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By Sean S.
From Thornton, CO
Jul 26, 2014
Jon,

I've done workouts with a lot of wall squats in them in previous programs. I have found they do translate extremely well to steep ice climbing. If you search for Will Gadd's suggestions for Squat Swings, they're basically the same thing. It is very similar to pressing with the feet while climbing since it restricts how far forward your knees can go, bringing a fair amount of more balance into the equation. I am planning on incorporating wall squats, or variations like squat swings, into my muscular endurance style workouts.

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By Tom Nyce
From Flagstaff, AZ
Jul 29, 2014
Down low, before the Y and the Railroad couloirs separate.
Optimistic wrote:
Nice setup! Nice yard, too! Lil' more space than my 0.15 acre (including house!). How do you secure the bars to the rails?

I use the "U" shaped brackets that are made for attaching electrical conduit to framing. I put a thin strip of rubber on the pipe first to increase friction, and reduce the chance of rotation within the bracket. These brackets are very inexpensive, but I'd like to find something made of thicker metal that I can crank down tighter.

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By Naz
From Herndon, Virginia
Jul 30, 2014
I'm into my 5th week of Base and I'm using the technical alpine plan since my objective is to climb technical routes in the Tetons in the Fall.

I'm planning my muscular endurance period (Base Wk 9-16) and have questions about allocation to muscular endurance. In the graph in the book for week Technical Alpine 9-18, House and Johnson just show max strength;
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In the description prior they set guidelines for 1 to 2 sessions of muscular endurance with an abbreviated max strength session as a warm up. So not sure how much time to break out between muscular endurance and max strength.

For example, at my Week 9 Base volume, my max strength would be 144 minutes or 2:24. How would you divide this up between max strength warm-up/maintenance and maximum endurance? I'm also doing weighted jug carries during my two long z1 hills and steeps, so I'm probably not going to carry weight on those for the muscular endurance period since I'll be doing that specifically for my muscular endurance period (I'll probably do some treadwall laps too).

Glad to see a solid community of people geeking out on this stuff just as I am!

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By Jonny d
Jul 30, 2014
Naz,
FWIW, for muscular endurance day, I just take the time that day that I need to complete the weighted hill climb elevation (I have to use step-ups because I live in the flatlands) recommended for the week I'm in. I do a set of treadmill handwalks on either side of the hill climb workout. I just take any excess time out of the week's Zone 1/recovery time. Works for me; may not work for you.
Jonny

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By James Bellamy
Jul 30, 2014
1. So what does a typical non-cardio day look like for you folks?

This entire muscular endurance thing is throwing me off.

2. Secondly - If I'm doing the approach to lets say (tahquitz rock) which has a steep hill climb for the approach - my heart rate will assuredly be out of zone 1.

I climb at tahquitz often. If I'm doing steep hill climbs where my heart rate is above 150 (carrying climbing gear, making a reasonably fast approach to get climbing, etc) then where does this fall?

Likewise - When you push yourself in the mountains to go a faster pace, or are affected by the altitude - your heart rate will be above the zone 1 range.

The zone 1 base training is supposed to help you with these days though, correct?

It's just that I've noticed I'm out of zone 1 on most of the approach/alpine climbs I do - I am well above zone 1.

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By Mike Flanagan
From Boone, NC
Jul 31, 2014
James,

I think the idea is that you (assuming you're in the transition/base phase) you're supposed to be putting down a lot of zone 1 work. That said,assuming you're supposed to be in zone 1, the thing to do would be to slow down on those approaches (as painstaking as it is). I feel your pain, as I've had to slow my approach speed way down here in the Sandias at ~10k feet, but it's paid off as my fitness has increased, as I've been able to up the speed and maintain the same low heart rate. Any other time above zone 1 should be counted as time in those elevated zones.

Cheers,
Mike

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By jaredj
Jul 31, 2014
A hallmark of real training is doing the easy days easy and the hard days hard. A common thing for recreational athletes to do is to go the same speed (kinda hard) all the time, never reaping the benefits of the big volume of easy that allow you to do the real hard days truly hard later on down the road.

Do the zone 1 stuff easy even if it is tedious.

