Non-technical Long Event and No ME Training

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  • #42217

    Hello awesome UA crew!

    My closest climbing event, planned for end of June, consists of over 7,000 ft in a little under 6 miles on non-technical terrain (then back down). Taking a conservative approach, I hope to do it within 3 total days, 2 being most aggressive depending on weather/energy. While I do have years of mountain-terrain experience in the bank, the past few months have been the first I’ve sought to be consistent in training towards a slightly larger (for me) mountaineering objective.

    After 9 weeks of transition, I’m early in the base period primarily focusing on aerobic conditioning, adding 2 max strength sessions a week. Volume is around 8-9 hours per week at the moment. My AeT was measured 131; while I need to test AnT, I’m quite confident (based on past heart-rate experience in the mountains) the AeT/AnT gap will be much more than 10%, probably closer to 20%, indicating I should spend more attention on aerobic building. But I’m a bit nervous relative to my ME capabilities hauling a decently heavy pack up about 4,000 of that 7,000ft. Not super wild but straining.

    For the sake of the event needs, does it make sense to move into Z3 weighted ME efforts for a couple weeks approaching the event (minus the 7 days prior to the event), or at this point might my focus on aerobic conditioning serve my training-deficient body well enough to have fun on the mountain?

    My goal is for the mountain experience to just suck less than it has in the past so I can make decisions with a clearer mind and less stressed body. Thank you!

Posted In: Mountaineering

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    Anonymous on #42235

    Before commenting on training sessions, in similar terrain, how much vertical can you cover in one hour at AeT?

    ascasson on #42256

    I’m not sure about similar terrain because it’s quite hard to find that kind of consistent grade, but at 17% avg grade over a 1.6mi (one of the most reliably consistent reasonable grades I can find that’s accessible), I’m getting about 1100ft gained in an hour at AeT.

    Anonymous on #42302

    Okay, thanks.

    Disclaimer: I don’t know any details of your objective, so the following could be out to lunch and bad advice.

    Here’s why I asked: You mentioned that the objective is non-technical, so I was curious why it would take three days. How many hours per day are you planning for?

    If your climb rate were similar, you could ascend in ~6.5 hours. The descent may then take four (trotting) to six (walking).

    For training, if the heavy pack is necessary, then yes, I would do a couple of weeks of ME before the trip. Be sure to support it with enough low-intensity support. If a light pack is possible, then sticking to pure aerobic training, perhaps with a little speed work in the last couple of weeks, might work.

    I hope that helps. If I’ve assumed something I shouldn’t have, feel free to correct me.

    ascasson on #42324

    Thanks a lot, Scott. The route is the Hotlum/Bolum ridge of Mt. Shasta. It’s not just me on the route, but also my partner who has been rebuilding from back issues from last year. It’s a very conservative outlook, though heavier packs don’t really help her situation looking at it now.

    We’ve done fine ascending Adams in the past even while physically underprepared; I personally ascend Mt. St. Helens in about 2.5 – 3 hrs (about 20 different times), but a much different thing. All things considered, you are right to question the 3 days. I probably wouldn’t hold to that, especially since 2 days means a lighter setup.

    Saying it out loud is making me realize the only really big difference is the food, in which case it probably makes sense to choose your latter suggestion of speed work. I appreciate the suggestion and will listen to my body amidst the experiment!

    Anonymous on #42336

    The most important thing is to be safe, so choose whichever itinerary achieves that.

    A pack for two days will still be heavy enough that some ME work is probably a good idea.

    ascasson on #42339

    I’ll heed that advice well as I’m familiar with injury and overtraining in the past. I’ll be conservative with the execution. Thanks very much for the guidance.

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