Can my winter skiing and summer running training plans coexist?

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  • #28227
    Zac
    Participant

    Hi there! I’m trying to pin down a training schedule for the next 9–12 months, and I’m hoping to understand if I’m on the right track.

    First, goals:

    1. My general focus is trail and mountain running, and I’m primarily hoping to PR in a ~20km/1000m race in June.
    2. My secondary goal is to perform well in a handful of longer mountain runs (not necessarily races) throughout the summer and fall. (For example, the Adirondacks’ Great Range Traverse, which is ~40km/3000m.)
    3. I also spend winter alpine, cross-country, and backcountry skiing, and I’d like to have the strength and fitness to really enjoy it—especially some long, high-vertical day-trips in the mountains.

    My current fitness is decent; I accomplished my goals for spring and summer races. But after reading TftUA and realizing I had a bit of ADS, I’ve reset my training to build a better aerobic base.

    Given those goals, here’s my tentative plan:

    • October–December: follow the 12-week Freeride Training Plan (to prep for my winter ski goals)
    • January–May: follow Mike Foote’s 20-week Big Vert plan (to prep for my summer race/goals)

    So, my questions:

    1. Considering my mild ADS, is it a mistake to follow the freeride training plan this fall/winter? I’m not sure if its heavy focus on strength and ME will be counterproductive, and if I’d be better off strictly focusing on building a massive aerobic base.
    2. The description of Mike Foote’s plan doesn’t seem to jibe with the structure laid out in the TftUA book: the plan description says “Weekly distance and vertical will start at about 50% of that event’s largest single day’s total and then progress to about 100% of that figure.” So for a 25-mile race, I’d max out at only 25 miles per week? Am I interpreting this wrong, or is this plan just not appropriate for my relatively short goal distances?
    3. Does this plan structure generally make sense, or is there anything obvious I’m missing? Any alternative suggestions?

    Thanks for any advice!

  • Keymaster
    Scott Johnston on #28235

    Zac:
    Thanks for writing in with your questions. Here are my thoughts:

    1) Considering my mild ADS, is it a mistake to follow the freeride training plan this fall/winter? I’m not sure if its heavy focus on strength and ME will be counterproductive, and if I’d be better off strictly focusing on building a massive aerobic base.
    For the long term and the goals you have you will be best served by fixing the ADS before adding much intensity. The Freeride plan is focused on improving downhill performance with a nod towards the uphill demands. You can customize the Freeride plan by adding more aerobic base volume to it. This will mean more time/energy in the week and it’ll be up to you to decide if you can manage that added volume.

    2)The description of Mike Foote’s plan doesn’t seem to jibe with the structure laid out in the TftUA book: the plan description says “Weekly distance and vertical will start at about 50% of that event’s largest single day’s total and then progress to about 100% of that figure.” So for a 25-mile race, I’d max out at only 25 miles per week? Am I interpreting this wrong, or is this plan just not appropriate for my relatively short goal distances?
    The plan summary does not do justice to the actual progressions we use to target different length events. Thanks for point out that oversight. I will edit the description accordingly. However the very first Note int he plan on Day 1 gives much more specific instructions. As related you to your question it says this:

    For events around 50km in length with about 3000m in elevation, this week should contain about 80-90% of the event’s total elevation and distance.

    I hope these help.
    Scott

    Participant
    Aaron on #28264

    I have virtually the same goal,needs and timing and I already used the Mike Foote/Big Vert plan this yr for running. Scott’s advice was to use the Mike Foote Plan for both skiing and running, with appropriate substitutions.

    I’ve looked this over more and what I will try this year is:
    – Sept/Oct Transition
    -Nov to Feb 1st 16 weeks of Big Vert modifed to focus on max strength and earlier phases of ski focused ME (water carries vs uphill Z3 running).
    -March through June Big Vert. If I am crunched on time I would skip ahead a couple of weeks into the running version of Big Vert taking care to have transitioned from skiing to running, or held enough running miles through the Jan–>Feb window to have basic adaptations for running done.

    In essence I feel this will turn out to be a ~36 week big vert with double long base.

    Participant
    Zac on #28393

    Scott, thanks for the feedback! That’s super helpful.

    You confirmed what I’d already kind of suspected, so I’ll skip the freeride plan this year and focus more on my aerobic base this fall and early winter (downhill performance isn’t my weakness anyway). I’d love to be optimistic, but my life/work/dad/husband/training schedule is demanding enough already, so I don’t think I’d manage that extra volume successfully.

    Also, thanks for clarifying the Big Vert plan structure. I just purchased it, and now see that each week’s overview gives a distance/vert progression for shorter distances. Very excited to get going on this in a few months!

    Participant
    Zac on #28403

    Aaron, thanks for your comment! I searched the forums for your previous posts and see you’ve already asked most of my questions, and received great replies. It seems our age, training goals, and circumstances are very similar, so I’m extracting a lot of wisdom from those posts.

    Participant
    Zac on #28419

    Scott, I do have one follow-up question about scaling the Big Vert plan volume:

    I browsed each week of the plan in Training Peaks, and I see that for shorter distances, the weekly volume maxes out at 160% of the goal race distance (around week 16):

    For events under 50km in length with less than 3000m in elevation, this week should contain about 160% of the event’s total elevation and distance.

    My primary goal race distance is only 12 miles/3000′, so following these guidelines would only put my highest volume week at 19 miles/4800′. This still seems like way too little mileage (at least from a road-running perspective).

    So, my questions, for a 12-mile/3000′ goal race:

    1. Should I scale up the Big Vert plan’s weekly volume beyond the 50km guidance?
    2. Or, alternatively: what would an appropriate max-volume week look like for such a short race? (If I have an idea what my max distance/vert should be, I can scale the other weeks from there.)

    Since I do have some longer ~50k goals in the weeks/months after that race, would it make sense to simply scale the Big Vert plan as if I’m training for the longer distance/vertical? So I’d essentially be sacrificing some race-specificity in order to be better prepared for the non-race goals?

    I understand there’s probably no absolutely correct answer, and I’ll have to adjust as I go. I’d just like to begin as close to the target as possible.

    Thanks!

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