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By Tom Nyce
From Flagstaff, AZ
Jul 31, 2014
Down low, before the Y and the Railroad couloirs separate.
jaredj wrote:
A hallmark of real training is doing the easy days easy and the hard days hard. A common thing for recreational athletes to do is to go the same speed (kinda hard) all the time, never reaping the benefits of the big volume of easy that allow you to do the real hard days truly hard later on down the road. Do the zone 1 stuff easy even if it is tedious.

This is soooo true! Especially in runners. They run "kinda hard" most of the time, and then can only go a bit faster in the races (10K runners are a typical example). After more than 20 years of running this way, I read (and reread several times) Daniels' Running Formula. I used those principles, slowed down most of my training, sped up for selected "quality" workouts, and beat my race times from when I was a youngster.

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By Tom Nyce
From Flagstaff, AZ
Jul 31, 2014
Down low, before the Y and the Railroad couloirs separate.
James Bellamy wrote:
1. So what does a typical non-cardio day look like for you folks? This entire muscular endurance thing is throwing me off. 2. Secondly - If I'm doing the approach to lets say (tahquitz rock) which has a steep hill climb for the approach - my heart rate will assuredly be out of zone 1. I climb at tahquitz often. If I'm doing steep hill climbs where my heart rate is above 150 (carrying climbing gear, making a reasonably fast approach to get climbing, etc) then where does this fall? Likewise - When you push yourself in the mountains to go a faster pace, or are affected by the altitude - your heart rate will be above the zone 1 range. The zone 1 base training is supposed to help you with these days though, correct? It's just that I've noticed I'm out of zone 1 on most of the approach/alpine climbs I do - I am well above zone 1.

James:
I do cardio (trail running, speed walking, or a long hike) 4 or 5days a week. On two of my non-cardio days, I do a warmup first, then “Scott’s killer core workout,” and about a dozen of my own strength training exercises (which happen, by chance, to include quite a few of the ones in the book), and usually some agility or balance work (slackline, unicycle, or trampolining). I’ve been doing strength workouts at least two days a week since ’09, and just kept dropping exercises that didn’t seem to do much over time, and keeping things that seemed to work. I pretty much use my trad climbing experiences as my test of what exercises “work.” I’ve also noticed that my downhill trail running is hugely benefited by certain core exercises.
I spent a week climbing at Tahquitz and doing that approach hike every day. I’m sure that my HR was no where near 150 (likely 120s-130s), and my partner and I would typically pass people (that were taking breaks) on the way up. I didn’t make up this somewhat derogatory label, but you may be what House and Johnston call “aerobically deficient.” See page 59. Before reading this book, I had never heard of this. But it answered one of my long standing questions about some of my partners. The ones who seemed generally fit, tended to hike fast, but needed to take breaks, and ended up bonking if the effort was a long one (I do a lot of very long, hard, hikes). I always thought that they just lacked pacing skills, but this aerobically deficiency syndrome is probably a better explanation. Essentially, it means that they have a small/narrow aerobic zone (zone 1 and 2). Their zone 1 speed is very slow, and they aren’t willing to walk that slow. But they have above average anaerobic endurance, which partly makes up for the deficiency. So, they tend to hike fast, then take a quick break, and repeat. They can usually keep up for several hours, but not all day. They tended to be the more muscular of my partners. Maybe it has something to do with the ratio of fast twitch/slow twitch fibers. More likely, it is just due to their typical exercise regimens.
edit/add: I don't only do long slow stuff. This morning was my "T" pace run (zone 3 in TFTNA). Heart rate was 160-175 bpm for 30 minutes, followed by 25 minutes in the 150's. I do a ton of stuff below 145 though.

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By James Bellamy
Jul 31, 2014
Tom that seems to explain some things. I am 185 lbs, 5'11 - and do have somewhat of a muscular physique - although not cut or ripped by any stretch.

Due to my line of work It's necessary to keep some weight on - But I would like to shed maybe 10lbs and see how I feel.

I can do a full day at Tahquitz (for me right now that means about 8 pitches of hard climbing, 5.7 and up, think coffin nail, piton pooper - lead climbing) and would still have room in the tank - but would be tired for sure.

