Uphill Athlete 8 Week Haute Route Ski Tour Training Plan

The Uphill Athlete 8 Week Haute Route Ski Tour Training Plan is for a more demanding multi-day hut ski traverse, like the Haute Route, with multiple 5 hour, 5000 foot / 1525m vertical gain days. This plan is ideal for ski tourers who have never engaged in an organized training program but do have an extensive ski background with 2-3 ski touring days a week through the winter. It also is meant for those with access to snow 2-3 days/week. It starts at over 11 hours/week and builds to over 14 hours/week and includes a lot of vertical elevation gain and loss. While there are options for the use of machines, like a stairmaster or steeply inclined treadmills, the ideal training will take place on big hills outdoors and preferably skiing at least 1-2 days/week. However, many of the mid-week workouts will allow you to do dryland training when skiing is not an option.

This plan is based on scientifically sound training principles, a combined thirty years of professional endurance coaching experience, and sixty years of world-wide skiing, climbing and mountaineering experience. In order to complete this plan it is important to keep a few concepts in mind: Rest when you are tired. If you miss a workout do not try to make it up; move on to the next day. If you miss more than two workouts in any given week, then repeat that week.

For those with more time to prepare and higher aspirations we strongly recommend using our 16 week SkiMo plan. Following this longer program will give the athlete a chance to utilize a more advanced and effective periodization schedule.

The plan starts with a self-administered Aerobic Threshold assessment test. From this, you will establish the training intensity limit for most of the aerobic base training that will dominate your training. During the last 4 weeks we introduce more intensity into the aerobic workouts in the form of weighted uphill hikes. Do not increase the intensity of the other aerobic workouts and hope to gain more benefits or to squeeze an 1 hour workout into 30 minutes. There is no shortcut when it comes to aerobic adaptation.

For the very complete discussion of the concepts put to work in this plan, please refer to our 464-page book, “Training for the New Alpinism” published by Patagonia Books. For specific questions about this training plan, or to send us your success story and be featured on our website www.uphillathlete.com email us at coach@uphillathlete.com

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Preparing for the climb to the Col Du Argentiere
Preparing for the climb to the Col Du Argentiere
downhill skiing