Is the hardest part of training finding time for your workouts? Do you need to prioritize family and work ahead of training? Is life too busy to think about increasing your strength and fitness?
If you have read Training for the New Alpinism or any of the writing here on the Uphill Athlete website, you know that we are not big on compromise approaches to training. We have a great deal of experience working with elite endurance athletes and we know what works and why it works. We know that it takes a large volume of training, applied systematically for years, to achieve an athlete’s maximum potential.
The reality is that not everyone has Olympic aspirations and not everyone wants to be the next Kilian Jornet, Steve House, or Ueli Steck. Many folks are limited in the amount of time they can devote to training. Is there any hope for them?
Are you time-constrained? We have a work-around.
But first, a caveat: We are not going feed you a line of BS and promise to turn you into a beast on 3 hours of training a week. What we propose is not magic and it is not a shortcut. It is a compromise, and using this approach will not allow you to achieve your maximum potential. However, it will allow you to progress your fitness in the short to medium term and enjoy your mountain activities at a higher fitness level.
We are creating a series of training programs for those who can manage to find 4–6 days out of a typical week for 5–6 total hours of training and, at most, 8 hours for one week. In a nutshell, here is how these work: They trade longer-term gains for short-term performance by utilizing more intensity in the training plan. The result is that these programs provide sound endurance programming for those with limited time.
These training plans last for 12 weeks and yield benefits for another 3–4 weeks when a bit of maintenance training is done. This maintenance work can be in the form of a climbing/skiing/running trip. Though you need to be sure to allow a week for taper and recovery after the final training week before launching into your intended climb or event.
These training plans will be most effective for those with several years of regular, even if haphazard, training under their belts, or on top of a six-week basic endurance program that includes strength training (described in Training for the New Alpinism as the Transition Period). However, they can be used as standalone training plans for the truly time crunched. After you’ve gone through the 12 weeks and your event, we strongly recommend that you return to a more aerobically based program for at least another 6–8 weeks before using a time-crunched plan again.
Become an #uphillathlete with the 12-Week Time-Crunched Mountaineering Plan.
Photo: K6, Pakistan by Steve House.