Bouldering/Rock climbing whilst following 24 week plan

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  • #8128
    old.pato
    Participant

    Hi,

    I recently purchased your 24 week Expeditionary Mountaineering plan, having concluded that my 18 month experiment with HIIT put me into a hole endurance wise. I can tell it is exactly the thing I need to get back on track. My question is this: is it advisable to do a bouldering or climbing session on the recovery day, or do one in place of a strength day? I’m keen to maintain/improve my technical climbing ability whilst rebuilding my base, but I also don’t want to overdo or miss out on the benefits of the strength program you have laid out.

    Cheers,
    Pat

Posted In: Mountaineering

  • Keymaster
    Scott Johnston on #8157

    Pat:

    Sure you can do some climbing and bouldering. If improving your aerobic base is the highest priority then I suggest focusing on that first and seeing how fatigued you are during the weeks before adding workouts to this plan. I do not suggest substituting climbing for the base strength work. Keep the climbing low intensity belayed or short bouldering session. It is really challenging to increase the your climbing level and your aerobic capacity at the same time. We never do that with any of our clients, even the pro climbers. The demands of each are too dissimilar and not at all complementary. Figure out what your goal is and what you need to succeed at it. If you need to climb 5.11 at 6000m, unless you already are climbing 5.12 you need years to bring both your climbing and your aerobic base to the required levels. In the meantime choose goals that align with your current abilities in both areas.

    Scott

    Participant
    old.pato on #8160

    Hi Scott,

    Thanks for that. You confirmed what my intuition was telling me, but my ego wanted to ignore!
    As for rebuilding my base and evaluating progress, I was thinking of doing a MAF test monthly as part of a run day. Do you feel that this has value for one training for alpine objectives, or is it a protocol more suitable for other athletes (i.e. runners)? Also, I walk to work and back every day (5km, uphill on the way home), in your experience does this sort of Z1 ‘work’ contribute over time to one’s aerobic base, or does it serve mainly as recovery training? Is it worth officially tracking it for the charts, or not really? One last question, since I’m here: do you find the pa:hr and EF metrics on TrainingPeaks to be useful? At the moment I’m avoiding hills (very difficult in Wellington!) which is where the decoupling measurement is at its best, I think, but I’d be keen to hear your thoughts.
    Thanks for taking the time to respond and a big thanks for your work creating these programs. After I quit competitive cycling I flailed around for a bit trying to work out how to train for the mountains. I came across a Mountain Tactical program that I was convinced would work, but I arrived in the Southern Alps this year slower than my climbing partner (a recreational triathlete) who I used to smoke on any gradient! Never again!

    Cheers,
    Pat

    Participant
    old.pato on #8177

    Ok, sorry to be a menace but I’ve got one final last question. Would adding a hangboard workout to the end of one or both strength days be a more sensible approach to minimising systemic stress whilst building my base AND taking steps to build/maintain specific strength in a way which is positively correlated with climbing ability/performance?

    P

    Participant
    huntermiles3353 on #53129

    “I do not suggest substituting climbing for the base strength work.”

    Why would you not suggest this? In the climbing to train section of TFTNA it says to have two strength bouldering sessions a week with the rest long easy climbing.

    Participant
    TerryLui on #53184

    Hey Pat, some comments below:

    Also, I walk to work and back every day (5km, uphill on the way home), in your experience does this sort of Z1 ‘work’ contribute over time to one’s aerobic base, or does it serve mainly as recovery training? Is it worth officially tracking it for the charts, or not really?

    It will contribute so long as it is sufficient training stimuli for your body. Over time your body will develop a larger aerobic base and the 5km uphill walk will be too easy to add much aerobic capacity. That’s when you can add weight, and/or increase the pace, perhaps make it a jog, then a run…provided you’re doing all of it within your AeT.
    Eventually 5km uphill will just be too short and insufficiently steep. That’s when it can transition into “recovery training.”

    I definitely think it’s worth tracking. Your notes will allow you to reflect and see how the training compares over time. Super useful for reflection and particularly for projection.

    Would adding a hangboard workout to the end of one or both strength days be a more sensible approach to minimising systemic stress whilst building my base AND taking steps to build/maintain specific strength in a way which is positively correlated with climbing ability/performance?

    When you hangboard, you want to be fresh and focused. Because of its intensity and the very localized/specific nature of the workout, doing it when you’re tired/foggy negates the depth and effort you can put into a quality hangboard session.
    Perhaps you hangboard FIRST, then do the strength training. That way the intense and focused workout (hangboard) is done when you’re fresh; the more general “macro” exercises of the strength workout can tolerate a bit more fog/fatigue in terms of quality movement.

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