How unfit am I?

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  • #9545

    Hi guys,

    been training for quite a while. I try to do it as regularly as possible, but work and family constraints sometimes prevent me doing the whole training scheduled for individual week. Anyways, on overall I can say that I train more or less regularly.

    Yesterday I went for a run and I felt good. The effort for me was low, afterwards I wasn’t tired or beaten up. I felt good. My HR droped quickly and after stretching routine I was OK. During the run my breathing was not hard/laborious. It was steady. My legs felt OK, as did I. Only towards the end (last 15 min or so) I felt the upper part of my calves. But not much, just a slight feeling (I would’t say pain) or strain. In the second half I felt hunger at one point, but this feeling quickly went away. On the uphills I went really slow, keeping my HR in the Z2 (at around 129-134 bpm). On the downhills I went a bit faster but still keeping my eye on HR. At the end I managed 2:30:45 in Z2.

    But throughout the run I couldn’t stop thinking that I am not fit. I guess if I can run for two and a half hours and wake up next morning without any problems or aches or tired muscles I am in not so bade shape. But still…that annoying worm of doubt keeps eating me in my mind.

    Attached is some data from my run yesterday and would appreciate if someone could tell me if I am on the right track or what the hell am I doing :). I this even possible? Can some sort of assessment be even done via forum? Can you tell from this charts if I am in bad/good shape?

    Many thanks for any help, hint, etc.

    Best, Peter

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    Thrusthamster on #9552

    I think it doesn’t matter if you fulfill any objective criteria of being fit, it depends on what your goal is. For example my short term goal endurance-wise is climbing Mont Blanc via the Gouter Route in one push from Tete Rousse. Which looks like it will give or take be about 1700m of elevation gain and loss in a day. So for me to be fit, I have to go up and down the hills here in my home town and get to a bit more than 1700m with a bit heavier pack than I will on the summit day, to have some margin.

    But for other goals they would need less or more than that.

    Anonymous on #9555

    What @thrusthamster said: Fit for what?

    In absolute terms, Kilian Jornet is fit and the rest of us are less fit. In relative terms, I think you have your answer: If you can run for 2.5 hours, then you’re better off than most of the population.

    amet1984 on #9700

    If you are not using TrainingPeaks then you should give it a try. This would give you a measure of ‘fitness.’

    You did an 80 Tss run and felt good the next day. I would say that certainly makes you fit.

    You run 10 miles non stop. That would indicate you are fit.

    How fit you are depends on what you want to accomplish. I want to climb 14,000 foot summits via easy routes, in ‘alpine style.’ In my view being able to do this would make me very fit, but nothing like people who are climbing Denali. And the comparison goes on as there is always someone fitter. If you are doing a run like this as part of an additional ten hours of training a week I would consider you very fit.

    This is all about personal goals and achieving them. Can you do what you want to do?

    That’s how I would look at it.

    I hope that helps.

    Steve House on #9715

    To a certain extent, one good measure of your fitness is right there in the image (attached a screenshot). Your CTL, or Chronic Training Load, or what TrainingPeaks also calls “Fitness” is 91.

    here are a few reference points for what a CTL score of 91 might mean in terms of mountaineering:

    Fit to Climb: Everest

    Spoiler quote:
    “To climb Denali you want to have a CTL of 75 for 2 months. For Everest at least 100 for 3 months. Everest without supplemental oxygen, we suggest a CTL of 125+ for 3 months. These are rough guides we’ve worked out over the last five years and they do seem to be pretty good indicators of physical preparedness.”

    Here is more about how CTL is calculated and some of the other metrics:

    Explanation and Tour of TrainingPeaks’ Performance Management Chart

    And, more subjectively, I coach a number of people and they currently have CTLs between 29 and 129. The 29 just started training four weeks ago. The one with 129 is mid-expedition and attempting to climb Nuptse, Lhotse, and Everest on the same expedition, and I think he has a good shot at doing all three. Note that his peak CTL was 145 and he has not dropped below 120 for the past 8 months.

    So 91 is pretty fit. You can do a lot of work, recover from that work, and do more work. Probably for a at least 3 consecutive weeks before your base starts to erode to the point that you need to go build more base fitness.

    One last thing. Drop the negative. Next time write in: How Fit Am I? 🙂

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    Pete on #9730

    Hi guys, thanks a lot for your thoughts. Realized that my question was a bit stupid 🙂 My goal is not so specific, no expedition or anything, just mountain climbing this summer in the Alps. Doing as much climbing as time permits me. According to your feedback, I guess my current fitness will allow me do that.

    Steve, thanks for the additional reading and will try to keep it more positive 🙂 Will be a tough cookie to swallow, I must say 🙂

    Best and stay safe you all.


    done.ponys on #9824

    Good luck with ure climb! Be care. And dont be scared of it

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