I’m a 64 year old male who started structured training for ski touring and hiking in fall 2019 after reading the Uphill Athlete books. My goals are to slow the rate of decline and make skiing and hiking with younger companions more enjoyable (less painful). I’m working with the Haute Route ski mountaineering plan for the second winter. This year I added a month to the front end, gradually ramping up, and will add a month to the back end to continue strength/ME workouts and lengthen back-to-back ski tours before (hopefully) a week-long ski tour.
I’m currently in the phase of the plan that adds a couple of back-to-back 3+ hour AeT tours. I begin these in lower range of Zone 2, but find that my heart rate drifts after about an hour, becomes progressively more difficult to keep below AeT, and after 3 hours, I find it impossible to keep below AeT on steep uptracks or when breaking trail. A contributing factor might be that grade generally steepens as I get further into the mountains. I have ADS (AeT – 135, AnT – 160), but based on a discussion last year between Scott Johnston and Derek Osborne, I understand that at my age, I won’t be able to get rid of ADS.
My question- am I stuck with this heart rate drift as an age-related ADS symptom, or are there ways I can try to reduce it?
– is it something that I should just ignore (I don’t get exhausted when working multiple hours in Zone 3)?
– should I just be patient and assume it will take multiple years of consistent training?
– should I start slower with lower heart rate (Zone 1) and hope that reduces drift?
– should I stop when I exceed AeT and wait for as long as it takes to stay within AeT?
– I generally don’t eat during these sessions, so should I start to take carbs after an hour?
Thanks to Scott and Steve for developing this great resource. Wish I’d had it available years ago…..