Illness after expeditions/ big big days

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    Topic
  • #39289
    Tom Canac
    Participant

    Hi,

    I’m a true weekend warrior. 27 years old, 6 or 7 years into climbing, I never trained a single time, just climbed the most I can (sometime on weekends, sometime full week without a job). So have a pretty fair amount of rock experience, but absolutely no training background.

    I started having bigger objectives this year(big walls in the summer, alpine climbing in the winter), and I started training for that, with something like 3 days of training per week + going out and trying my hardest on the weekends. My fitness and confidence got better, and I’m really happy with that. I just got a rock climbing plan from you for my next training period, starting in 2 weeks.

    My problem is, nearly every-time I come back from a mini-expedition (4 days of intensive big-wall, or a 16h day of alpine mixed climbing with my mentors, stuff like that), I come back and I get ill in the next week. My body is just 100% crushed. I can barely walk sometime, I can’t think, I got illness symptoms like a proper flu with bad digestion, I sleep like 12 to 16h per night sometimes.

    It looks like my body is lacking some kind of background energy. Even when I workout during the week, I usually takes me 2 days to fully recover, and note that I don’t drink any alcohol, don’t smoke, and I get *at least* 8h sleep per night (my average is 8.5/9 per night when working in the week).

    My hypothesis is that I’m in a rush to do a lot, and I miss the big volume background practice, but maybe I’m wrong… I just read this article: https://uphillathlete.com/the-weakened-weekend-warrior/ which seemed to resonate with my case, but would you have any advice or thing that might help to increase this “energy” I feel my body lack to do more?

Posted In: Injury & Rehab

  • Moderator
    Scott Semple on #39315

    It sounds like you’re working too hard.

    I started training for that, with something like 3 days of training per week + going out and trying my hardest on the weekends.

    “Hardest” is for goal events, rarely training. GOing your hardest in training should happen maybe once in 20 workouts, most of which would be closer to a goal event. 95% of your training should be super easy, especially because it sounds like you’ve gone so hard you’ve destroyed your aerobic system. It will take some time and patience to repair it.

    My problem is, nearly every-time I come back from a mini-expedition (4 days of intensive big-wall, or a 16h day of alpine mixed climbing with my mentors, stuff like that), I come back and I get ill in the next week. My body is just 100% crushed.

    This is an indication that you don’t have the base you need to absorb the load. A training base has three functions:

    1. It allows for increasing speeds at low training intensities, sometimes quite fast;
    2. It lowers the metabolic cost of high-intensity efforts; and
    3. It speeds the recovery from large loads, whether from high-intensity, long duration, or both.

    It looks like my body is lacking some kind of background energy. Even when I workout during the week, I usually takes me 2 days to fully recover,

    Yes, you’re going too hard. I suggest reading a lot of the articles on this site. Aerobic Deficiency Syndrome is self-inflicted but curable.

    Participant
    Tom Canac on #39391

    Hi Scott,

    Thanks a lot for the answer, it’s both really appreciated, and very useful. I have read a lot of articles on your website, and gained a much better understanding on what is going on here (I have also got into Training for the New Alpinism with a better perspective now).

    I haven’t been training like a mad man for too long (1 month approx), but I definitely don’t have any aerobic base.

    So I have an other question here. I got myself the advanced rock climbing plan here on uphill athlete. I haven’t started yet, I want to be fully rested, fresh, and have a better understanding on my situation before starting. Taking in consideration my very missing aerobic base, would you recommend to change or delay the plan ?

    I would be keen on insisting a bit more on my aerobic base, maybe through long hikes, easy biking, etc. (hr band is on the way, to be sure to exercise in zone 1 and 2), but I don’t want to be interfering in a bad way with the plan.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated,
    thanks you very much for your clear and amazing work here on Uphill Athlete!

    Tom

    Moderator
    Scott Semple on #39403

    I got myself the advanced rock climbing plan here on uphill athlete.

    Is that Josh’s 8-week rock plan or Steve’s 8-week rock alpinist plan?

    The latter will have an aerobic component while the former mostly focuses on rock climbing.

    Participant
    Tom Canac on #39419

    I took Josh’s 8 week rock plan.
    What I plan to do to take care of my aerobic base missing is:
    – 2 more weeks of rest and gentle introduction to running;
    – Steve’s 4 week rock alpinist plan as an aerobic rebuild/ base;
    – Then transfer to Josh 8 week rock plan, while being sure to keep doing a fair amount of zone 2 workout (all optional workouts, and working to keep the climbing approaches in zone 2).

    Would you consider this as a decent reintroduction to aerobic workouts ?

    (If the conversation is too specific for the forum and you rather keep going by mail don’t hesitate to tell me)

    Participant
    Pete Dickinson MS,PT on #39433

    Tom,
    Scott is dead on, you need volume to tolerate the activities you are participating in. You also need to NOT do your volume at the incorrect intensity. A coach is essential at this stage in your development.
    Best,
    Pete

    Participant
    Tom Canac on #39442

    Ok thanks a lot for the insight both of you!

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