Climbing Kilimanjaro and running marathons

Chicago Marathon

Chicago Marathon

On my last climb up Kilimanjaro I was joined by a  number of folks including Paul, who had trained by running three marathons leading up to the climb.   Three marathons!  I couldn't believe it.  In spite of severe stomach problems and altitude sickness he still made it to the summit.   For a while I've been thinking about trying a marathon.  So this year my brother and I have decided to run the Chicago marathon together.  Neither of us  has a lot of experience running and certainly nothing this extensive.  But as I get into my training I've found a lot of similarities to training for Kilimanjaro. Probably the two biggest components to any serious training program are to be consistent and gradually add more mileage.  When my wife and I were training for a long backpacking trip several years ago we started out too strong and she developed a painful case of plantar fasciitis, derailing her from the big trip completely.   With my marathon training I'm following the plan set out by marathon guru Hal Higdon.  Every week I keep a consistent schedule and gradually add more mileage while ensuring plenty of rest time. On my first visit to Kilimanjaro I failed to reach the summit because of altitude sickness.  But a contributing factor was that I hadn't trained consistently enough to overcome my body's natural weakness to altitude.  I've climbed with guys who marched to Uhuru peak with little to no training at all.  But it seems like a pretty big gamble to me to go all that way and not be as prepared for the summit as possible.  It's a less I learned very well before I went back again and finally made it. Over the next few months I'll update folks on my training for the Chicago Marathon via our Facebook page.  If you have any advice, suggestions or just want to add your own comments please do.
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