Summer is for Alpine Rock

Spring has come to the valleys, and with spring the allure of summer. And summer has long meant one of…


The Weakened Weekend Warrior

by Scott Johnston Ever since we began getting emails in response to Training for the New Alpinism there is one question,…

Mountain Running

Commitment is not Discipline

By Uphill Athlete Luke Nelson For a very long time I thought I understood athletic discipline. I thought it had…

Ski Mountaineering

A Himalayan Odyssey

How David Roeske Became The Fourth Person Ever to Successfully Climb Everest and Another 8000M Peak Without Oxygen In The…

Latest FAQs

Q: As a student in medical school, and a mountain athlete, I often find myself having to balance the stresses of training with the physiologic and psychological stresses of my work. For example, if I go ahead with a planned workout after an unexpected night shift or taxing day, I can find myself feeling very flat, and my training feels possibly unproductive or even harmful. I would appreciate your perspective on strategies for quantifying life stresses or recovery state to guide training volume in parallel to a busy life. Do you use heart rate variability? Is there any way to make good use of the ‘flat’ days, or should they be for recovery

A: As you are no doubt well aware, stress is stress, regardless of its cause. The effect of too much stress is to reduce our ability to handle more of it. You must consider the stress inherent in your school/work/family life before deciding to pile more on in the form of physical training.

The reason professional athletes essentially just eat, sleep and train is so they can eliminate all excess forms of stress and maximize the training stress. This lets them make the most of their training. You are currently in a very demanding (inherently stressful) occupation. Given that fact, it would be very challenging for to train effectively while in med school. A healthy level of exercise may prove to be more beneficial to you both mentally and physically and mentally at this point in your life as opposed to trying to adhere to a strict training schedule which may leave you exhausted, less fit and frustrated.