Planning for unknown target dates

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  • #23648

    thanks to Steve and Scott for a great book – the Uphill Athlete. Have read through the entire book and I can’t believe Ive been training (I mean exercising) in such a wrong way for so many years. Think I need to check out the TftNA-book as well now.
    Now Im trying to set up a plan to gain fitness and climbing skills for the weeks ahead to get well physically prepared for the 2K-mountains here in Norway. As I normally do link-ups, a typical day is 1500-2500 vertical meters and 15-40km (10-25 miles). Sometimes a few short pitches of climbing and often scrambling. Most of the time I do 1 or 2 days summiting before going home (5hr drive), followed by 2-5 weeks before next trip.
    My problem is that its difficult to plan for and set a specific “Goal” day, since I go at weekends when the weather and family obligations allow for it. I normally know within a week if I can go or not. How do you guys advice me to plan when target date is undefined, and a chance for summiting suddenly “shows up” a few days in advance? Ie a robust plan for an unknown target date. And how much recovery do you reckon Id need for a full day or two in the mountains?

    Thanks in advance.

    Best regards,

Posted In: Alpinism

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    Anonymous on #23653


    Thanks for writing in with your questions. The best way to approach this sort of random schedule is to just focus on base training: High volume of low to moderate intensity training and some strength training (either in a gym or on a hill). The bigger your base of fitness in these two areas the better these weekend mountain trips will go. When you know 1 week in advance of something ‘big’ you can reduce the training load for that week or a few days to allow you to feel more fresh and less tired for that special day.

    As for how long it takes to recovery from these things: Only you can know this. You have to be honest with yourself about how you feel for the days after. Jumping back to full training loads too soon will only make you weaker not stronger. Find a simple test liek the ‘stairs test’ of some light run to assess your recovery. When in doubt you should be more conservative.


    Jan on #23660

    @Scott: What about local muscular endurance, i. e. weighted hill climbs? Would you add those, and if so, with what frequency?

    trygve.veslum on #23714

    thank you for taking your time to reply. Makes completely sense what you say there. (TftNA on its way now…stoked!)

    Best regards,

    Steve House on #23935

    @Jan Scott will probably jump in here, but I would caution/remind that while the weighted ME workouts are incredibly effective, they require a strong aerobic base. And the bigger/better your aerobic system (both local in terms of the legs themselves and general in terms of the heart/lungs) the more benefit one will see from weighted ME workouts.

    I’d caution everyone, as we often do, to avoid trying to find a magic bullet. There is no one workout that is a silver bullet. The silver bullet is this: consistent aerobic and strength workout, gradual increases in training load, modulating the training load into build periods followed by easier weeks. Consistency. Gradualness. Modulation.

    Weighted ME frequency. When you start these (typically after 16 weeks of aerobic base training at a minimum) most people do well with 1 workout every other week. 1/14 days. 1/12 workouts. Once you’re quite fit 1/week is good. It’s only the full-time/professional athletes that might, every once in a while, be able to do 2/week weighted ME workouts. Hope that helps. Steve

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