Mountaineering or Running Focused?

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  • #65521
    Angeliena Kam

    Hi! Thank you for all your guidance. I signed up for the advanced program focused on mountaineering. I do a Rainier carryover and some other PNW mountains every June/late spring without issue. I feel good, good pace, no bonking etc when I climb.

    In August I am doing the Wainwright Coast to Coast Run in the UK (190 miles, spread over 1 week). Will be the most trail running I will have done consecutively (most I’ve done in past seasons is 25-30 miles for 3-4 days). I am more prone to running injuries and consider it my weaker sport.

    I know you had mentioned you can’t really train for two sports at the same time. I originally thought I’d do this program as mountaineering specific training for my June objectives and then shift my focus to trail running in July leading up to the C2C. Should I be training right now for running instead, since I find it more challenging? Or stick my original idea since mountaineering happens first? Or does it not really matter? 😀

    Lastly, if we do trails with elevation on our aerobic days, is the allotted training time (say 90 minutes) for the entire out-and-back, or just for the more effortful uphill? I’m guessing for the entire outing but just want to make sure.

    Thank you so much.

  • Inactive
    Anonymous on #65525

    Hi Angeliena,

    These are fantastic questions. First one I’ll answer is “or does it not really matter” the answer is: Yes, it does matter so I’m glad you asked. This is one of those very individualized situations, based on your past with Rainier you do well with loaded hiking/mountaineering and very likely have done a good job training for it thus far. That being said we wouldn’t want to change that training and just train for the run as you would then be less prepared for Rainier and other peaks. However, as you mentioned running is not your strong sport, again potentially due to lack of adequate preparation. This is “general” advice. If you choose to have these two goals with in this time frame I’d begin some running conditioning now. Not add in more training but balance your aerobic work between running and weighted uphill so you have a base to then tweak and build on once you are done with the Rainier Climb or other summits. However, my personal advice if you’d like to avoid the running injuries and do well in the traverse would be to just focus on training for that and take out the mountaineering activities for this season, as we mention training for two different sports/events at once is nearly impossible to do well, especially a big volume like 25-30miles a day for a week that is a significant commitment. Over the next few months you can always reach out to one of the coaches and discuss this or any personalized needs via coaching calls.
    I hope this helps!

    Coach on #65529

    I agree with everything Carolyn has said. To answer your last question, the time is total time out and back not just uphill. Thanks for checking 🙂

    Angeliena Kam on #65551

    Thank you- very helpful!

    Angeliena Kam on #65822

    Hi Carolyn and Maya
    I’ll take your advice and switch to just trail running training for the season. Do I need the focus changed in my training peaks plan, or are the plans the same for both running and climbing?
    Thanks for your help.

    Coach on #65828

    Hello Angeliena,

    You don’t need to change your Training Peaks plan. On your aerobic days (other than the hiking day keep those hiking) do the duration as runs rather than hikes 🙂


    Melissa Gosney on #66107

    Good morning, I have a similar set up for my season – mountain objective for June, multi-day mountain run for September. I do this every summer!! I’m a runner with a mountain problem or a mountaineer with a running problem. For my training – I like to schedule vertical days (with a pack) mixed with back to back run days to get the consistency for multi-day events. How does UA advise for multiple objectives?

    Anonymous on #66159

    Hi Melissa,

    Generally speaking UA does not recommend training for multiple objectives at once as overall your training cannot be as targeted and effective. That being said if a base for one activity can be balanced within the training for another and there is enough time between “events” or goals, for adequate recovery and another full training cycle it’s doable. The important piece here is adequate recovery and not over reaching creating too big a training load leading to injury and/or under performing. There is no secret recipe beyond that it varies individual to individual depending on goal, age, training background, time to train etc.
    I hope this helps.

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