Training Update: End of 8 week Transition Period, Beginning of a 16 week Base Period

I bet you were thinking I'd have given up on my training experiment by now (using the methods and program described by the book Training for the New Alpinism). Although I missed a couple of planned days here and there, I mostly stuck to my 8 week transition period plan. Woo hoo! And shame on you for not believing in me.

For details on what the transition period entailed, go view my post on it:

So am I seeing results? I don't think that it's that simple.

  • I'm definitely seeing results in my strength training. Each training session I'm able to do more and go harder.
  • I can't say for sure if I'm seeing results in my endurance and speed, I'm able to hike the jar trail a bit faster, but nothing to write home about. I still feel like I have a lot of improvement to go here.
  • I can do a pull-up now! That is, mostly. I can mostly do a pull-up now. If I hang completely dead weight, I still struggle on that... but I have high hopes for the Base training period. 
  • I did my "Alpine Combine" at week 1 and week 8, and below are the results. Sadly, I ran a slower mile, but fortunately for me, I'm not really training to race the mile. My Jar trail time improved, and jumped into the good range as determined by the Alpine book.
  • Transition period didn't focus too much on climbing, so it's been sort of depressing because I feel like I've digressed a tad on my climbing performance. Also, I've been bad about not pushing myself hard enough to lead climb. I need to find a way past this hurdle in my Base training.

What about this Base Training then? What does it entail. Welp, Base training has a focus on building my bodies tolerance to more and more work. The total Base training is 16 weeks. I'll focus on the first 8 weeks here because the second 8 weeks look much different than the first.

To break it down simply,

  • For strength training I am focusing on Max Strength. That means, I've picked 4 different exercises to focus on... ones I think will be most beneficial toward my goals ( pullups, squats, horizontal inclines, and box step ups/hill sprints).  Generally, I do 4-6 sets of each exercise with 4 reps per set. I try to use a load that would be about 85% of my 1 rep maximum. That's where it get's sort of complicated, because I constantly have to adjust this as I get better. I can't say I'm perfect at doing this, but essentially if it feels too easy then I keep adding weight. My pullups and hill sprints have a slightly more specific program.
  • For endurance its more and longer zone 1 training. Hilly terrain and steep inclines. More running, and also some Zone2/3 training.
  • I spend 2-4 hours a day training depending on the plan.

Here's a rough look at my training schedule. Each Monday I review and tweak things based on my work and weekend schedules. But mostly it just involves shifting things around.

I started my first 8 weeks of Base training a couple of weeks ago, and so far so good. I'm feeling stronger already and my endurance feels better. I actually kind of enjoy my max strength sessions. It's fun to see how you are improving each workout.

The hardest part  of all is making myself do abs. Sigh. Abs.