Switch to hiking from running?

  • Creator
  • #52475
    Tyler Johnson

    Hi all,

    I’m coming up on week 9 of the base period and had a question about the prescribed workouts in TFTNA.

    Up until now I’ve been doing all the recovery/Z1, long Z1, and steep Z2/Z3 workouts as runs and I’ve been seeing really amazing progress. Going into week 9, the training notes specify carrying weight on the long Z1 workouts and call for hill climb/uphill hikes for the Z3 workout.

    Is it time to start hiking and save the runs for the recovery/Z1 days?

  • Participant
    Shashi on #52507


    Can you share what event/activity you are training for? When you say Base Period Week 9, I am assuming you are referring to the Base-Muscular Endurance phase.

    Tyler Johnson on #52511

    Hi Shashi,

    I’m following the TFTNA plan for technical alpine objectives, with more of an emphasis on endurance. The recommended training tasks for week 9 of the base period are:

    * Begin muscular endurance 1-2 times per week
    * 1 / wk abbreviated Max Strength
    * Scott’s Killer Core every other week.
    * Two long zone 1 sessions w/ 10% bodyweight carry
    * Zone 3 hill climb / uphill hike workout

    My two primary objectives this year are Mt Shasta via Avalanche Gulch and Mt Whitney via the Eastern Buttress. Weather/time permitting I’m also looking at some one day summits of other, easier California 14ers like White Mountain, Mount Sill, and Mount Russell.

    Shashi on #52519


    Thank you for the clarification.

    Muscular Endurance is same as Z3 weighted hill climb. Given your goals carrying a heavy backpack up a steep trail would be recommended. Your pace should be limited by the backpack weight/burn in your legs and not your heart rate. You might have already read the UA articles on ME, if not would recommend reading this one.

    For the long Zone 1/2 workouts on a steep trail, you will end up hiking when you are carrying 10% body weight.

    Hope this is helpful. Wish you the best with your alpine objectives for this year.

    Tyler Johnson on #52550

    Thanks, Shashi. That helps, although it raises some new questions.

    1. Does that mean the ‘Muscular Endurance 1-2 times per week’ and ‘One Zone 3 hill climb/uphill hike’ are redundant? The ‘relative volumes’ chart on page 250 shows an example distribution of 72% Zone 1, 10% Zone 3, and 18% Strength/ME.

    2. While I know that ‘Zone 3’ for ME workouts doesn’t correspond well with heart rate


    We may call it Zone 3, but your heart rate will very likely be lower than normal Z3 while the leg work will feel much higher.

    is that also true for the previous weeks? During the first eight week section of the base period, there is a training task for ‘One Zone 1-2 workout … on sustained steep terrain. Make this Zone 3 in weeks 5 through 7.’ I have been using sustained, uphill trail runs for this workout, keeping my HR in Z2 for weeks 1-4 and Z3 for 5-7. Was this incorrect?

    My initial impression from the book was that during the ME period, the ME workouts would be heavy, slow, and ultra-steep while the Z3 workouts would be ‘go fast’ higher HR uphill hikes.

    Shashi on #52551

    Does that mean the ‘Muscular Endurance 1-2 times per week’ and ‘One Zone 3 hill climb/uphill hike’ are redundant? The ‘relative volumes’ chart on page 250 shows an example distribution of 72% Zone 1, 10% Zone 3, and 18% Strength/ME

    Sorry for the confusion, I was referring to my 24-week mountaineering training plan when I said Muscular Endurance is the same as Z3 Weighted Climb. I have attached a snapshot from Training Peaks for reference.

    I believe the Zone 3 hill climb (aerobic) workout you are referring to would make sense if your AeT is within 10% of AnT. If you are still working on fixing ADS then the recommendation would be to do all aerobic workouts below AeT. This should answer your question regarding Week 5-7 Zone 3 workouts.

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    Tyler Johnson on #52641

    Thank you, Shashi! That’s very helpful.

    Anonymous on #53584

    I agree with Shashi. THe Z3 work will help with general speed while the ME work will be more sport-specific “sharpening” for your goal event.

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