Help selecting UA training plans: Climbing and Tactical Biathlon

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  • #54204
    Jon H
    Participant

    Like many folks here, I participate in more than 1 sport. I am looking to get more intentional about my training and seeking help selecting 1 or more UA plans for the next 6 months or so. Sorry for the wall of text, but I figure more info is better.

    For me, my main focuses are climbing and tactical biathlon (TB). I climb both rock and ice (cragging as well as alpine) as the seasons permit and this needs no further introduction. TB is a much less well known sport and may need some background. It is similar to classic biathlon, but substitutes trail running instead of XC skiing laps. TBs will typically be a linear course through the woods/mountains where every 1-2km, the competitor will stop to shoot a series of rifle/pistol targets and then continue along the course. Most matches are either 5k or 10km, a handful of championship races will be 15km. Many races will also include physical obstacles like tire flips, dummy drags, rope climbs, etc like in an OCR.

    Personal info: 37 years old, 6’1″, 185-190 lbs, ~12% body fat. Very typical “climber” build. Work a 9-5 desk job. Fitter than the average weekend warrior, but not overwhelmingly so. Definitely have ADS.

    Climbing Background: Climbing for 20+ years. At my peak in 2015, I was leading 5.12b/c and WI5, bouldering up to V9 in the gym. Due to an increased focus on TB since 2018 plus a bit of climbing burnout, my top level dropped to 5.11 and WI4 and is still there today. I also basically did not climb at all for the past year due to Covid, but 1 or 2 quick recent sessions confirmed that “off the couch” I can still onsight 5.10+ with relative ease.

    Running Background: No formal training of any sort. I began running in 2017 and was rather slow; my PR mile time was around 8:00 on a flat track. I started an unstructured Z2 running plan (roughly four Z2 runs per week plus one long/heavy weighted Z2 hike each weekend). My Z2 pace at the beginning was 13:00/mile. After 8 months it dropped to 9:30/mile. After those 8 months, and doing almost no speed work whatsoever, I was able to PR a 5:48 mile which was astonishing and has made me a true believer in this methodology. Currently, I’ve let my fitness slip and can run a 6:45 mile at best. I’m running maybe twice per week with no real intentionality, 3-4 miles per run, as fast as I can maintain. Z3-Z4.

  • Participant
    Jon H on #54206

    PART 2:

    Goals: I have a major TB race (10km) on Sept 8, 16 weeks from now. To succeed in TB, you must be able to run fast on rocky trails while carrying 20-30lbs, occasionally lift heavy things like dragging a 200 lbs dummy, and also recover very quickly to slow your heart rate down to be able to shoot accurately. For climbing, I have no specific climbs or expeditions planned this year. I simply want to get back to my old levels and enjoy the summer/fall climbing season and try hard again.

    Thoughts: Initially, I was leaning towards the Steve House 8 Week Advanced Rock Alpinist plan, figuring it would give me a wide coverage of both bipedal locomotion and climbing. But after a phone conversation with the forum’s very own @LindsayTroy, she suggested aiming for more specificity and immediately starting on an 8 week focused climbing program to jump start this climbing season and using all the fingerboarding days to also go on ~1 hour Z2 runs to re-build my cardiac foundation. Then in late July transition to a focused 8 week running plan involving speed work, ME work, and more distance to aim to peak around Sept 1 for my Sept 8th race. This seems far more sensible to me than my initial thought.

    I’m posting here to see if there’s anything I/we have missed and also gather some suggestions for specific plans to purchase/download and input into TrainingPeaks. My primary interest are plans from UA, but also curious to hear if there are other programs that might be more applicable to my rather niche activity and goals. Thanks!

    Keymaster
    Shashi on #54229

    In addition to the suggestions you will get from the forum, I would recommend reaching out to UA coaches – coach@uphillathlete.com to get their recommendation on the plan that works best for you.

    Participant
    LindsayTroy on #54332

    I agree with Shashi that a coaching call or email may help a lot with plan selection. Otherwise, I think shorter distance running (not an ultra) may not be the expertise of this forum.

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