Mountaineering Training | Climber’s Perspective on Balancing Work and Training for Mt. Rainier

Posted by: | July 15, 2013
Categories: *Mountaineering Fitness & Training

Mt. Rainier, everyday, when it’s not cloudy … I get to see Mt. Rainier. Ever since I moved to the Seattle area 10 years ago, I’ve been looking at that mountain, knowing that I would summit it someday.  This September, with RMI Expeditions, I will be able to attempt the climb and hope that the mountain allows me to summit.   Every day for the past 8 months I have been waking up and heading to the gym at 4 AM to work out.  I have been part of a fitness program getting back into shape, and now, down 80lbs, I have been inspired to make my summit a reality this fall.  The great thing about living in the Pacific Northwest is that I get to look at the mountain almost daily and it serves as a constant reminder of what I am training for.  That training has to be incorporated into a very busy life, balancing my work and family schedules, but as many I have talked with, every bit of training you do is more ‘fuel’ in your tank for when you summit - that is what drives me to get up every morning. As someone who works in marketing for a major software company in Redmond, my days are kept very busy, and 9 - 10hr work days on top of training is at times challenging to keep up with.  The way I keep life balanced is by starting my days early as it helps me get in what I need to at the gym and allows for some quiet time in the office to catch up on email before the busyness of the day begins. My days look like the following:

4 AM: Alarm goes off and I drag myself out of bed.
5 AM: At the gym to get in a 60 - 90 minute workout doing either circuit training, or a mountain conditioning class at the Pro Sports Club.
• Around 7 AM I am into work for a full day.
4 PM: I either head home for the day to relax or I head to Tiger Mountain’s cable line trail for training on Tuesdays & Thursdays.
• Eat dinner when I get home.
8:30-9 PM: Head to bed to rest for another busy day.

Right now I’m doing a combination of circuit training and a mountain conditioning course Monday - Thursday at the gym and on Fridays I workout my bigger muscle groups and do a short 30 min on cardio.  On Monday and Wednesday after work I head to the driving range to mix it up a bit and have some fun.  Tuesday and Thursdays are my big days where I have both mountain conditioning and I head up and do the Tiger Mountain Cable Line Trail (1000 vertical feet in a little over a mile).  I use Fridays to recover and I do major hikes for training over the weekends, and try to include my wife on some of these more “fun” hikes.  

Balancing the heavy training schedule with work and a family is very tricky, but I also remember this is only for a short period of life, and I am constantly reminded of the goal ahead when I catch a glimpse of Mt. Rainier peeking out from the clouds.

- Jeff Marcoux

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Jeff Marcoux is an avid hiker & lover of micro brews who lives with his wife in Seattle, WA.

Mt. Rainier standing above the Seattle skyline. RMI Collection.

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