Training plan for long ski traverses

  • Creator
  • #69324

    Dear Uphill Athletes,

    I am having trouble finding the appropriate training plan for an upcoming endeavor. I will string together a bunch of ski traverses this winter, ranging from 5 to 14 days in length. My starting pack weights may be 50lbs on some sections, where I have 30lbs of food and fuel.

    I’ve been a lurker for a while here, but need some advice. Speed will be key to my enjoyment and safety on these traverses. I have optimized gear well, and I am pretty well optimized physically and mentally, based on previous traverses. It seems like the Grand Traverse plan is the most relevant, and I have selected that one, preliminarily. I would do that and substitute weighted carries for the speed training. How does that sound?

    I plan to start the skiing at the start of 2023, so I have some time, but have already started (well, never stopped). I should be pretty decent already, with an AeT of about 152 bpm. If anything, I am having trouble getting my ferritin levels up (currently 42 ng/ml). I feel good about the evolution up until now, but I want to turn up the intensity dial intelligently. My Ambit Run 3 seems to log everything well enough and already helps me to decide when my next workout should be and I pay attention to my diet and stress load. I work out when I feel good, and 6 hours training per week feels easy. I would like to add more structure.

    Any tips would be appreciated. Thanks!

    PS: I am looking for some more partners for this endeavor, if the idea sounds fun to you.

Posted In: Ski Mountaineering

  • Participant
    Dada on #69511

    To increase speed on the traverses, I would optimize speed at AeT. This can be achieved two fold: increase metabolic efficiency with training around fatmax or improving VO2max in case you haven’t reached your genetic potential.

    So let’s say you haven’t reached your potential of VO2max.
    I would split up the prep in three cycles:

    First macro cycle:
    Start highly polarized, with 80% training time below AeT and rest of the training time do VO2max intervals.

    Second cycle:
    Stay highly polarized, but replace VO2max intensity with Z3 workouts and muscular endurance.

    Third cycle:
    Switch solely to Z1/Z2 intensity. You can keep maintenance Z3/ME workouts from time to time

    This is how I would tackle it.


    oneyb on #69730

    Thanks Dada. That sounds pretty logical. Indeed, I have not topped out with VO2max, as evidenced by my recent Z4 work,I think.

    This endeavor will be an exercise in recovery.

    So the short is increase speed at low effort. My experience shows that multiple weeks at AeT will lead to overtraining. My goal is to stay in the recovery zone and Z1, with occasional bits of Z2. I hope that will be sustainable.

    That doesn’t change the training program much. So, thanks for advice.

    My future focus is mainly on fine tuning recovery and maximizing VO2max. I plan on doing the into to skimo plan.

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