training plan advice for a kinda newbie

  • Creator
  • #43130

    i just browsed/read the uphill athlete and found it very interesting. so background, i live in the midwest, basically flat land usa. i’m looking at heading out to the bob marshall wilderness in montana and want to train to be able to do 90-100 miles in 3-4 days with roughly a 30-40lb pack on my back. no specific date set and have more than enough time to train. my only hick up is to get anything longer than a 30min workout i’d have to wake up at 4am, 2 small kids ect….

    so which training plan would be right? do i need a heart rate monitor? do i need a watch as well or can i just use my phone?

    also i’m coming off some injuries and shoulder surgery back in oct 2019, i do still have some weird hip thing going on but that’s starting to work it self out. i’ve started to do some core and general strength from the free stuff i found on the site but want something more specific.

    i’ve heard great things about the 24 week plan but not sure if i should drop the $99 for it? or is there a better suited on?


  • Participant
    Garret on #43148

    Before I purchased a UA plan I used the Training for the Uphill Athlete book to build my own “back to running” plan. (I suffered a bad injury that left me inactive for a significant period of time).

    I found the book contained everything I needed for transition and early base phases.

    Almost a year later, when I got to the stage I was ready to add in intensity, ME, specific strength, and so on, I ran out of road with the book.

    I simply didn’t have the background or experience with higher intensity structured training to layer those into a plan. At that stage I purchased one of the UA plans and I’m getting great value from it.

    juskojj on #43154

    That’s the part I’m not sure about…. I could probably do a strength part and need to buy a heart rate monitor if I want to keep that part to build cardio.

    What was your plan?

    Anonymous on #43168


    While you can train the aerobic system “by feel” (ie. no HR monitor), most people need the monitor for a feedback mechanism. If you read and understand the theoretical aspects of aerobic development on the site and in our books you will see why we push this. Most people just push as hard as they can for as long as they’ve got time allotted. This is a surefire way to not improve.

    The single biggest thing you will need for such a trip is a big aerobic base. To develop that (and maybe you are already aerobically very fit) will take months of high volumes of aerobic base training. To best control this you should use some sort of HR monitor. Cheap/simple ones with no GPS are under $50. You can buy a Wahoo chest strap and monitor and download the Wahoo app to your phone.

    I’m not sure what you mean when you say you have more than enough time to train but can only get out for 30min. With the goal you have set; 3-4 days and 25-30miles with lots of elevation gain and loss carrying a 30-40lb pack you will need to have a much more substantial time allotment to training if you hope for this to be anything other than a brutal death march.

    25miles of hiking is going to take probably 8-10 hours. You’re going to be doing this 4 days in a row. That’s possibly about 40 hours of work. That’ll be more work packed into 4 days than you will have done spread out over a month if you can only do 30min/day = 15hours/month. That is not a recipe for success. There needs to be some training that begins to simulate some of the demands that your hike will entail.

    You may indeed be able to do such a hike on will power and I am not saying you can’t or shouldn’t. I just want to be honest in saying that your goal is not inline with your ability to make the time commitment needed for training.

    I don’t think you need any of our plans. They will not work for you if you have 30minutes to train. They all require significantly more volume than that. Best/cheapest thing would be to get a copy of either one of our books, read and absorb the principles and build your own plan around your time constraints.


    juskojj on #43177

    @Scott Johnston;
    first thanks for the feedback and honesty! i really appreciate it!! i’m honestly a few years out from doing the trip so i have time to train. i glanced through the book when i first got it but haven’t fully read it yet. looks like i’ll have to sit down and read it and buy the monitor, find my AeT, and start there and build it. right now my aerobic base is very poor and want to build it correctly other than just going out and start running 3 miles or what not which i’ve done in the past for a different race and it didn’t work out the best IMHO. i know the trip is going to be very aerobically challenging and muscle fatiguing putting on that amount of elevation gain/loss with a pack. To add on to it, the trip would be in late May, typically memorial day weekend.

    i can easily carve out 30min for a workout is what i was meaning but i could do an hour probably with out an issue either, anything more than that Monday-Friday is going to be a challenge but as the event gets closer I’ll figure it out and do it, if needed. I’m guessing the amount of time i’m going to need is probably closer to an hour to build the base? i just wasn’t sure the amount of time to spend building the base vs strength, how many days of each, how many days only for aerobic ect…. which i why i was possibly looking for a plan. i honestly haven’t done too much training for something. i did a spartan race a few years ago and found a few different plans that i used to train but could have done a better job before actually doing the race……i do have a treadmill but not many hills close by so i guess the treadmill is going to be my friend since that’s the easiest way i can crawl out of bed and hop on the treadmill if i need elevation gain instead of running on fairly flat sidewalks to get the workout in instead of driving some place. i also have plenty of sandbags and different packs for weight.

    thanks for the suggestion on the monitor as well. i was only aware of the polar brand.

    thanks again!!!

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