Mountaineering Training | Fit To Climb: Week 13

Posted by: | April 29, 2013
Categories: *Mountaineering Fitness & Training

Fit to Climb: Week 13 Schedule

DAY WORKOUT TOTAL TIME DIFFICULTY
1 Rainier Dozen / Easy Hiking ( 30 min) 42 min. Medium
2 1-2-3 Stair Workout x 5 90 min. Very Hard
3 Rainier Dozen / Rest 12 min. Recovery
4 Rainier Dozen / Fartlek Training Hike (2 hrs) 120 min. Very Hard
5 Rainier Dozen / Rest 12 min. Recovery
6 Rainier Dozen / Hike (3 hrs) 192 min. Medium
7 Rainier Dozen / Hike (9 hrs, 25 pounds of pack weight) 552 min. Medium
Total 17 hrs.

BRIEFING

This week’s final hike is the longest one of the entire training program. The all-day hike builds both physical and mental endurance. The purpose of this hike is to replicate the first day of your climb, which is coming up before long.

If you’re local to the Mount Rainier region, you will be well served to visit Camp Muir for this part of the training if the weather and conditions are conducive. Make sure to follow the appropriate safety guidelines when heading up there and bring all of the equipment, food, and gear you need (including a map and compass). If you’re elsewhere, you may need to get creative with your route choices. Either way, this will be a fun and substantial training session. The rest of your training this week will remain the same as the previous week.

DESCRIPTIONS OF WORKOUTS

Day 1: Rainier Dozen + Easy Hiking (30 Minutes)
Today’s hike is a recovery workout and you can always substitute it with a different activity, such as running, biking or swimming. The important thing is to move at a moderate pace for 30 to 45 minutes. The pace can be conversational and you do not need to be dripping with sweat at the end of the workout.

Day 2: Stair Interval Training: The 1-2-3 Workout
Warm up with some moderate paced stair climbing. Then, make three efforts: one moderately hard, one very hard, and one close to maximal effort, with rest periods in between. This may look like:

• 2 minutes at 50-65% intensity, followed by 3 minutes of rest (1 minute standing, 2 minutes descending)
• 2 minutes at 65-80% intensity, followed by 3 minutes of rest
• 2 minutes at 85-90% intensity, followed by 3 minutes of rest

Repeat this sequence five times.

Day 3: Rainier Dozen / Rest
Begin your day with the Rainier Dozen. Feel free to take another 30 to 60 minutes of light exercise if you feel like it (a brisk walk is a great option). If you feel tired, today is a good opportunity be good to take a complete rest day instead. Listen to your body.

Day 4: Rainier Dozen /  Fartlek Training Hike (2 hrs)
Warm up with the Rainier Dozen, and then spend up to 2 hours on a fartlek training hike. Alternate sections of sprinting towards a target you select, with walking at your regular hiking pace.

Day 5: Rainier Dozen / Rest
Begin your day with the Rainier Dozen. Feel free to take another 30 to 60 minutes of light exercise if you feel like it (a brisk walk is a great option). If you feel tired, today is a good opportunity be good to take a complete rest day instead. Listen to your body.

Day 6: Rainier Dozen / 3 Hour Hike
Like last week, you are building your endurance for multiple days of sustained effort with this hike. Warm up with the Rainier Dozen and then hike for 3 hours at a consistent pace. You may choose to include some pack weight if you’re looking for a little extra challenge.

Day 7: 9 Hour Hike (25 pounds of weight)
Load up your pack to 25 pounds. Since you are getting pretty close to your actual climb of Mount Rainier, you’ll want to get comfortable with the gear you’ll be using on the climb (if you haven’t already). If I’m going into the mountains, I like to add realistic weight: clothing, extra water bottles, perhaps even some summit gear like down parkas, heavy gloves, long underwear, or a helmet.

This is your longest hike of the entire training program and you will do well to plan this hike as if you were planning your climb of Mount Rainier. Check the weather and get all the necessary gear ready prior to the hike. Take appropriate amounts of food and water to sustain you on the all-day hike. Get a good night’s sleep the night before and leave early enough to account for the time it will take you to get to the parking lot. Make sure to hike with a friend and let someone else know where you will be and what time you will be expected back. Be safe out there!

Warm up with the Rainier Dozen, and then hike for 9 hours, or about 15 - 16 miles. Be sure to hike at an even pace that you can maintain throughout the day.

SUMMARY

For reasons that are not always clear, it’s not uncommon for climbers to experience a very difficult day on this week’s long hike. At this point in the training, you are coping with fatigue. If you have a hard time on the trail, don’t feel discouraged by your performance. You’ll have a chance at another challenging hike next week, and you’ll have the benefit of this week’s experience.

If you do successfully complete this week’s hike, congratulations! You’re doing very well in your training and have completed one of the hardest weeks of the entire program. You are preparing well for your climb of Mount Rainier!

- John Colver

Have a question? See the Fit To Climb FAQ for explanations of specific exercises and general pointers to help you through the Fit To Climb Program.

John Colver is a longtime climber, former mountain guide, and certified personal trainer with the American Council of Exercise. Colver introduced outdoor fitness classes to athletic clubs throughout the greater Puget Sound region before creating his adventX brand. Currently, adventX leads training programs in Seattle and Colver presents clinics on outdoor fitness at companies such as Microsoft, Boeing, the American Lung Association, and REI. Colver lives in Seattle, and is working on his second book, Fit to Climb - a 16 week Mount Rainier Fitness Program.

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