting things from a climber at Trappers store the other day....people with low blood pressure generally fare quite well with altitude...maybe that's why I never got one headache on Kili? But on the other hand I have awful circulation, especially to my feet - worrying when there's metal in there...only time will tell!

So my training pretty much looks like this at the moment:  EVERY more rest days (unless I've done a long hard race) least 1 hour of intense workouts.  I generally do 60 minutes on the stairmaster - with ankle weights (2kg each) - they are hardcore, when I take them off I feel as light as a feather!
I also walk briskly on 15%/highest incline on the treadmill with these talk about sweating (or as Kate would say - I 'glow').

Running is always part of my training, at least every second day for an hour.  On weekends I generally do a long run or race.

I will be adding my pack to the mix pretty soon, as well as heading to the gorgeous Drakensberg for some serious hiking...I cannot wait!

Weekends are also not complete without a visit to the infamous 'Westcliff Steps' - every time I go I really get worried that I'm not fit enough...but then anyone running up stairs at altitude will get out of breath, so I must just chill and believe in myself....Herewith some pics of the steps and the superb views from there...

I'm really getting super excited now, but also really worried about my 2 girls - they are older now and are asking very valid questions...I don't think watching the current season of Everest - The death zone - is helping much either :-).....but more on safety and all that later!


  1. Hi Candy, stumbled across your blog a few weeks back and finding it very insightful and helpful, I am at a relatively similar stage in my prep for Elbrus ( climbing in July) so I look forward to following your progress! Mark

  2. Hi Mark! Thanks so much for following! How awesome - who you going with? Have you done any other mountains? Chat soon! Candy

  3. I think the stair master with 25 pounds will be a more realistic weight. Just the plastic boots weight 6 pounds, add crampons, water, food, clothing, harness, lamp, batteries, down jacket, camera, pack, poles, axe, gloves, it starts adding up.

    Here is a good insert I found in the Alpine Ascent web site for Elbrus:

    "A reasonable goal would be to ascend 3,000 feet carrying an average pack of 25 pounds in a 2-3 hour period, or roughly 1,000-1,500 vertical feet per hour. A good training option for pack weight is to carry water in gallon containers or collapsible jugs, so you can dump water at the top as needed, to lighten the load for the descent.

    In early season, start with a hike that gains up to 2000’ elevation over 5-7 miles round trip, and carry a 10-pound pack; each hike try adding 2-3 pounds until you are comfortable with a 30-pound pack, then begin increasing the total elevation gain and mileage. When you can gain 3,000 feet with a 30-pound pack, start decreasing rest breaks and increasing speed on each conditioning workout. A month from your climb, you should be comfortable carrying 35 pounds on your conditioners."

  4. Thanks again - I also got that from Alpine Ascent website! At the moment I'm doing 1hour with 12kg on the stairmaster, alternating with 1 hour on the treadmill at 15% with 10kg, alternating with 1hour running.

    I am increasing the weight in my pack everyday, instead of water, I'm using heavy books, they are easier to pack and can stay in the car without problems :-)

    Let me know how your training goes and if you come across any other info!