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How to get fit for a ‘hard’ challenge

May 5, 2010

Today was my last stair climb before I go to Lebanon this Friday.  I scaled 41 floors of  Rimal, Jumeirah Beach Residence (with no air conditioning) and then did it again and again.  All before breakfast!  Looking back on what I’ve done since January, I’m amazed at the amount of new things I’ve participated in – all in the name of fitness.   Here’s a gallery of the things I’ve done over the past few months – most of which I never thought I’d do in a million years.

Now I know I’ve got a nerve giving advice on fitness, but if you are starting from a base level of fairly unfit like I did you might find this useful.  My top tips for preparing for this trip (classified by Gulf for Good as hard) are:

  1. Do something everyday.   For me that means walking the dogs.
  2. Do something that makes you get out of breath and sweaty (i.e. raises your heart-rate) every other day or at least 3 times a week.  I went to the gym (using the hill setting on the treadmill, the bike, the cross trainer and summit trainer) and did the weekly Gulf for Good fitness session.
  3. Try to increase the difficulty of what you do week by week.  Walk quicker and longer.  In the gym try to set the machine to the next level up or spend longer on it.
  4. Push yourself but listen to your body and rest when you need to.  Most of the time I had more energy but occasionally I felt absolutely drained and dog-tired.  That’s when I just did a shorter walk and went to bed early.
  5. Get help!  Having  a training buddy or a personal trainer is really worthwhile.  They give you a boost when you need it and keep you on track.  Thanks to Anne Harrington for being my inspiration.  I found blogging about it gave a focus too, as well as the great support from the team at Gulf for Good.

So I’m going to stick to walking the dogs for the next few days (in high temperatures and high humidity – yeuch) and get some early nights.  I can’t wait to feel the cool breeze on my face in the mountains of Lebanon.  Special thanks to my family who have adapted to a new schedule so I could fit in the training.  My 2 daughters never missed a beach circuit class with me and have been really supportive.  And for my husband who’s in charge next week – thanks and good luck!  And was this training enough?  I’ll let you know in a week and a half’s time.

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