Steve House's Eiger North Face Training Plan

Author

Uphill Athlete by Steve House and Scott Johnston

All plans by this Coach

Length

17 Weeks

Typical Week

3 Other, 3 Strength, 3 Run, 1 Day Off, 1 Walk

Longest Workout

6:00 hrs

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Summary

This plan is ideal for any big technical alpine climbing route. I originally conceived of and designed this training plan for a climber prepping for a 1-day ascent of the 1938 Route on the Eiger's North Face. It would work very well for any big technical alpine climb from the Moonflower Buttress (aka Bibler-Klewin Route) to the Walker Spur to the 4,500m-long Intégrale de Peuterey on Mont Blanc.

Having climbed the 1938 Route on the Eiger, and many similar routes, I felt I understood the fitness requirements specific to this type of climbing. This plan is designed for a climber who already possesses the technical skills required for such a route, but needs to ensure the aerobic and climbing-specific fitness. This plan will work well for climbers planning 1, 2, or 3 day ascents of the Eiger North Face or any classic big alpine route.

For more technically difficult climbing routes such as the harder climbs on the Eiger or the difficult routes on the Grandes Jorasses, I would recommend that that a climber use this plan supplemented with additional technical-climbing-specific training and extend the plan by repeating weeks 13 and 14 twice each.

This plan includes a four-week transition period and gradually progresses the strength and aerobic work throughout the 16-week period with the last ten days being a taper period. This plan contains consecutive hard weeks of training, but you do not have to be already training to use this plan. That's why the transition period is included

This plan assumes you'll be mixed climbing, using ice tools. It is not designed for hard alpine rock climbing.

Thank you your interest in our training plans and be sure to let us know how the plan works for you.

-Steve House and the entire Uphill Athlete Team
coach@uphillathlete.com
#weareuphillathletes
#uphillathlete

Stats

Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Average Weekly Training Hours: 09:02
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 09:02
Average Weekly Breakdown

Uphill Athlete by Steve House and Scott Johnston

Uphill Athlete LLC.

What originally inspired us to write Training for the New Alpinism, and what inspires us to continue to share the things we’ve discovered through Uphillatlete.com, is the information void when it comes to specialized training for endurance mountain sports. We have successfully demonstrated a more systematic approach, using proven principles, to help you improve both your chances of achieving your goals, and your long-term fitness and safety in whatever mountain sport you are practicing.

Back to Plan Details

Sample Day 1

1:20:00
General Strength 1

10-15min aerobic warm up (run, stairs, treadmill)

Note: Always adjust weight so you can do the specified number of reps.

Start out this week experimenting with the weights to get them about right.
.
Killer Core workout: 2x through.
(You can view the Core routine as attachment or via the video link in the comment section)

Bird dog. 10 each side
Strict sit ups. 10x. With weight on chest
Windshield wiper. Straight legs. 10 to each side.
3 point hold 5-10 seconds each limb.
Kayaker. 10x each side
Push up. 10x
Hang leg raise. Knees to Chest.
Bridge. 10 sec hold each leg.
Gymnast L sit. Try with legs crossed in front.
Side plank. 10 sec each side.


General Strength: 2x through.
10-12 reps of each exercise.

Goblet Squat.
Hold a kettle bell or dumbbell in front of your chest and do a normal squat.

Pull-ups.

Lunges.
10-12 per leg. (20-24 total)

Box Step up. Box should be a hard surface and approx 75% of the height of your tibia. 10 reps each leg.
Can face the box for step ups and can also step up to the side with the box on your left and right.

Incline Pull-ups

Turkish Get Up.
5x per side, 10 total.

Sample Day 2

1:15:00
Aerobic Threshold Test for Zone 1 and 2 determination

If you do not have a good idea of your aerobic threshold heart rate you need to establish that first thing before beginning training as this will set the upper limit for your aerobic base training. Since this is most important training you will be doing it is a good idea to get it dialed. One way to do this (the best) is with an expensive lag test.
https://www.uphillathlete.com/getting-tested-part-2-how-to-interpret-your-test-results/
It can be tricky to find a good lab as detailed here.
https://www.uphillathlete.com/lab-metabolic-test/
If you are careful and diligent you can do your own test using Training Peaks Premium edition. 
Thats what we are going to explain now. Read this article to understand this test better.
https://www.uphillathlete.com/heart-rate-drift/

This test can be done on either on a treadmill, stair machine or a flat to very gentle loop course outdoors.  It can not be done on an uphill/downhill out and back course.

