Cross-training impact questions

  • Creator
  • #4828
    Colin Simon

    Posted in alpinism because that’s my focus, although for the most part these questions could fit anywhere.

    1. I just returned from a short Chamonix trip – plan A was alpine climbing, but climbing conditions were pretty awful. There was however an awful lot of fresh snow. When life gives you pow… we ended up skiing quite a lot. I’m an amateur skier, and this was a heavy skiing volume for me. And typically with ice climbing packs in heavy springtime snow. A couple days after returning to CO, I developed shin splints for the first time ever. It has been bad enough to wake me up at night and bug me while sitting in an office.
    My training volume since returning has been relatively low for me. Logic tells me I need to keep it pretty moderate for a while after the pain recedes. Is there a good rule to follow to decide when I can ramp it up again?

    2. The emphasis here on foot-borne activities suggests to me that scrambling must be one of the better cross-training tools for alpinism. But what about ARCing, as described by the Anderson brothers? If I do 10 hours of running, hiking, ski touring…etc, can I count that the same as 8 hours of running and hiking and 2 hours of ARCing at the local climbing gym?

    3. Nutrition side question: Steve/Scott’s writing around here generally suggests that most energy gels provide a more even-keeled energy source than most energy chews. But what about most drink mixes that contain substantial calories, e.g. Skratch labs mix? You get ~100 calories in a serving, and the first ingredient is Glucose, which suggests to me that it’s going to provide more of an energy “spike” than a “curve.” Also, if that’s right, why do so many cyclists swear by it?

Posted In: Alpinism

  • Keymaster
    Steve House on #4890

    Hi Colin,
    Here are some thoughts:
    1) Never train on an injury. When you’re this acute there isn’t much you can do but rest, ice, anti-inflamatories. If there is an activity, swimming comes to mind in this case, that woudl completely not affect your area of injury, then you could try doing some of that. But I’d ease into it to test the waters, so to speak. Cycling could offer another possible option for shin splints.

    2) ARC is something we use often in our coaching work with people who are working on rock/technical climb fitness as well. Yes, count the time the same.

    3) Indeed, not all drink mixes are the same. Mixes with a lot of carbs are designed for performance during races, remember at the highest intensity even well trained athletes are burning a lot of carbs. So cyclists in racing scenarios will want to on-board a lot of carbs on a consistent basis. Of course with aid stations and aid-cars, a cyclists never has to worry about running out. You have to carry what you use which make fat adaptation more valuable to you. Remember the saying, train low (carb), race high (carb). Or to put it another way, on your long duration training use only water or a low-calorie drink tab and On the climbs that count, go all in on the carbs.

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