Uphill Athlete 8 week Mont Blanc Training Plan

Author

Scott Johnston & Steve House

All plans by this Coach

Length

8 Weeks

Typical Week

3 Run, 2 Strength, 1 Walk, 1 Day Off

Longest Workout

1:30 hrs

Plan Specs

winter sports

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Summary

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 coach@uphillathlete.com . 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

Stats

Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Average Weekly Training Hours: 06:58
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 06:58
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

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

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 hiking slowly. If training for flatter runs set treadmill to 3% and run. Gradually build speed over the first 10-15 min until HR stabilizes at what you FEEL is an easy aerobic effort. If you have a good idea of what your Aerobic Threshold HR is then target that HR for the beginning of the test. NOW YOU ARE RADY TO BEGIN THE TEST.

NOTE: If hiking you may need to use a steeper grade (10%+) in order to get you HR up sufficiently.

VERY IMPORTANT
Once that speed and grade is dialed in do not adjust speed or grade again during the test. Run or hike continuously for 60 min at this speed. Record HR and upload to TP

TREADMILL CALCULATION: Since GPS does not work indoors the pace part of the Pa:Hr will not be accurate so you can not use the TP Pa:Hr metric on a treadmill. That's why is so important that you hold the pace and grade constant once you start this test on treadmill. It is very likely that you will see an upward trend in the HR over the course of the hour. To calculate HR drift you need to select the first half of the test in the graph of HR/Pace?elevation. Note the avg HR for each half. Compare those to see if avg HR rose more than 5%

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 2

1:00:00
Core and General Strength W.O.

Core routine:
Download and use the above attachments for more information on these exercises. Use enough resistance (weight vests work well or hold a weight if needed) such that you can just manage 6-8 reps of an isometric hold of 6-10 seconds.
This video can help with the core routine exercises as well.

https://www.uphillathlete.com/how-to-do-core/

General Strength:
Use enough resistance or assistance so that you can manage 12 reps of each of the prescribed 5 exercises: Box Step Up, Step Down, Pull ups, Split Squat, Dip without reaching failure. Using that same resistance or assistance do 10 reps of each exercise and rest 60" as you move to the next exercise in the order listed above.

This video can help with the Box Steps:
https://www.uphillathlete.com/strength-demo-box-step-up-and-heel-touch/

Weeks 1-2: Do 2x through Core and General circuit.
Weeks 3-4: 3x through and add weight where possible in order to keep 10 reps

Sample Day 3

0:40:00
Recovery Run/Jog/Walk

This should be an easy run on flats. HR should be well below (15 beats) AeT even if this means walking

Sample Day 4

0:40:00
Aerobic Base Run/Hike

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.

Sample Day 5

1:00:00
Core and General Strength W.O.

Core routine:
Download and use the above attachments for more information on these exercises. Use enough resistance (weight vests work well or hold a weight if needed) such that you can just manage 6-8 reps of an isometric hold of 6-10 seconds.
This video can help with the core routine exercises as well.

https://www.uphillathlete.com/how-to-do-core/

General Strength:
Use enough resistance or assistance so that you can manage 12 reps of each of the prescribed 5 exercises: Box Step Up, Step Down, Pull ups, Split Squat, Dip without reaching failure. Using that same resistance or assistance do 10 reps of each exercise and rest 60" as you move to the next exercise in the order listed above.

This video can help with the Box Steps:
https://www.uphillathlete.com/strength-demo-box-step-up-and-heel-touch/

Weeks 1-2: Do 2x through Core and General circuit.
Weeks 3-4: 3x through and add weight where possible in order to keep 10 reps

Sample Day 6

1:00:00
Aerobic Base Run/hike

Aerobic Threshold Run. Run/jog/walk at a pace you can maintain while breathing through your nose (assuming your nose is clear)

Sample Day 7

1:30:00
Hike on Hilly Terrain

Run/Hike on hilly terrain, vertical gain minimum of 1,000 ft.

If you train outside the duration of the workout should be total time out. That includes the time both up and down. For example: A workout with a 2hr duration would be the total time from start to finish. This also includes if you are hiking up stairs in a building and back down. If you take the elevator down seen description below.

If you are using an alternative methods like a treadmill, stair master or hiking stairs(taking elevator down) the duration of the workout would be for the time hiking uphill. If you have a 2hr duration workout that would mean hiking on a treadmill for 2hrs.

Uphill Athlete 8 week Mont Blanc Training Plan

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