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Dedication to a healthy and physically active lifestyle requires preparation and a comprehensive training program. Students participating in Expreso de los Andes are fortunate to have their own private certified strength and conditioning specialist: John Zahab. Trainer John is the Youth Fitness Advisor for i2P and has helped develop programs, successfully training past Youth Ambassadors embarking on Youth Expeditions. He has also been involved as a guide on the Baffin Island, Tunisia and Bolivia expeditions. Below, John has developed complementing training programs for Running and Strength & Stability, for youth taking on the Student Challenge. New to the i2P team is Derrick Spafford, a trainer with years of experience. Derrick has offered some tips at the bottom of this page for partcipants in the i2P Student Challenge. With the programs that John has developed and Derrick's tips, i2P hopes that it will help you run, get fit and commit on your own expedition to physical fitness!

Training Plans

Training Videos

View John's Full Video List Here

Easy Does It

Don't make the mistake of doing too much too soon. Ease into your program and include regular walk breaks mixed in with your running. Over time, you can gradually reduce the walking breaks and increase the length of your running.

Goal Setting

Goal setting is a great way to stay motivated, but make sure that your goals are realistic and attainable. Short-term goals are great goals to shoot for, such beginning a running program. Don't be afraid to make long-term goals too. You can do anything, if you set your mind to it!


Make your running program an important part of your daily and weekly routine. Commit to 3 days of running per week to begin with. It's much better to run 3 times per week for two weeks, instead of running 6 times in one week (and then taking the next week off).

Time vs Distance

Keep a training log and record the number of minutes run, rather than the number of kilometers. Counting kilometers can lead to running more or faster than you should, which can risk potential injury.

Friend Factor

Run with a friend or a running group. This is a great way to build consistency into your running program. You'll have more fun and it will help the time fly by. Be creative by having your friends and family bike or inline skate alongside with you!


Trail running is a fun way of getting away from the hustle and bustle of the streets and roads. The lower impact of natural surfaces also helps to keep your body healthier and less prone to injury.

Healthy Habit

Make your run an important part of your day. Plan it like any other appointment, job or class. This is time for you and should be treated as a priority. You're worth it!

Cross Train

Cross training is a great way to increase your fitness level. In addition to your regular running program, try other activities such as cross-country skiing, biking or tennis. This will give your muscles extra recovery and give you a great workout!


Don't always run the same distance or same route – mix things up a bit. You can try running a shorter distance, a medium distance, and a slightly longer distance. Mix in a route that includes some hills or a trail that you've never run before.

Keep It Fun

Running is play. The more that you keep it light and fun, the more likely you are to keep doing it and including it as an important part of a happy and active lifestyle.