Don, Glad you’re finding value in the information and in the community here, the issue described is a very common one in our community where folks are trying to guide for a living but have bigger aspirations on the personal side. The majority of guiding work (not all) is such that the time and the effort have a global drain that prevents effective training (due to fatigue) in a lot of instances but isn’t actually hard enough to BE the training. The three of us have all certainly struggled with this personally but also have coached guides regularly and have found them to be among the most difficult of all clients to program! I recall Steve talking about profoundly over training himself early on trying to carry a big guiding workload and daily training sessions in addition. There’s certainly no easy or obvious solution to this outside of winning the lottery but here are a couple of things that I have found helpful.
-prioritize rest! No matter how well or poorly the training is fitting into your work schedule if you’re not resting adequately you’ll end up in a horribly overtrained state. This is always a struggle for guides but just try and remember arriving at a climbing goal injured or horribly overtrained is likely the worst scenario.
-don’t automatically assume your one day off per week is the ideal time to go huge in personal training. You may well need this day as an actual rest day more than you need the time for a big personal training session, see point number one above.
-Wear your heart rate monitor during different types of work events and try and get a better feel for how hard you’re actually working. For active things like ski touring or big Alpine days you may find a good chunk of the day actually pushes you into zone one or even in the lower zone two on rare occasions and checks the box for some of that volume that would normally be in the training plan.
-commonly training works best in the morning while you’re relatively fresh before your work cycle whereas it’s less effective after work and also occasionally just less likely to happen due to inertia once you get home from work.
-if appropriate for the particular training cycle you can always fit in short bouts of intensity assuming you’re getting the bulk of your low intensity worked on already. Sometimes this works best in the morning of your first workday after a rest day.
-Break your core strength and body weight strength sessions into smaller chunks that might be achievable over the course of a couple evenings instead of trying to do one big chunk that might be too much. Also some things like hand boarding can help maintain specific fitness but use quite small muscle groups and total amount of energy so they can easily be done in season even if your work schedule is heavy.
-Lastly, and this may be the hardest one, prioritize your personal training and goals when possible and many times this means taking time off work to rest or get in very sports specific training that’s going to help you with your personal goals. Sometimes this means thinking really critically about what seasons makes sense for personal goals knowing that effective training is just almost impossible certain times of the year.
As mentioned guides can be some of the most problematic when it comes to training but prioritizing rest and getting creative with work cycles can help hurdle the problems. One good thing about folks who work outdoors like this regularly is they tend to have a huge huge base and really good movement skills which transfer well to big goals in terms of efficiency of movement and familiarity with the technical end. Hope this helps and glad to have you aboard for the next round!