Scott Johnston: Ask Me Anything (pre-questions)

  • Creator
  • #40478

    Apologies if my inexperience in zoom (or reading instructions on the UA website) means I missed how to send questions ahead of time (as suggested in the zoom Scott Johnston: Ask Me Anything invite on UA).

    I would love to hear discussion on your guidance and considerations for ‘masters’ athletes: your halycon days are gone but you are motivated to be fit and capable as long as possible. Peak performance is not the primary goal. Rather health, robustness and getting the job done in as workman like a way as possible (and maybe trying to keep up to some of the younger guys ’cause there are not as many partners around).

  • Inactive
    Anonymous on #40497

    Thanks, Aaron. No worries. I’ll forward this to Scott J.

    Steve B on #40499

    If I may add/ask…

    What would your training structure look like if you wanted to remain “reasonably fit” so that with short notice (4-12 weeks) you could train up and “jump into anything.” This is basically where I like to be year-round because I do not have a job/lifestyle that allows me to reasonably plan for races/events more than 2-6 weeks out.

    It seems there are two groups of athletes right now. One group has all the time in the world. The other group has even less time than they used to. Both have maybe nothing to train for.

    Anonymous on #40510


    Having been a life long athlete and being well into those ‘master’ years I think I am qualified to answer your questions at least from my own experiences.

    Rule #1- Never stop. When you stop, be it for injury, illness or lassitude you will loose fitness much faster than when you were young. And, it will take longer to rebuild that lost fitness. If the lay off is long enough you may never regain it.

    Rule #2- Stay strong. If you’ve not yet, please read this article. Without adequate strength, your functionality and the robustness you mention will suffer. It is much harder to gain strength in later life. So don’t wait to get on a strength program.

    Rule #3 – Get adequate recovery. We oldsters recover much slower than when we were young. This impacts the amount of hard work we can do which directly leads to a decrease in fitness. I used to climb 5.12 and routinely do moderate effort 10mile runs at a 6min/mile pace during 80+mile weeks. Those days are gone forever. I would break myself trying to do anything close to that 35 years later. Now I am happy with 10min/mile runs and 30-40 miles/week and climbing 5.11 on a really good day.

    These are the lessons I have learned.


    Anonymous on #40511

    Steve B

    The answer to your question depends on two things:\

    First- What do mean by “jump into anything”? Anything means anything in my book. Do you mean: Soloing a new route on the N Face Everest? Running a 100mile race? Climbing 5.14? Or do you mean climbing 5.8 or hiking to the top of you local 1000 foot hill? Maybe you want to climb 5.14 AND solo that new route on Everest. What are your aspirations?

    Second- Once you have determined the answer to the above “anything” question then it is a simple matter of adjusting the training to target that or those goals.

    Without knowing much more about you and what you mean by “anything” I can only give you a the most basic of guidelines:

    1) Maintain as high a level of general aerobic and strength capacity as possible


    2) Specificity, specificity, specificity. You can’t expect to perform well in a mountain running race if you do all the above general aerobic base training on a bike. You can expect to rock climb well if all you do is run and lift weights.

    I wish I could be of more help but what you’re asking for, in my experience, does not exists unless your goals are already within your capacity to perform them.


    dcgm on #40514

    I’ve seen Uphill Athlete materials mention or strongly imply that you guys generally see pretty good carryover from unladen running and hiking to hiking with a pack. a) would you generally agree with this? b) what are some factors that might explain reduced carryover from running? c) in general, what are some programming tools you use for slower/heavier events?

    Steve B on #40515

    Hey, fair ’nuff! I suppose you can’t read my mind as to what I am thinking of, but you more or less answered my question. By chance of circumstance, I’m a mountain athlete stuck in the flatlands until my industry (airline) rebounds and I get back my job.

    I will simply adhere to #1 in your response and add specificity when I have something specific to train for. Nothing wrong with putting in as much aerobic work as you can reasonably handle without getting sick (especially right now) or injured.


    Anonymous on #40532

    Hi Scott. Please excuse me if I’m not addressing this issue in the right place since I’m new at UA. My name is adrian madirolas and I live (and climb) in Argentina. I’m 61 and I’ve been active in recreational (i.e., non professional) mountaineering for the last 30 years. I’ve been engaged mostly in Alpine climbing, including of course ice and mixed climbing and rock climbing as well. I also enjoy very much backcountry skiing. I used to target on moderate goals (Alpamayo, in Peru or some spires in the Fitz Roy range for instance). Some years ago a bone marrow desease started to gradually slow me down but I managed to keep doing some mountain activities until it ended in a bone marrow transplant last year. They said I’d hardly survive to this and if so, I should be happy if capable of resuming a “quiet” life. I didn’t accept that and after two transplants and four months at the hospital, ten months ago I started a long recovery process, beginning with getting back on my feet again (not an easy task), to 50 km bike rides and 5.9 rock climbs in present days (just before quarantine). I’m fascinated by the (new to me) UA approach to mountaineering and I’ve been struggling through the UA web page in search for a training program suited for resuming mountaineering. However, I’m not sure what training program I should aim for. My present goal is to get fit enough for my next mountain trip, hopefully next August-September, when I aim to do moderate mixed and WI climbing on some 1000m high mountains, combined with backcountry skiing for the approaches.
    Could you help me choose among the different training WO programs addressed in your web site ??
    Would you recommend the reading of “Training for the New Alpinism” as well ??
    Thanks in advance. adrian

Viewing 7 replies - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.