Fritz, All good questions. I like to make sure folks prioritize “training” modes that really appeal to them in the off season to prevent burnout and keep things fun. You could definitely replace a good chunk of your Z1 and Z2 base work with cycling instead of hiking/running especially in the August – October time frame. I track everything in TrainingPeaks using the hrTSS so ideally the CTL score is apples to apples comparable year to year. This is of course with the understanding that a CTL of 75 (or whatever number you want to pick) that is all hiking will have you better prepared for mountain climbing than the same CTL that is 50% cycling. As I’m sure you plan to move into a more sport specific phase over the winter/spring that is totally fine. I think the “off” season is a good time to focus on strength work, climbing technique/movement skill if that’s applicable to your goals and keeping a bit of weighted hilly hiking in the program so the transition back to focused training isn’t too rough.
Off season training with a bike
After I finish my big climbing trip in July I will go into the equivalent of an off season. My next big trip would be Spring 2023. I would start another training program 16 weeks before that 2023 climb. I want to have some year over year improvement and the question is how to train in the off season? What metric would I use to assess my fitness especially if I want to replace some of my hiking with biking during the off season, Aug-Jan.
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