Get Prepared

You don’t have to be an athlete to complete Kokoda. However, the fitter you are the more enjoyable the experience will be and your fitness can mean the difference between an incredible adventure or an exhausting trek.

Australian Kokoda Tours is run by Michael O'Malley a former professional boxer holding state, national and Commonwealth boxing titles who also runs a successful fitness studio, O’Malley Fitness, and has certificates in III, IV & Diploma in Fitness. Michael has worked for the Geelong Football Club and has run fitness programs for the Western Bulldogs, Hawthorn Football club in the AFL and still currently trains AFL athletes.  


Our training program has been thoroughly researched and tested to provide and meet the rigours of the track and is one of the reasons we have an outstanding success rate.

The trek isn't easy and to enjoy the experience and get the most out of the eight-day hike, trekkers need a specific training program to increase their fitness levels and help ensure they enjoy the trip. The eldest trekker we have guided across the track is 76 years of age and the youngest 11 years of age and it was a fantastic challenge, and an amazing experience to complete the Trek with them.

We have tailored a training program specifically for people of any age and fitness level, to take the Kokoda Trek Adventure. Working in the fitness industry our programs are continually tested and updated to help ensure you are fit enough to trek Kokoda.

Physical fitness preparation is an integral part of trekking Kokoda and the importance of this cannot be overestimated.

Prior to commencing training and especially if you have not trained rigorously for some time, it is recommended that you consult with your local doctor to have a medical check- up. (You will also be required to complete Kokoda medical prior to departure) Advise your doctor that you are about to commence a Pre-Trek Training Program in preparation to walk the Kokoda Track.

All training sessions are conducted by qualified personal trainers with minimum level 2 first aid. All our Victorian trainers have completed the Kokoda Trek and train specific for the conditions you will encounter, and know first-hand the demands of the trek.

During the pre-trip training, we will lead you on an intensive, specialised training program for eight weeks, including four supervised hikes of 3-4hrs, 5-6hrs, 7-8hrs, and 9-10hrs. The Kokoda training will focus on strength, endurance and overall aerobic and anaerobic fitness. It will provide the necessary training for those taking on the Kokoda challenge. 

Daily training sessions are offered ex Geelong at set times and we can also offer onsite training for private groups ex all Australian sates.

The training program is a guide and you can add or subtract intensity, duration etc. depending on your fitness.

Two Month Training Program

The training program has been designed to aid in your physical preparation for the Trek and runs for 8 weeks, with progressive increase in duration and workload. If you commence training earlier than eight weeks be careful not to over train certain muscle groups. 


This is a huge issue with training for Kokoda and it is essential to consider the problems of over–training. Over–training can have a damaging effect on the outcome of your Kokoda trek and is usually bought about by a dramatic increase in the frequency, volume & intensity of your training. Also, inadequate recovery time between sessions can affect muscle soreness and can also lead to injuries. You should have a minimum of 24 hours between weight bearing and intense cardio sessions. Keep in mind that a progressive build-up of training & intensity will help prevent injuries, overuse injuries like plantar fasciitis and shin splints. You should also have adequate footwear for training sessions.

Our training program is aimed at getting trekkers prepared for the track, both a physical and mentally.

Warm up

Your warm up should take about 10 to 15 minutes or, for as long as it takes for your body to get warm. Try and replicate the activity you will be doing in your war up.


The best way of measuring this is with a heart rate monitor, however if you don’t have access to a heart rate monitor you can use the Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) formula below.

Heart Rate


This is the most accurate and one of the best ways to train. To calculate your heart rate, use the following formula. 

· Subtract your age from 220, this equals your Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) 

The Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) 

The Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) scale, is a scale from 1 – 10 that is used to determine an ones rating of physical exertion at a particular time. The scale rates from 1 – nothing at all, to 10 – maximum effort.

Rating of Perceived Exertion Scale

1               Nothing at all

2              Extremely easy

3              Very easy

4              Easy

5              Moderate

6              Uncomfortable

7              Hard

8              Very hard

9              Extremely hard (difficulty holding a conversation)

10            Maximum

Water intake

Water is the key element of our body and makes up approximately 76% of our muscles, which you will be using a lot in your training and trekking Kokoda. You should ensure that you drink plenty of water before, during and after training and on average 1 litre per hour is a good guide and try and drink two glasses of water 15 minutes prior to training.

Training Schedule & Programs


Training schedule & programs will be emailed at least 10 weeks prior to departure. However, if you have any questions regarding your training please don’t hesitate to contact us.