Question on ME and appropriate plan purchase

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  • #43073
    bback
    Participant

    New to the forum and UA in general. I have purchased both books and have learned so much. Thank you so much for writing them.

    As many new people here my goal event does not fit into either book perfectly. So I am attempting to adapt the programs in the books to fit my need.

    Me: 53 yoa. ADS sufferer. LIVE/train full time at 8,000 feet(unable to train much lower consistently) but I can cross the street and climb 10,800 foot Mt Escudilla. 7 years of long distance ultra-lightweight trekking experience (Pct/AZT trails so far). I usually average 18 mpd on my trips(suffering from weakened warrior syndrome too) and take rest days off trail when I need to. Meaning my average is low due to fatigue. Which of course is why I bought the books. LOL.

    Goal event Late June of 2022: Fast/Efficient 100 day inside/out thru hike of the PCT(2,660 miles). So 26.6 mpd average. I’ll start averaging 23mpd and move up to 30mpd towards the end of the hike. Max pack weight is 30 pounds starting in the Sierra(I will start the hike 1 week south of the Sierra). Normal resupply weight will be 24 pounds and go down to 8 pounds before the next resupply. So nothing too heavy and nothing I’m not used to.

    My goal event is different in that I am seeking to be in the best shape of my life to manage fatigue day to day and week to week. I want to take no zero mile recovery days. I want to take lower mileage days during resupply and that is it. I have no need to hike fast just long hours(average 12 hours a day between 2-3mph).

    Question: Any advice in general about the type of ME training with the goal of long term fatigue management? Would it be different from the TFTNA or due to my low pack weight would something from the TFTUA book work better?

    Question 2: Which training plan might I purchase to somewhat match my event? The help I’m looking for in a plan is the ordering of the workouts to manage my training load as my, “long” day(s) gets quite long (goal training hike(s) would be 27 miles and 5,000 foot elevation gain before the taper week).

  • Moderator
    Scott Semple on #43165

    A few first thoughts:

    * In the big picture, you’re wise to spend so much time getting ready for this. The fitter you are, the better you’ll do. And the longer you can (gradually, patiently) prepare, the fitter you’ll be.

    * If you have ADS and two years to train, it’s way too early to even think of using ME. You’ll get much more benefit from ME training by first ridding yourself of ADS. You have the time to do so, so that should be your first priority.

    * You normally manage 18mpd on weekend trips but you want to average 27mpd for 100 days. You’re planning to increase the daily load by 50% while also increasing the event duration by over 5,000%. Those are kinda gigantic increases. Why is 100 days the goal time?

    And it sounds like 30mpd is needed for a 100-day duration. The following is from the PCTA:

    The trail is 2,650 miles and it generally takes the entire snow-free season to walk. That’s about 5 months. Elite athletes who are experienced on the PCT have finished the trail in as little as two months. The few who achieve sub-100 day hikes average well over 30 miles per day.

    I assume that the 30mpd average is because of rest days.

    I don’t know anything about thru-hiking in general (other than the similarities with approaching alpine climbs) or the PCT in particular, but I think it would be wise to set your expectations using base rates. You can then adjust your expectations as you get closer to the objective and you have some interim trip objectives to use with your estimates. (I realize that you’ve been doing this a long time, but weekend trips versus a 100-day PR sound like different beasts to me.)

    * I would adjust your mileage to your pack weight. My understanding of your plan is that you want to do the most miles when your pack is heaviest. I would reverse that. When you get resupplied at 24 pounds, do the minimum; at 8 pounds, the maximum. AS you described, shooting for a given duration per day will probably accomplish this naturally.

    * Why not take recovery days? This seems like putting pride over performance. I’m not experienced with such long events, but I suspect that recovery days might allow you to travel faster overall. My first thought would be to use a 6-and-1 schedule.

    To your questions:

    Any advice in general about the type of ME training with the goal of long term fatigue management? Would it be different from the TFTNA or due to my low pack weight would something from the TFTUA book work better?

    * As mentioned above, I wouldn’t even start with ME until your ADS is cured. You have the time to fix it, and you’ll be much better served by doing so.

    * I think TftNA is more appropriate than TftUA. TftNA events are more similar due to the pack weight (and the style of ME when you’re ready for it).

    Which training plan might I purchase to somewhat match my event? The help I’m looking for in a plan is the ordering of the workouts to manage my training load as my, “long” day(s) gets quite long (goal training hike(s) would be 27 miles and 5,000-foot elevation gain before the taper week).

    The 24-week expedition plan would be the closest. But as you say, you’ll need to adjust it to be more specific to your goal event.

    Moderator
    Participant
    bback on #43216

    Scott, thank you for the reply.

    I will take your advice and stick with TFTNA book and the 24 week plan. To keep from following it too soon I will purchase it at the end of this year.

    I definitely have given this entire year to removing ADS from my life. It’s going well so far. But running at 8,000feet will be delayed. I will even move into next year if necessary. I know that overcoming ADS is priority #1.

    I will definitely think more about moderating the pace, hiking hours and mileage with load. I already do some of that but I usually plan the week of hiking to set myself up for splitting the really big climbs. So I sleep halfway up and tackle the rest the next morning. The only real place that is almost impossible is the Sierra.

    The rest of your questions about the thru hike were caused by my editing of my background. It was starting to look like a novel. I apologize. I prepared for my previous thru hike of the pct by what was described as weakened warrior style. I did hike the trail. So I am not going from a weekend warrior to a fast thru hike. I see it more as hiking Everest, just making it and then coming back in peak form and trying to do it two weeks door to door. Although that sounds a lot harder than going for a really long walk. LOL.

    As for days off, it’s actually taking days off in order to stay in town without taking a full day off and then a partial the next day. It still involves 20-24 hours off and staying off trail in a hotel/hostel during a resupply stop.

    Moderator
    Scott Semple on #43229

    Gotcha. That makes sense.

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