Hanady Alhashmi training sheikh zayed stadium

Training for the Mountains

I usually train hard 3 months in advance before any strenuous expedition (I actually trained 2 months for Kilimanjaro and for 5 months for Denali). Of course I do still maintain my fitness throughout the year. The below is just an idea of some points I keep in mind when training to get ‘Mountain Prepared’.

My workouts include:

  • Strengthening exercises
  • Aerobic/ Cardio activities
  • Endurance focused activities

Examples of these workouts:

  • Stair training; find any stairs you can find, either at home or a stair master in a gym. I start with 40 mins building all the way to 3 hrs. (I have somehow equated it to 600 metres elevation)
  • Desert walks
  • Trail running
  • Hiking
  • Wall climbing
  • Rock climbing
  • Cycling
  • Swimming

On rest days:

  • Yoga (For Yoga for Hikers, click here)
  • Light walks in the city


  • I always do warm ups before and stretch afterwards to prevent injury
  • Start carrying heavier backpacks when stair training and hiking. Add weight by 10%
  • Try to go on a mountaineering climb at altitude
  • If it is too hot to hike in the UAE, you could go to Oman in the summer like Jabal Shams, I have gone hiking there in June and the max temperature was 29c
  • Try to include hikes that are long and have a elevation gain of over 1,000 metres
  • Have different activities to avoid getting bored.
  • Listen to your body, reduce and adapt as necessary
  • Before the big climb, try to opt for lighter exercises and stop 2-3 days before your big climb

If you are interested in getting a consultation or a training programme for your next big adventure, please feel to contact me on hanady@elevation.ae

Or else, do check out the 12-week Mountaineering Training Plan and Nutrition E-Book.

Hanady Alhashmi training in the desert