Posts Tagged ‘kokoda training’

How hard is Kokoda?

Saturday, January 22nd, 2022

The Kokoda Track is known as a challenging trek as it travels through the remote Owen Stanley Ranges in PNG. So if you are wondering is it hard? The simple answer is ‘yes’ it is a challenge BUT it is achievable by many different kinds of people.


The Kokoda track is a challenge because of the environment and terrain. PNG is in the tropics and you can expect it to be hot, humid and sometimes raining. Having said that, up in the highest camps on the track it will be cool at night. During a lot of the track you will be walking under the canopy of the rainforest which does help with the heat. There are creeks regularly along the way to have a dip in and cool down.


The Kokoda track terrain is mountainous with only small sections of the track being flat. This means you are either walking slowly up a ridgeline or you are walking slowly down. This is where it can get mentally and physically hard. You will feel your hamstrings and calves working hard on the uphill and your quads working hard on the downhill. During the first few days of the track you will probably experience the pain of lactic acid build up in your muscles. After the first few days your body will get better at dealing with the lactic acid and you will begin to feel stronger and less fatigued.


What goes on between your ears will be your biggest challenge though! You have a lot of time on the track to think about what you are doing and how hard it is! If you remain strong mentally you are half way there! A good perspective to have in your mind is to remember you are not being shot at, and you know you will be going home after the trek! You just need to think of the track in small achievable sections and know that you will have a break soon and a good feed!

The Kokoda Track is hard but is achievable for most people. You just need to train by walking up and down hills for a few months prior, and tell yourself that you can do it!…. One step, one hill and one day at a time!!

How do I train for Kokoda?

Tuesday, January 11th, 2022

So you’ve decided to do the Kokoda Trail and you want to use your Kokoda training time well. You are aware that you need to do a fair bit of walking to prepare for the 96km trek. But how do you maximise your training time to get the best results? Well the answer is simple…. Hills!! It’s all about the hills!

To get the most benefit out of your training for Kokoda, you need to walk up and down, just like the track itself! When planning your training, research your local area and find hill climbs that are available to you.

In most towns there is the local lookout or hill, these are perfect locations to regularly climb, up and down carrying your daypack. If you get used to hill climbs, you are more likely to find the Kokoda Track enjoyable and your body will thank you!

If you live in a built up city area you might have to be more creative during the week, like looking for every opportunity to take the stairs rather than the elevator, and then head out to the hills on the weekend! Although even in the city, for example Perth’s Kings Park has a great stair walkout called ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ right in the heart of town!

As your Kokoda trek gets closer it’s a good idea to go hiking for the weekend and do a 2 day walk and campout for the night. This will give you a great opportunity to test out your equipment and spend 2 full days trekking! So my red hot tip for training for the Kokoda Track is…. Get vertical….often!