Transition – Basic – Specific: How to connect w Foundation Plan?

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  • #20342
    Daniel Zed

    Hello everyone,

    First of all many thanks for all the well-prepared information. Structured training is new for me, I am reading TftNA and can hardly put it aside, it is so exciting for me.

    I have a general stupid beginner question and I hope you can help me.

    I am 40 years old, go climbing 1 to 2 times a week (5.11a / VII+/VIII-) and every few weeks mountaineering, alpine climbing and in winter ice climbing. From time to time I go running in the park (probably too fast as I learned, so too often in zone 3) but I don’t do structured training and above all too irregular. Until now – I hope I can change that with your help.

    My medium-term training goal is a better condition and endurance for alpine climbing tours in the Alps (one to two days e.g. Dolomites).
    A long-term goal would be more challenging tours in the Western Alps.

    What would be the ideal training structure for me?

    At first I thought the 5 Week Foundation for Rock Alpinists Training Plan would be good for me to prepare for the summer.

    But since I’ve been reading the book, I think I should take a longer-term approach. In the book I’m at chapter 7 reading about the transition period.

    Am I right in assuming that I shouldn’t get right into the 5 Week Foundation Plan? Rather that I should design the plan according to the book:

    Transition Period (8 weeks)
    Base (20 weeks)
    Specific (in my case then the 5 weeks Rock Alpinists plan?)

    Then the summer would be almost over. Can I also shorten it to the minimum time? For example:

    Transition (4 weeks)
    Base (12 weeks)
    Specific (5 weeks)

    If I understand correctly, the Transition and Base are even more volume (more time) but less intense (less zone 2) than the 5 Week Foundation Plan. Do I see it right?

    You see, I’m not sure how to do it best: to train as effectively as possible according to my age and training condition for a long lasting fitness and nice climbing days.

    I hope you will forgive my long remarks, thank you for reading it so far. I would be pleased about a few short lines about the right procedure.

    Thank you

  • Inactive
    Anonymous on #20395


    You’re smart to take a long term approach to your training. We see all the time people who stick with a training plan amazed by what the can accomplish 1 -2 years on. Each time you repeat a long training cycle you will come out the other end at a much higher level that’ve been at before. But since this all new to you and you want to make the most of the summer season I think you might be well served by the 5 week alpinism plan that Steve has laid out. Yes, it is short and will not give optimal results. But it will will introduce you to structured training and it will give you a boost in fitness that you’ll notice. It will also save you the time and effort of creating your own plan from scratch. If you like the results then the next cycle you can go longer and see even bigger gains.

    Even better would be to proceed that 5 week structured plan with your own transition period of 6-8 weeks where you emphasized general strength/core and basic aerobic capacity. This will give you a change to learn some new things and practice some new skill about training and yourself.

    This fitness base we harp on in the books and the site is a long term proposition and there is no quick fix but the above suggestion will whet your appetite for more I’l pretty sure.


    Daniel Zed on #20396

    Thanks a lot, Scott. That helps. I’m looking forward to the summer and that training plan.

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