What I really need to do is slow down my pace, it seems. The tahquitz problem is coupled by the need to get to the climbing in a reasonable amount of time (nobody wants to take an hour to do the approach!). We usually do the approach in about 25 min - sub 20 when I'm not carrying any gear and am free-soloing the trough (although that is quite the burner for me). I usually wind up counting the Tahquitz day as a training day - although it just gets generalized - not put into any specific category...

The weight training I do is not aerobic by any nature - but seems helpful with my climbing.

The bottom line is I'm answering my own questions here now, I think. The bummer part of it is I just don't have 1.5+ hours to devote to training every day.

James

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By Alexander Blum
From Charlotte, NC
Aug 1, 2014
James,

Have you considered counting that approach as zone 2 or 3 work?

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By Schaps
From Bishop, Ca
Aug 1, 2014
Sierra East side ( South Lake )
128 lb (me) vs 200 lb (Don Whillans )


youtu.be/O6CTK2hFvrw


Stay slim- climb and live longer

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By FosterK
From Edmonton, AB
Aug 1, 2014
Alexander Blum wrote:
James, Have you considered counting that approach as zone 2 or 3 work?



Which is fine for some Transition Period work and later work in the Base Period, but if he hasn't built up much of an aerobic base then I'm not sure there's much advantage to simply calculating it differently.

Slow down, rest steps, make it a conversational pace. If your partners are speeding by you, they can set up anchors and flake rope while they wait for you.

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By Naz
From Herndon, Virginia
Aug 1, 2014
What do you make of doing yoga sessions? Count them towards your weekly hours? Mainly Hatha yoga/ Vini Yoga/ Yin Yoga. If you do count yoga towards your sessions, what category do you put them in?

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By Jumi-Jakke
Aug 3, 2014
Naz wrote:
What do you make of doing yoga sessions? Count them towards your weekly hours? Mainly Hatha yoga/ Vini Yoga/ Yin Yoga. If you do count yoga towards your sessions, what category do you put them in?


Personally I don`t count Yoga, but I am doing very mellow classes, more like stretching. Different story if You do more challenging stuff...

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By James Bellamy
Aug 4, 2014
Getting back to the book - I have a question about the training cycle, and the transition period.

The book speaks of gradually entering every cycle, then ramping up activity.

Question:

If I just want to maintain good general climbing fitness (with no huge specific climbing objective in mind) - what should my training cycle look like? How many months/weeks should I continue without giving myself a rest week, or lower activity week?

Lets say I just want to be a good rock climber and do some alpine rock days (grand teton, east butt of whitney, etc) but I don't plan on going after Denali or anything major that year.

What's the best way that you all have found - to organize your training schedule for general mountain fitness?

Thanks! Learning a ton in this thread.

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By Alexander Blum
From Charlotte, NC
Aug 4, 2014
James Bellamy wrote:
What's the best way that you all have found - to organize your training schedule for general mountain fitness?


In my highly individual personal experience I run into two problems here. The first one is that general mountain fitness is a really vague thing, so that makes it hard to develop any sort of training plan based around it. Second, I cannot get motivated by the vague goal of "Getting fit", if there is not a goal, some kind of carrot dangling at the end of the stick, there is no way in hell I am sticking with the training day in, day out, even when it sucks.

All that being said, the best way to keep "general mountain fitness would probably be to do 3-4 week cycles, building volume until you "over-reach" a bit for training effect, then pulling back and ramping up again.

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By Tom Nyce
From Flagstaff, AZ
Aug 4, 2014
Down low, before the Y and the Railroad couloirs separate.
James: I go for longer cycles than Alexander. Each is several months long. I try to stay in a sort of moderate “all around fitness” state year round, but I cycle through different aspects that I prioritize. I cycle priorities in the following things: strength, hill climbing/hiking ability, rock climbing ability, speed walking speed and endurance, lactate threshold running (like for 10K races, or 90 minute hill climb races), or longer distance running. In any one month, I do a little bit of everything, but I do a lot of (usually) two of those things.

