Hoping to tap into the knowledge pool of this excellent forum resource for some feedback on my weighted hills training schedule.
I’m headed off to Denali (from sea level, North Vancouver) in June to attempt the WB route. This is my first foray into climbing at altitude above 4000m. I’ve been using the TFTNA book for the past few years now with excellent results (thank you Scott and Steve for this fantastic system). This will be my third full training period using the full ~32 week periods method outlined in the book. For this one, I’m using the weighted hills program as my main focus for developing the end of my base and shortened specific period. In the book is Steve’s weighted hills routine for Makalu 2008. This schedule had Steve building up to a max weight of 36 lbs for the 1524m (5000′) days, then dropping down to 30 lbs for the moves up to 2743m (9000′). I’m assuming this lowering of weight as the training elevation increases has to do with carrying less the higher up on the mountain he was? I used this as a rough guide for my own WB hills schedule, coupled with the Denali “fast ascent” acclimatization schedule in the book which outlines that beyond the 14k camp I’ll not be moving camp to 17k and thus will only be carrying a day pack above 14k for acclimatization day trips and the final summit day push from 14 camp.
I’ve built my weighted hills schedule where I used the 150% vertical x 100% weight on heaviest day methodology, which builds up to training weeks 5-6 emulating the full camp move days with the most vertical gain (1700m carrying 24kg), and weeks 9-10 training the summit day (2700m w/ 16kg).
My long winded question is, am I better served by maintaining the 24kg load in the pack, or should I keep it the way it is and drop the weight in the later training weeks favouring more altitude gain carrying less weight? I’m weary to loose weight-bearing leg strength over the final 6 weeks and then not be fully prepared for the 7k, 11k, 14k camp moves on-mountain. I suppose one answer is to carry the full 24kg up to higher training elevations, but I’m already feeling like I’m approaching my max training threshold with 1700m x 24kg. For reference, my schedule as it stands now is below. I am just completing week 6 this weekend. So far feeling great (and good-tired) and have kept to the schedule and the rest of the training almost exactly.
Week 1: 2x 800m w/ 12kg (2600ft x 26lbs)
Week 2: 2x 1000m w/ 14kg (3300ft x 30lbs)
Week 3-4: 2x 1200m w/ 18kg (3900ft x 39lbs)
Week 5-6: 2x 1700m w/ 24kg (5600ft x 53lbs)
Week 7-8: 2x 2100m w/ 20kg (6900ft x 44lbs)
Week 9-10: 2x 2700m w/ 16kg (8900ft x 35lbs)
Week 11-12: Taper and fly out to Anchorage.