Transitioning from skimo to mountain running with the Foote plan?

  • Creator
  • #17989

    I have been using the advanced skimo training plan for a few years now with good results.
    My last skimo race for 2019 is on April 7. After that I am transitioning to trail running for the summer – I bought the Mike Foote 20 week plan to get some ideas for training but one thing I am struggling with is where I could link into the Foote plan.

    My first “A” trail race is Broken Arrow 50K, which is about 10 weeks after the last skimo race (includes about 10k of climbing). So already halfway through the Foote plan.

    At that point, I think I will be pretty solid on ME / general strength from a skimo perspective but obviously will want to start rebuilding base endurance for a 6-8 hour event (vs 1-2 hr). I guess I also need to look at runner-specific ME?

    I realize the Foote plan may not work for an athlete who is also doing skimo as you can’t get into the plan for the full 20 weeks (if you are doing mid-summer races) but wanted to see if there were some general guidelines or principles I could borrow form it to kick off the running season as skimo ends and if I only have 10 weeks (vs the full 20?).

    (Just to note, even during skimo season I run about 30-40 miles a week, with the long run being maybe 2-3 hours.)


Posted In: Mountain Running

  • Inactive
    Anonymous on #18107


    Thanks for buying these plans. I hope the skimo plan has helped you with your training this season.

    NOTE: If you have not started with Mike’s plan yet I suggest you reload the latest version. We are regularly tweaking/updating these plans to make them better.

    Regarding your question about modifying it for mid-plan racing such as the Broken Arrow. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

    1) These plans by their very nature are rather general. We do not know who will be using them and for what events. We try to narrow down the target audience with some of the caveats in the description. They are designed to prepare you for a target or “A” event 20 weeks or so away.

    2) These plans can be modified. This will take some skill and careful planning on your part. Being familiar with training theory will be necessary for you to do this modification well. We provide that theory in both “Training for the New Alpinism” and more specifically for runners in “Training for the Uphill Athlete”. We also have a great deal of free info here on the site. Modifications to these plans will require you to roll up your sleeves and do some work though.

    3) The core of Mike’s plan is the ME workouts in the first 9 weeks. These have a very powerful training stimulus but trying to race well in Week 10 is probably not going to give great results. Luke Nelson used this program (he did 13 ME workouts over 16 weeks) to place 8th in the Tor d’Geant race last September off an 9 month average weekly mileage of 43miles/week. So, this stuff works but you need to use it as designed.

    4) Since you’ve been running all winter you’ll be able to launch fully into this plan. That’s In the first 9 weeks of the plan the weekly running mileage is rather modest while we build the ME work.

    I hope this helps.

    yesisaidyes on #18345

    Scott – this is helpful, thank you.

    In terms of editing the Foote plan – for instance, are the bolded words correct below? (This is from the LT test day) I thought that if delta between AeT and AnT was MORE than 10%, you need MORE Z1?

    If the difference between AeT and ANT is 10% or less, you will need to reduce the amount of Z2 training and substitute more Z1 for your aerobic base training or you will run the risk of overtraining by running too fast (Z2) too much of the time. If the spread between AeT and AnT is more than 10% then do all of your aerobic base training in Z2. In this case; redo the AeT test that you did on day 1 every few weeks to monitor improvements in your aerobic base as measured by the AeT. As your aerobic base improves and your AeT HR and pace move upward you will need to adjust the volume of Z2 down.

    Rachel on #18358

    From what I’ve read here, if the difference is more than 10% then Z2 work feels easier and is supposed to help you increaese your AeT as well. If you have < 10% difference then Z2 is supposed to feel a lot harder, hence more Z1.

    Anonymous on #18591

    Rachel is correct. The better aerobically adapted you become the more polarized your training needs to be. This means that easy days need to be quite easy so that hard days can be hard. Especially for runners with high aerobic thresholds, Z2 running will be quite fast and this creates a lot of neuro-muscular load even though the metabolic load is still low due to the aerobic systems primacy. AeT running pace will then become too close to AnT or LT running pace and you risk doing too much medium intensity. Read this


Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.