New year, new goals.
I have been training a lot in 2016. I stopped recording my runs and trainings once I thought I had found a good routine. I built my own plan with a good mix of climbing, long runs and some additional strength workouts. However, I suffered various injuries from overtraining. I had 2 major injuries that left me inactive for weeks and a little depressed. On top of that, I never felt like I would get anywhere with improving my finger and upper body strength. I read a lot of fitness and workout articles and blogs, watched countless youtube videos with workout routines. Nothing seemed to really give me the effect I was looking for. Granted, I am not a professional athlete or know anything about sports science. I just wanted to really know how to train in the most efficient way. You may be familiar with the concept of super-compensation or periodisation if you are really into training. All the information I gathered seemed surfaced and not connected. Nor did I fully understand how to apply them. I think this is most due to the fact that if you are training to be fit in the mountains, there is no real resource out there that helps you train for it – except you pay some private fitness guru a bucket of money.
A new way of training.
Eventually I stumbled over a book written by alpine legend, Steve House and his trainer, Scott Johnston. The book called “Training for the New Alpinism” is the most complete, detailed and generally awesome training guide if you are training for the mountains. Full Stop. It’s called a training “guide” because you will not find a pre-made training plan telling you how many pull-ups to do or how long to run. Even better, it will teach you to understand how the human body works and performs in tough conditions and how you can train for the very specific movements needed for what you are planning to do. It teaches you how to create your own training plan in a surprising, scientific depth. Here is the link to the book – I bought the ebook version just to have it around everywhere, and it’s cheaper:
Steve House, who claims not to be a genetically gifted athlete, is considered by many to be one of the greatest American alpinist of our time. House has no shortage of great climbs to his name, but his marquee work is “The Central Pillar” (M5 X, 5.9 WI4) on the Rupal Face of Nagat Parbat (8,126m). For his efforts he and his partner were awarded the coveted Piolet d’Or. Scott Johnston has a well-established career as a climber and World Cup cross-country skier. With his own spectacular resume of climbs in the greater ranges Johnston now coaches many of Americas top athletes. These guys know what they are talking about.
About those goals…
I quite literally devoured that book and have been training based on it for 4 weeks now. It baffles me how much I was actually doing wrong in my training. Although my training was shortly interrupted by being sick over the Christmas holidays, I have improved a lot. Especially “Scott’s Killer Core Routine” ( yeah they really call it that and it describes the activities pretty well) payed off very well, although I developed a serious love-hate relationship with it. When bouldering outdoors I can pull moves and hold compression moves now where a while ago I just fell off like a sack of rice. So I will definitely write more about the plan I made for myself in the future. As I have just started it, I don’t feel like I can say too much about it other than it rocks!
What I really like about the book is it’s goal setting training plan. You don’t just train to be generally fit, you design a training plan that is very specific to a project, trip, or goal you have to set for yourself. I set myself the goal to hike Pikes Peak again. However, this time I will start the run from my front door, climb via the Y-Colouir, and run back home. Under 10 hours. Dream Big. I have been playing around with the idea for quite a while right now. It’s a big and beautiful mountain, it’s a challenge to get there, and there is some alpine climbing involved – perfect. I am also quite happy with where I am at with my endurance and general power. I ran Pikes Peak months ago in about 7 hours. I wrote a blog post about that. So considering the weight of the extra climbing gear and the rocky snowy terrain, I don’t think it will be possible to run too fast and the climbing part should take me maybe more than 7 hours, although I feel I am in a much better shape than before. I am considering biking to the Barr Trail trailhead due to the extra weight that might suck my legs dry before I even get up to Pikes Peak. We will see.
So here it is.
- From home in Old Colorado City to the Barr Trail trailhead in Manitou Springs.
- Up the Barr Trail to the Bottomless Pit.
- Up the Y-Colouir on the Pikes Peak Northface.
- Down via Barr Trail on the Eastface to Manitou Springs.
- From Manitou Springs back home.
Looking at the numbers the total trip adds up to:
- 49,4 km or 30.7 miles
- Elevation gain of 2846m ( 9337.27 ft ) and descent 2846m ( 9337.27 ft ) which makes it a total of 5692m ( 18671.26 ft )
- 900m ( 2952.76 ft ) of that are above an 40′ incline
Try, try, try and Dream Big?
Yes, that’s my mindset for how I will tackle 2017. It’s a simple version of two concepts:
- Know more about the world than you knew yesterday.
- Dream Big and work hard for those dreams to become reality.
That means constantly trying new things and broadening my perspective about anything really. That means learning more about design, running, philosophy, a craft skill, how to be better with personal relationships…
Aim high and try hard – and if it doesn’t work out I still have learned plenty on the way – which goes back to try, try, try. See how that connects to itself? A good recipe for Awesome.