Yearly periodisation model

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  • #14472

    Last December, I transitioned from competitive strength training into the world of climbing. I live in London, UK so I began inside, and over the Winter I used guide services to build basic alpine, ice and mixed climbing experience in the Alps, Scotland and Wales. After several long Scottish walk-ins, I realized my aerobic base did not align with any of my mid-term mountaineering goals. In essence, my entire year programming has revolved around building an aerobic base and increasing local muscular endurance so as to not get mega pumped out when climbing. As a beginner, my technical grade for indoor sport, Trad and Scottish Winter and even bouldering, have progressed simply by just by climbing indoor 2/3 times a week and getting to an outdoor crag when possible too – Despite training concurrently with high (for me) running volume (4/5x a week up to 40km in a week). I am aware this won’t continue exponentially and thus am beginning to write out my next training cycles which begins with yearly cycle planning.

    Next year’s aims:
    Climb a classic Scottish V5 by March – trips Dec 18, Jan, Feb, March (current grade v4)

    Be comfortable at E1 (current comfy lead grade VS)

    1 week mountaineering in Alps – routes tbc, likely to be ‘easy’ classics achievable without bivvy at or around PD grade

    My question:
    Obviously from above my climbing tech grade will require the most work, but I’m also very keen to maintain and grow my newly developed aerobic base. How would you structure cycles of both technical climbing grade improvement and developing aerobic fitness, to continue to maximize performance gains in both, throughout the year? Alongside this – during a climbing intensive block, how much running volume will serve as maintainance and Vica- Versa? also, what kind of length training cycles are appropriate in preparation, when moving to a different goal?

    Additional info:
    Typical schedule is –
    Monday rest
    Tuesday – ME workout AM, climb indoors PM
    Weds – Run pm
    thurs – run AM, climb pm
    Fri – run AM, ME workout PM
    Sat – run or climb outside
    Sunday – run or climb outside depending
    On Sat activity.

    If you read this far, thanks! Look forward to people’s contributions.

  • Inactive
    Anonymous on #14484


    You’ve made great progress for your first year especially coming from a sport that does not carry over much to alpine climbing. The aerobic base training can continue during this climbing intense block. The only thing I see in your weekly plan that gives me concern is the 2 ME workouts. What are these? Why 2 of them? I’d recommend delaying adding ME especially 2 of these and especially if they are leg oriented while trying to build the aerobic base. Concentrate more time on Z1-2 over the winter and save the ME for spring in prep for the Alpine trip.


    samseabass on #14486

    Hi Scott and thank you for your reply. The ME workouts are taken from Verkhoshansky’s block training for endurance running, usually either a split squat/lunge or scissor lunge completed for reps in seconds, over many sets. With my background in strength, my thought process was two-fold: firstly to aid hypertrophy and capacity of type I fibres. Secondly to get some stimulus in the ballpark of walking up hills or steep slopes, which I’m in short supply of geographically. They certainly make the legs heavy post session, but not sure of a better way to mediate this? What are your thoughts?

    How do you approach this with
    Your clients living and working in flat areas, with similar goals?

    Anonymous on #14506


    I’ve had great luck with Verkoshansky’s ME progression and variations of it for athletes without access to steep terrain. But I find that 2x/week is too much for people as it begins to impact the quality/volume of their aerobic training. Because of your strength training background you might not have this issue as much as atypical Slow Twitch endurance athlete. Give it a try.

    Yuri was the man and I’ve seen tremendous results with several of his methods.


    Josh Gray on #14542

    Scott, in regards to the gym based ME training like the workout in the last vertical beast mode article, would you still recommend doing these for mtn runners with access to steep terrain, or would one be better served doing more maximum strength training? Thanks

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