Figured I would post some info on my first TFNA cycle 3 years back as I made some modifications to fit my personal needs that may apply to others and worked well. It was a short cycle that built off some stuff I’d already been doing.
Background: I had been running a fair bit in the fall. In winter I stepped it up and also started doing alpine routes in the Cascades on weekends. I was also doing some light body weight strength mixed in. This resulted in the “weakened weekend warrior” syndrome. I would have an awesome week and then get sick and then repeat. I was coming from a running background so I was counting running as training and then not counting a 6-10hr alpine mission as stress… dumb.
I read the TFNA at the end of that winter and made some adjustments:
-I figured that my strong point was my aerobic base and my weakness was technical proficiency and climbing specific fitness (history of endurance running, new to climbing seriously). As a result I did two climbing workouts/week (one ARC in Z1 and one stack of pitches as technical practice). I scrapped any sort of Z2/3 work to make room for this and made sure I wasn’t working hard routes as I had been doing.
-I was committed to biking to work (sharing a car with my girlfriend and wanted good will for climbing trips). I dialed my bike commute-sprints back to Z1 affairs which resulted in 2x 30min each day and started counting this as training. As a result I cut most of my running so I was no longer over-training. At work I was on my feet all the time so I figured this balanced out with the lower weight bearing volume.
-I felt like I had a base of fitness already so I skipped the transition strength circuits and went to MS hill sprints and pullups.
I slowly built my volume up for about 3 months and then peaked for a week in the Sierra. I did a lot that week and generally felt great at altitude which surprised me. I felt like I’d been doing less aerobic and living at lower elevation but the Z1 work did its job. I slept like a baby at 12,000′ after just a few days and was comfortable soloing mid-5th at 14,000′. A high-light was doing the Tenaya-Matthes-Cathedral linkup one day. I remember topping out Cathedral in the evening light and running a fast pace all the way back to my car at Tenaya Lake with a pack while singing loudly to warn any bears off. I have no hard metrics for that week, but it all felt surprisingly relaxed and comfortable.
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