Where is the periodization?

  • Creator
  • #71241
    Cory from Wisconsin

    I’m a long time fan of UA, having read the books, listened to the podcasts, lurked on the forums, and closely followed the 24 week mountaineering plan and Steve’s free Training For Ice and Mixed https://uphillathlete.com/ice-climbing/training-ice-mixed-climbing/

    What I am new to is the Mountaineering Training Group.

    When looking at the intermediate plan that was loaded into Training Peaks for this fall session of the training group, I’m not really seeing the principal of periodization (blocks, phases or whatever term you prefer). The weekends may vary a bit in duration for the long hikes, but I’m missing the base building, max strength formation, then a period of muscular endurance. I am seeing lots of Z2 (as expected) and a lot of ME (fine, but I’m missing the max strength portion and the obvious periods).

    Am I missing something? Is this because the plans are structured to go from base for 12 weeks, then intermediate for 12, and finally advanced for 12? If so that’s one heck of a long cycle and I’m still surprised to see the volume of ME work in my plan vs max strength of this is the middle block. This seems out of order from the guidance in other UA resources.

    And to answer the obvious reply, yes I have read the Plan Selection outline several times and it does talk about going from plan to plan, I’m just a little surprised at the structure I’m seeing.

    Are other plan levels seeing the same?

    Steve, Mark, Pedro – is this a change in approach, something driven by the 12 length of the program, or am I just missing it.


  • Inactive
    Anonymous on #71296

    Cory, Great question and this is one we will discuss a bit in one of the zoom dedicated to how to customize the training plan for your specific needs. There are basically 2 things at play here. First the over arching idea is that many folks will start with the base plan and progress through all 3 levels en route to their goal climb. In this case there is some periodization built in as each 12 week plan build on the last. Base has no ME, Int introduces ME and Adv has some 30-30s etc. Its not a strict periodized plan but it dovetails nicely for most users. The second issue is rigid periodization only really works when you have a strictly defined goal both in type and date. As our training group is made up of folks whose goal events are next week, next month, next Spring and next Autumn a super strictly periodized plan is going to serve the bulk of folks fairly poorly. The goal here is to have a set of plans that will serve everyone well and try and educate so that athletes can tweak the plan for their own needs and timeframe!

    Cory from Wisconsin on #71393

    Mark, thank you for the response. I had a feeling this might require some tweaking from me to align to my goals, so thank you for confirming.

    I have a couple of follow up questions.

    I’m planning a Jan 6-14 Kilimanjaro trek via the Lemosho route, so this training group matches my training window quite nicely. I am coming off 7 weeks of base from the 24 week mountaineering plan that transitioned directly into our Oct 3 start date. I feel fit and have developed a respectable base for my objectives.

    My question is how to optimize the next 12 weeks. I’m thinking I might swap the planned ME work for max strength for the next 6 weeks, then finish with 6 weeks of ME. My “b” objective is ice climbing in Munising at the Michigan IceFest mid Feb, so I would add some ice/mixed max strength to the lower body work on the first block.

    I expect if I do this two block approach, I’ll have to be very careful to not over do it on ME in the second bock if I’m mixing lower body and upper. I think I can manage it, but I’ll need to pay attention to my recovery. Since Kili is not a technically challenging trek, I’m thinking I could dial back a bit of the low body ME if needed to accommodate the upper body (ice beast) work. If it matters, I’m 38, which I recognize means I don’t recover like someone in their 20’s, but I can still do some decent work and have consistently been training for 3+ years.

    Thanks for the thoughts and recommendations.

    Anonymous on #71407

    Youre thinking about all the right things here Cory. Youre plan of 6 weeks of Max and 6 weeks of ME should be fine given your base and goals. I would absolutely agree as you mention here to keep an eye on your recovery and fatigue from the ME. Theres a much bigger down side to over doing it than under doing it considering your goals. I would do the first 4 weeks of ME then consider pulling it out for the last 2 weeks before you leave unless you’re bouncing back super well. The upper body work doesn’t have quite the global drain that the lower body ME does so you should be able to balance these. Just make sure you’re not neglecting the sub AeT work so that your aerobic capacity can be maintained. You may need to scale back the intensity to Z1 for some of the sessions with the ME.

Viewing 3 replies - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.