Hello all, this is my first post here.
As you could guess from the title of my post, my questions concern training both sports at the same time. I’m going to give you some information on my background before diving into the questions.
I am a 31 year old male, 62-65 kg at 1.78m most year round, 60 +-0.5 when in peak shape. So my physiology is quite wiry and always has been. I have worked physically demanding jobs since I was 15 (mostly logging in very steep terrain) and have gained a lot of robstness and baseline strength and fitness from this.
I grew up with climbing and have been doing it on/off for about the past 20 years or so, however I had more time to dedicate to sports due to attending University in the past 5 years. I took up running about 3 years ago and really love it, especially racing and training for a specific event. I reduced my climbing a lot during the intense phases of the training, only going to the gym 1-2 times a week with a laid back approach. I found that the strength gained from climbing is really beneficial to my running and positively impacts my overall wellbeing. I have become a very competitive person over the course of the past few years and fell like I have to be on the watch to not overdo things. Covid has forced me to a different lifestyle for a year, with a lot of work and very little sport.
I am returning to university in fall this year and am looking for a holistic way to combine both running and climbing. I do not want to choose between the two and specialize in only one area as I really love so many aspects of both sports. The goal is to tackle >8a at some point and get back to trail races once it is possible again. I am used to be VERY physically active (4k – 7k kcal/day, 5 days a week when working in logging) and my system is not very happy with sitting in a room all day, so besides loving the sports, I need them to balance all the mental work and the sitting.
I can usually climb 6b no matter how long I do not climb and am back at +- 7a after about 1.5 – 2 months. With running, I only train by MAF, trail and road. I’ll add some speedwork before an event but am keeping it nice and aerobic all the other time.
In a tyical week I’d run something like
Mo 60 min MAF
Tue 100 min MAF
Wed 40 min REC (MAF-15)
Fri 60 min MAF
Sat 130 min MAF
So I was trying to do 2 longer runs/week (trail) while keeping the time spent about 50/50 between the first and second half of the week. I usually plan my training on a weekly basis, progress for 3 weeks and then reduce 30% in week 4. Sometimes I’ll go out for > 20k long runs and did not feel like I want to stop, or felt like I could do it allover again. What kept me from doing more was just my head telling me that I should be careful as I still consider myself an inexperienced runner and I did not want to step things up to quickly. However I feel like my work has given me a very solid physiology and since I am fine with my running volume and never had any injuries, I thought I could use the extra energy and add some more climbing. If I’d go climbing in a week like that, it would most likely be on Monday and/or Wednesday.
So I was wondering:
Are there any serious, long-time runners/climbers here who could progress well in both sports?
Do you guys know of a good way to mix running and climbing throughout the week that has worked well for you? How do you go about peaking for a race/project?
I gain mass easily and since I want to stay light and lean, I do not focus on building muscle, but much more on good technique. Consequently I do not go bouldering and do mostly route climbing or endurance focused gym sessions. Since my running is mostly aerobic and my climbing is also not extremely taxing, how much volume do you think one can do with this approach? Do you think 8+ hours of running and 3 times climbing per week is something that one can maintain for a longer period of time?
I need the activity, absolutely love both sports and just do not want to overtrain 🙂
Thank you very much for making it to the end of this post!