If I get an invite, or have a plan for a specific mountain climb, that goal would pre-empt everything else, and I’d start wearing boots everywhere, doing weighted hill climbs, etc. If I make plans for a rock climbing vacation, I’d switch my two priorities to climbing and strength training. When I have a 10K race coming up, one of my two priorities becomes lactate turnpoint workouts (zone 3 in Daniels’, and also the House and Johnson books). For months before my yearly 24 hour race at “Across the Years” in Phoenix, I make sure that one of my two priorities is to practice speed walking.

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By Optimistic
From New Paltz
Aug 4, 2014
A cool thing about this book is that they give you enough of an intellectual framework that you can tailor it to your own goals pretty well.

For myself, I've got so many opportunities to get on the rock right now that the alpine stuff is kind of taking a back seat...I'm picturing that when the weather is stopping me from climbing as much that the alpine training will be a great way to maintain a psych and build general fitness through the winter, with more focused gym and hangboard workouts to maintain the rock fitness.

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By James Bellamy
Aug 5, 2014
@Tom

That sounds like a great general guideline. I am working on Zone 1 and went back up to Tahquitz today - I was able to keep my HR at 130bpm for most of the hike up, and really wasn't going that much slower - but I did slow it down.

I have calculated my MHR to be 188bpm - so that puts my range at about 103 to 141bpm for Zone 1. I am 31 years of age.

Do you recommend staying at the lower end of that threshold, in the middle, at the top - or does it matter?

Also - what type of recovery do you generally do - do you do a light jog, or some easy cardio/play with the kids type thing? I usually take a day off when I feel sore - but if I'm feeling good the next day - I will hit it hard again. I fear that maybe I should rest more but just don't know it - and have been tired for a while but just think that's the norm.

James

P.S. - I know the book covers some of these questions but I find it helpful to bounce the same questions off of educated members to get different ideas that work for different people.

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By J.Colin.Olson
Aug 5, 2014
@ James

I want to say that I appreciate this thread, I have been following it for a couple of months and it has been informative and interesting to read. I don't want to Hijack this conversation, and I only mention James because I am curious about one aspect that we have all been using to some extent, and James mentioned it - Max Heart Rate (MHR).

Reading this I am surprised that James' MHR is 188. I am assuming, since this is 220 - James' age, that he is using the standard formula.

Have other people done the test recommended in the book? Doing it myself I found my actual measured MHR to be 9 beats higher than the formula. Did they find the same thing? That difference allows me to stay in Zone 1 until 150 instead of 143. That's a big difference to me.


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By Tom Nyce
From Flagstaff, AZ
Aug 6, 2014
Down low, before the Y and the Railroad couloirs separate.
James Bellamy wrote:
@Tom That sounds like a great general guideline. I am working on Zone 1 and went back up to Tahquitz today - I was able to keep my HR at 130bpm for most of the hike up, and really wasn't going that much slower - but I did slow it down. I have calculated my MHR to be 188bpm - so that puts my range at about 103 to 141bpm for Zone 1. I am 31 years of age. Do you recommend staying at the lower end of that threshold, in the middle, at the top - or does it matter? Also - what type of recovery do you generally do - do you do a light jog, or some easy cardio/play with the kids type thing? I usually take a day off when I feel sore - but if I'm feeling good the next day - I will hit it hard again. I fear that maybe I should rest more but just don't know it - and have been tired for a while but just think that's the norm. James P.S. - I know the book covers some of these questions but I find it helpful to bounce the same questions off of educated members to get different ideas that work for different people.

Im assuming that you meant to say ".. lower end of that range, rather than threshold.
Zone 1 is huge. I use the lower half of it for recovery workouts, warmups, and cooldowns. Downhill hiking usually ends up there as well, even I'm pushing the pace. For me, easy running is in the upper half of zone 1.
As far as "where in the zone you should be," it depends on your overall schedule. You get more benefit by going higher in the zone, but the benefit isn't proportional to the fatigue caused (and recovery time necessary). If you are short on time (like if you wish that you had more hours per week to put into this stuff), then working out higher in the zone (or even in zone 2) will give you more benefits. But, if you have plenty of time and your volume limit is presently due to fatigue shortening your workouts, and/or needing a lot of time to recover between workouts, it is better to go lower in the zone and put in more time.
You burn more fat (absolute, not percentage wise), at increasing intensities up until the bottom of zone 3. At that point, the presence of lactate inhibits lipolysis and you start training completely different systems, producing different enzymes etc.


