Long range training plan (i.e., >18 months)

  • Creator
  • #75800
    John Mitchell

    I’m new here, so forgive me if this has been covered previously. My next significant trip is not until summer 2024. So, none of the four (8wk, 16wk, etc.) training plans seem initially appropriate. I’m older (63), generally fit (gym 3-5 hrs/wk), but overweight. The question is how to develop a generally more intentional plan now, and when to transition to a specific plan, i.e., which specific one (think Rainier, Rockies 14ers, and the like)?



  • Participant
    sokolnicki on #75803

    Hi John, Welcome to the Forum. I’m going to be climbing Mount Blanc in September which will be a couple of weeks from my 67th birthday. I needed to loose about 30 pounds before the climb so this is what I have been doing to prepare.

    Firstly I started working with the Uphill Athelete’s nutritionist Rebecca Dent to get on a healthy diet and working on my weight goal of loosing 30 pounds. (I’m down 20 so far). I wanted to do this first before I started any of the training programs. This was designed to lay my foundation for fitness. So I started working with Rebecca last November with tremendous success.

    Secondly I was ready to start one of the Training Groups this past January.

    Now after the above, my list of goals has grown to include mountains that I never thought that I could and woudle consider.

    I hope that this helps and all the best on your journey.


    Jane Mackay on #75812

    Ed, that’s fantastic to hear! I hope you’ll come back and tell us your story after you climb Mont Blanc — or any other new goal you have. We’d love to include more stories from older athletes on here (btw I’m 52:) )

    Scott (John?), a call with Rebecca would be a great start to lay the foundation for improved overall and training-specific well-being. I’ve had a couple of consultations with her myself, and it has revolutionised not only how much benefit I get from the training but also simply how much energy and strength I have in everyday life. Rebecca has also written a number of articles on this site, and you could get a lot of useful information from them.

    As for how to adapt a training plan, one way to begin would be to buy a plan that’s most appropriate for your goal (e.g. the 24-week mountaineering plan if you have a mountaineering goal) and simply repeat the base period for a few months, increasing EITHER volume OR intensity by no more than 10% each week. Since you’re older and it seems you haven’t been doing structured training of this type, I would actually consider not increasing more than 5%. I’ve been training for a few years now, but I’ve found that increases of 1%-2% are plenty for me as age does affect the load we can handle. It’s also very important to increase only ONE variable at at time, and to allow for sufficient recovery, because it’s during recovery that the body makes the adaptations that allow us to improve. Then, when you felt your base fitness was strong, you could complete the plan and then cycle through it again, timing it this time to coincide with your goal climb. During that first round you would also be learning about how your body responds to training, which is very important knowledge for being able to manage one’s own training well.

    As Ed notes, if you wanted to sign up for the next round of the mountaineering group, that would be an excellent way to learn a huge amount about training in a short period of time while having the guidance of and direct access to UA coaches.

    Hope this helps,

    John Mitchell on #75815

    Ed & Jane,

    Thanks very much for the very helpful reply/comments. I was already considering purchasing the 24wk plan basically working through it multipe times, so it was nice to have that idea (now clarified) validated. As for diet/nutrition, that’s something I definitely need to address, so again, thanks for the recommendation.


    sokolnicki on #76112

    Good Morning ?, now at 210 lbs with a resting heart rate of 59 all after starting the UA program in January and working with Rebecca a few months earlier. Just signed up for the Spring session. There are days when the motivation is questionable but the end goal is so worth it. Have a Great Weekend. Ed

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