Edgar- I’m actually kind of amazed we got to over 100 comments on the forum before someone asked about cross-training. There are a LOT of variables here but I’ll take the first crack at it. Steve and Nate may weigh in as well. Certainly non-sport specific training has its place in certain training phases and amounts. Personally, I like to see the last 4 months of training in the run up to a goal climb be as sport specific as reasonable. If your goal climb is 6 months out and youre doing 8 hours/week of hiking/running and 2 hours of bike/rowing I think that’s perfectly acceptable. If your goal is 6 weeks out and half of your training is swimming then you’re doing yourself a real disservice. For sure running can be abusive at high volumes for a lot of folks and you need to monitor that, depending on what you have for terrain I like to see folks shift to things that use a hiking gait for a good chunk of their training to combat that. (My recollection from the forum is you don’t live in Chamonix ;)) You need to have a way to get your HR into the right zipcode of course which is hard when you don’t live near big hills. Incline treadmill, steep normal treadmill, stairmill and really tall buildings with stairs can provide aerobic training opportunities that have fairly limited impact but fairly high sport specificity. I have also had athletes who are trying to limit the abuse do split sessions on a long day, where they’ll cycle for the first half of the time period then finish with a run right after so their getting the cardio benefit of the long day and at least finishing the training with something foot bourne and quasi-sport specific. Depending on your specific goals, how serious you are about climbing and how you made out on last years tax returns you may want to consider investing in an incline trainer if you have mindset where your able to train indoors.
What is the consensus on cross-training in the base period? When the weekly hours get above 8, I’d love to bike/row/ski-erg some of those additional hours so as to avoid feeling beat up from running.
Obviously, there are no rowing machines on the mountain so it’s not useful from a specificity perspective, but it’s certainly easier on the body and an AeT HR can be maintained as in running.
– Is cross-training acceptable in the base period for big mountain training?
– Is there some sort of golden ratio for running vs non-running aerobic workouts, like 2 hours running for every 1 hour cross-training?
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