1) TREADMILL: Set treadmill to 10% and begin running slowly. Gradually build speed till HR stabilizes at what you FEEL is an easy aerobic effort. Allow 10 min to find the speed allow you HR to stabilize there.
Once that is dialed in do not adjust speed or grade. Run continuously for 60 min at this speed. Record HR and upload to TP

2) OUTDOORS: Run, preferably on a flat (or very gently rolling) course, at what feels like an easy aerobic pace. Once your HR stabilizes start the recording feature on your GPS enabled HR monitor watch. Record for one hour while you do your best to keep the HR as close to that initial HR number. Upload the data to TP.

If the Pa:Hr is greater than 5% your initial HR/pace was above your Aerobic Threshold and you should do the test again at a lower HR. This may take several attempts to find a Pa:Hr decoupling of less that 5%.

Once you determine your AeT HR set that as the top of your Zone 2 in your Training Peaks Zones. Subtract 10% from this and set that as the top of your Zone 1.

Sample Day 3

0:45:00
Z1 Run (Recovery)

Zone 1 (10% below AeT HR) heart rate for the duration. This effort should feel very easy

Sample Day 4

1:20:00
General Strength 2

Same workout today as General Strength 1. Adjust weights as needed so you can do the specified number of reps. But do not increase the weights for the purposes of increasing the difficulty today. (That's coming soon enough!)

10-15min aerobic warm up (run, stairs, treadmill)
.
Killer Core workout: 2x through.
(You can view the Core routine as attachment or via the video link in the comment section)

Bird dog. 10 each side
Strict sit ups. 10x. With weight on chest
Windshield wiper. Straight legs. 10 to each side.
3 point hold 5-10 seconds each limb.
Kayaker. 10x each side
Push up. 10x
Hang leg raise. Knees to Chest.
Bridge. 10 sec hold each leg.
Gymnast L sit. Try with legs crossed in front.
Side plank. 10 sec each side

General Strength: 3x through.
10-12 reps of each exercise.

Goblet Squat.
Hold a kettle bell or dumbbell in front of your chest and do a normal squat.

Pull-ups.

Lunges.
10-12 per leg. (20-24 total)

Box Step up. Box should be a hard surface and approx 75% of the height of your tibia. 10 reps each leg.
Can face the box for step ups and can also step up to the side with the box on your left and right.

Incline Pull-ups

Turkish Get Up.
5x per side, 10 total.

Sample Day 5

1:45:00
Zone 2 Run - hike ascent

Aerobic Capacity run.
15 min warm up, Start out very easy and slowly build your pace / HR up to lower Zone 2 and hold in that zone for the duration.

Sample Day 6

0:45:00
Zone 1 Run

Recovery run.
15 min warm up, Start out very easy and slowly build your pace / HR up to Zone 1 and hold in that zone for the duration.

Sample Day 6

2:00:00
Climbing (ideally before run/hike)

Climb day.

This represents a roadmap for a reasonable progression for the volume of climbing.

This plan assumes that this day is your climbing day for the week. The idea is to build volume slowly and maintain climbing skills while allowing enough time for your body to absorb the rest of the training load. Remember, this plan assumes you have enough climbing skill to complete your goal-route, so consider this climbing maintenance, not skill-building. Later in the plan we'll introduce more bouldering to build specific power, but for the first half of the plan we emphasize volume and maintenance.

Here are some informative articles to help you along:

https://www.uphillathlete.com/rock-climbing-training-arcing/

https://www.uphillathlete.com/climbing-marathon/

https://www.uphillathlete.com/forums/topic/ways-to-build-a-climbing-base-without-a-rope/

Steve House's Eiger North Face Training Plan

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