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Mountaineering Training | Fit To Climb: Week 5

Fit to Climb: Week 5 Schedule

1 Rainier Dozen / Easy Hiking ( 30 min) 42 min. Medium
2 Rainier Dozen / Stair Interval Training (50 min) 62 min. Hard
3 Rainier Dozen / Rest 12 min. Recovery
4 Rainier Dozen / Strength Circuit Training x 3 46 min. Hard
5 Rainier Dozen / Rest 12 min. Recovery
6 Rainier Dozen / Cross Training (1 hr) 72 min. Hard
7 Rainier Dozen / Hike (3 hrs) 192 min. Medium
Total 6 hrs 18 mins

This week’s training plan looks very similar to last week’s. The day of your fitness test reverts back to your choice of cross-training. On day 7, the length of the hike increase by about an hour or lengthened about two miles. The primary training goal this week is to begin to extend your aerobic endurance, which you’ll achieve by the increase in length of the hike. 
Adding an hour may seem like a small increment; but you are going from a medium length hike to a longer one requiring a fairly substantial effort.
There are several subtle but important things to consider as you increase the length of your hike. One of the biggest ones is energy consumption. Many people can do a two hour hike without any special preparation, and you’ll probably have enough energy to complete it just fine. However, to be successful maintaining energy throughout a three hour hike, you’ll want to be diligent in preparing, specifically with nutrition, to make sure you have enough fuel in your body for the entire hike. Be sure to pack enough snacks to keep you fueled for the entire time! 
You’ll also want to consider what you carry in your day pack. On a two hour hike, you may never be more than an hour from the parking lot. As you go further out, this creates additional consideration for self-responsibility and risk management. You’ll want to make sure you have the ten essentials in your pack and also have an emergency plan in case a mishap should occur. This includes letting people know where you’re going, and/or also hiking with other people.
Week five can be a positive breakthrough, the week where many people feel a demonstrable increase in their fitness. Often-times, the thing which people notice is an increased aerobic capacity; you simply can do more without getting out of breath. Some people also report feeling stronger. All of this makes sense. If you’ve done all the workouts, you’ll have logged 25 solid days of training. This amounts to 25 improvement cycles! As long as you’re practicing good self care, you can’t help but feel stronger. 
It’s important to acknowledge the progress and perhaps celebrate in some way. You should feel confident about what you’re doing; you’ve made significant gains and the foundation you’re building at this point will result in greater gains still as the next few weeks unfold!

- 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.

Comments (1)

What a Russian Twist. Did I miss something? Also, on the stair interval training, do you recommend doing that with a weighted pack, or not?

Posted by: Linda McMillan on

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