Ultra Running Training Plan with Climbing without Over training

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  • #40857

    I have been climbing and into alpinism for about three years now. I have a couple ongoing agendas and am trying to figure out how to have my cake and eat it too.

    First, I have a goal of running the grand canyon, rim2rim2rim (about 46 miles and 10k elevation gain and loss) this Fall. To train, I purchased the “20 Week Luke Nelson’s Intro to Ultra Running Training Plan” from this website (the plan is for a 50k race so was going to multiply all the workouts by 1.5).

    Second, I also love trad climbing and bouldering and hope to continue to make gains in these areas concurrently.

    My concern is over training though. So curious if anyone has any thoughts as to if I should not climb at all, do climbing above and beyond my running training plan, somehow supplement some of the training volume in a running plan with the climbing, or something I haven’t thought of.

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    Anonymous on #40914

    This is a common concern. Mixing quite divergent goals into one training plan is challenging to say the least. Steve likes to say: “No one will ever climb 5.13 at 8000 meters”. The training demands of these two goals are so different and so high as to be mutually exclusive.

    If your climbing goals and running goals are low enough (and by that I don’t mean absolutely low, I mean low relative to your current abilities) then training for both will not be out of the question.

    The aerobic base provided by your running training will definitely enhance your alpine performance on longer climbs with longer approaches. Adding in rock climbing and rock climbing training is the trick.

    If you plan a hard climbing session it will be best to do it before longer aerobic work so the quality of the climbing can remain high.

    Only experimentation on your self will help you determine the mix that can work for you.
    All the alpinists I have worked with do a lot of running in the mountains. In general though they mostly climb to maintain climbing performance not necessarily improve climbing performance. If that makes sense.

    It’s just hard to advance the ball in both realms at once and the higher your level the harder it becomes.


    vixaaron on #40928

    Thank you for the insight Scott and this totally makes sense. As I read this, I can’t help but think how long of a process it really must be to slowly build up that base aerobically and being able to climb such technically demanding terrain at the same time.

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