I think there’s some confusion around how much ME to use and when to use it.
- We usually only prescribe ME work for mountaineering in the late-Base-early-Specific period. For a May expedition, that wouldn’t be until late March;
- Whether the weight is 55# or 63#, neither would be a Zone 2 workout. ME work can’t be judged by heart rate. What appears as Z1/2 by heart rate is actually a Zone 3 workout in the legs.
- The gym-based ME program is intended for runners and skiers as a separate program. For them, it’s more effective in the early Base period.
I would back off on ME right now and focus on building your aerobic capacity. The bigger the base you have by late-March, the better response you’ll have to the ME work done at that time. Doing ME work for months on end is too much, and it will likely backfire.