My name is Seth and I have been planning a trip to Denali for over a year now. Our anticipated trip will take place around May 15, 2019 through June 15, 2019. We are a team of two and our objective is to acclimatize on the West Buttress, descend to the NE fork via the West Rib Cutoff, and then attempt the Cassin Ridge (unguided). We are trying to allow around 25 days on the glacier to maximize our chances.
My first exposure to Uphill Athlete was after reading TFTNA and then utilizing the training log when I completed Liberty Ridge on Rainier in 2016. Ever since then I have been trying to take a much more regimented and pragmatic approach to my training. Still, I am quite new to fully regimented fitness for climbing. Below I have tried to organize my thoughts into some basic questions, but I realize they might be slightly broad and general in nature.
Currently, I am planning on putting a year training plan together with use of the TFTNA log book. I’m debating on adding an extra week in case I get sick or work gets in the way so I don’t miss any training time and could repeat a missed week and not miss out on training time. I’m completely open to any and all suggestions with regard to how I should attack my training.
I have never completed a year long training plan before so any advice is welcome, especially if I’m completely off base or stupid about how I’m going about this!! That being said, onto the questions:
1. You reference a recommended CTL of 75 for climbing Denali. Would that recommendation stand for the Cassin Ridge or would that number need to be closer to 100? Would the length of time held at 75-100 be longer as well?
2. How, when, and at what volume would you include yoga and massages to aid in wellness and recovery? Would yoga count towards training weekly volume? How often would you recommend yoga for stretching and massages for recovery? Are there other forms of recovery that will help? I have lower back problems and really want to train smart, knowing full well that this will be a big undertaking.
3. Being that I’m going to use the TFTNA annual log, is there any benefit to purchasing the 24 week big mountain training plan? I don’t have much money and unfortunately have to be very selective in where to allocate funds while saving up for the trip. What would you recommend?
4. Being that I am an amateur athlete at best do you think it would be worth while to pay for a lab test through CU Boulder? I have completed the Aet/Ant test as described in TFTNA and applied those numbers to my Suunto account and Training Peaks currently. Again, the test is expensive and I want to be careful with money and direct it at what will benefit me the most.
5. The ME workouts still confuse me for some reason. I read a recent article on Uphill Athlete that made it sound like these workouts need to be ultimately as long or longer in duration than the biggest anticipated day on the goal climb with pack weight at or above the pack weight anticipated on the trip. Our biggest day on Denali would be the summit bid from 14k and back again. Does that mean that I would need to work up to an ME workout that is 6k vertical gain in one workout session? Given some restrictions because of where I live and work can these workouts be done on box step ups?
6. Do you recommend any supplements and/or vitamins during training to aid in recovery and health? I certainly am not trying to build muscle via hypertrophy, just looking for general health and support given such a high training load from week to week.
7. I have been working for sometime on a more fat adapted diet. Are there any articles and/or books you would recommend so that I could read further on this? I believe I am currently sitting around 38% Carb, 49% Fat, and 13% Protein. How many grams of protein do you recommend per day? .5 to 1 gram per lb. of body weight?
8. Is running a suitable zone 1/2 workout if I don’t have the ability to get to the mountains during my work week? Is there a preferred type or style of running that is best, i.e. hilly terrain on the treadmill vs. flat running on pavement outside?
9. I was diagnosed with exercise induced asthma as a kid. It unfortunately does impair my cardiovascular fitness. Typically, I have to use an inhaler prior to the start of the workout and then I’m set to go. I’ve never had any trouble at 14k on previous climbs in Colorado or Washington though. Do you have any experience or advice on how this might affect my training as compared with a normal person, i.e. lung capacity etc…I’ve always just assumed it’s a deficit I’ve been dealt and I have to deal with it and that’s pretty much that.
Thank you so much for your time in helping me. I’m sorry if any of these questions are stupid. I’m open to any criticism, advice, or feedback. This objective has been a dream of mine for a while that I’m trying to transition into a goal with the hope of making it a reality. I’m open to anything!