The Uphill Athlete 8 week Mont Blanc Plan is designed for climbers bound for either the Gouter or the more demanding Cosmique (Les Trois Cols) Route over Mt Blanc du Tacul and Mt Maudit. This plan assumes that you have no strength training background and is ideal for mountaineers and trekkers who have never engaged in an organized training program or who have not done so for a long time.
This training plan is based on scientifically sound training principles and a combined thirty years of professional endurance coaching experience and sixty years of world-wide climbing and mountaineering experience. In order to complete this plan it is important to keep a few concepts in mind: Rest when you are tired. If you miss a workout do not try to make it up. Move on to the next day. If you miss more than two workouts in any given week, then repeat that week.
For those with more time and higher aspirations we recommend using our 16 week Big Mountain Training Plan or our 24 Week Expeditionary Mountaineering Training Plans. Following these longer programs will give the mountaineer a much bigger base of fitness.
Improving you aerobic work capacity will be the single most important thing that you can do in advance of your trip to ensure a successful climb. The best way to improve aerobic fitness for a multi-hour and multi-day activity like this is to engage in a high volume of continuous low to moderate intensity hiking or running.
A heart rate monitor is advised for this training program so that you can target your aerobic intensity to provide the most benefit. You will use a simple formula to derive the upper heart rate limit for the bulk of the workouts.
The whole 8 weeks includes a simple, easy-to-apply strength program to develop what is called strength reserve, the ability to repeatedly execute strength-dependent movements such as taking a step up a steep slope while wearing a heavy backpack.
The program takes you through a progressively increasing work load. To get the benefits of this program you must adhere to the workouts and the planned progression. Be advised not to increase the intensity and hope to gain more benefits or to squeeze a 1 hour workout into 30 minutes. Despite what you may have read in the popular media intensity is not a substitute for duration when it comes to aerobic adaptation.
For the very complete discussion of the concepts put to work in this plan, please refer to our 464-page book, "Training for the New Alpinism" published by Patagonia Books. For specific questions about this training plan, or to send us your success story and be featured on our website www.uphillathlete.com email us at firstname.lastname@example.org . To be sure you are satisfied with your purchase, please leave your email during the checkout process so we can contact you
Thanks and good luck,
Steve House and Scott Johnston
Run/hike on hilly terrain. Run if you are used to running. Hike if not. You may need to walk the uphills to keep HR within your aerobic limit.
Aerobic Threshold Run. Run/jog/walk at a pace you can maintain while breathing through your nose (assuming your nose is clear)
Run/Hike on hilly terrain, vertical gain minimum of 1,000 ft.
This should be an easy run on flats. HR should be well below (15 beats) AeT even if this means walking
Run/hike on hilly terrain or on steep treadmill or StairMaster if you don't have mountains or hills around.
Hike on hilly terrain, minimum vertical gain of 2,000ft
This should be an easy run on flats. Be below MAF