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By Tom Nyce
From Flagstaff, AZ
Aug 6, 2014
Down low, before the Y and the Railroad couloirs separate.
J.Colin.Olson wrote:
@ James I want to say that I appreciate this thread, I have been following it for a couple of months and it has been informative and interesting to read. I don't want to Hijack this conversation, and I only mention James because I am curious about one aspect that we have all been using to some extent, and James mentioned it - Max Heart Rate (MHR). Reading this I am surprised that James' MHR is 188. I am assuming, since this is 220 - James' age, that he is using the standard formula. Have other people done the test recommended in the book? Doing it myself I found my actual measured MHR to be 9 beats higher than the formula. Did they find the same thing? That difference allows me to stay in Zone 1 until 150 instead of 143. That's a big difference to me.

Yes. The age formula can be way off. Measuring you max isn't that easy either, and it gets harder to do the older you get (due to longer required warmup times, and some other reasons).
In an untrained, or lightly trained person, their perceived exertion scale relates to their heart rate scale differently than in competitive athletes in their prime season. In other words a regular guy may feel like he is dying, but still just be at 90 to 95% of his "true" max. Certain types of training (especially VO2max intervals) shift your perceived exertion scale so that you can stay closer to your max hr, for sustained periods. That also makes it easier to measure your true max accurately. Your max hasn't actually shifted, but when you measure it, it will seem to have gone up.
When I was 51, I measured my max at 184 bpm. I'm 54 now, haven't measured it lately, and use 182 for purposes of my calculations and data entry for my HRM watch.

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By jaredj
Aug 6, 2014
This max HR stuff is tricky business. I think it's helpful to not think about it as a simple estimation problem where you apply formula X or do test Y, and out pops a number. That can happen under the right circumstances, I suppose.

A far better approach to setting your HR zones (in my experience) is to accept that at the beginning, you're guessing. Starting with a formula or something and trying it out is helpful. But finding HR zones for what zone 2, zone 3, or zone 4 should be is probably best done as a trial-and-error exercise. My rule of thumb is that my zone 4 midpoint HR for hiking / running is 5-6 bpm lower than my average / median HR in a running race 10k (or any other effort of 30-45 min where I'm highly motivated). My zone 3 midpoint seems to be about 10 bpm below that. The upper end of my zone 2 ends up being another 10 bpm below that.

For reference, I have no idea what my max HR is. But based on trial and error / feel, seems like my zone 4 midpoint is 172-178, midpoint of zone 3 is around 160-163, and the upper end of zone is l50-152ish.

You aren't gonna have horrible training feedback if you approach the exercise as a trial-and-error thing (as opposed to this top-down estimation from a single point estimate of max HR). It also (in my opinion) gives you an opportunity to focus hard on other physical sensation feedback to "map" to percieved exertion and HR levels. This 'intuition' is way more useful than just HR in my opinion.

Now if only there was a hiking / running equivalent of the power meters available on bikes for some real data....

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By Tom Nyce
From Flagstaff, AZ
Aug 6, 2014
Down low, before the Y and the Railroad couloirs separate.
@jaredj: Yeah; power meters would help a lot! Many bikers who have them base everything on their power output at lactate turnpoint. That usually makes more sense than using fractions of max heart rate.

Anyone interested in some of the big US mountain races? Right now, people are attempting "Nolan's 14." They have 60 hours to do as many 14,000 footers in the Sawatch Range of CO. There are 14 of them which can be linked together in about 100 miles of foot travel. No-one has completed them all in previous years. It might happen this year though.

14ers.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php...

This fellow is on the course right now. His post has links to general information sites about the N14, and also links to his GPS if you want to follow along with him. Make sure you try the mahoney link. That has all the maps and elevation profiles etc. I've met Mahoney a couple times (at the Hardrock 100). He is quite the character, and is a really good record keeper. His personal site is just chock full of detailed ultraendurance data.
There are probably some twitter type reports going on too, but I haven't found them.

FLAG


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