/ Running for Alpine Training

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shaun walby - on 29 Apr 2013
As prep for alps trip iam trying to get out running more regularly, currently doing once per wk 10k around 50mins.

Just looking for some thoughts as to distances /times that will give a 47 yrs a decent base for 2 wks around AD...I suppose I was thinking of once per wk to 10-13 miles would do it?

Thanks shaun
IainRUK - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to shaun walby: I don't think you'll see much improvement unless you cycle or do other CV work.. two more runs.. say a 5k, a 10k and a 20k.. then you will..

But one run a week is nothing..
Martin Haworth on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to shaun walby: Shaun, you need to be thinking about 8 times a week running 10 miles in about 35 minutes whilst carrying a rucksack and wearing your Alpine boots and crampons.
IainRUK - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to shaun walby: I would never consider adding weight.. abviously he's taking the piss.. but its something people do and the benefits just do not outweight the injury risk.. runners at the top of their game will consider it.. but from 0 mileage base you'll get plenty of gains just doing CV work every other day.
MG - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to shaun walby: Are there any hills near you? Going up them (walking or slow jog) and down them (quickly) will be as helpful as flat runs. Also weekends hill walking.
Exile - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to shaun walby:

I've run and cycled a lot in the past - in my experience cycling will build more strength than running, (even fell running,) and has better results in terms of 'walking up hill with a pack' fitness.

However, running is certainly very good for you and will improve hill fitness, but I'd be aiming for three times a week.
Robert Durran - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Exile:
> (In reply to shaun walby)
>
> I've run and cycled a lot in the past - in my experience cycling will build more strength than running, (even fell running,) and has better results in terms of 'walking up hill with a pack' fitness.

If you want "walking up hill with a pack" fitness, then walking up hill with a pack is probably better than running or cycling. Or have I been missing something all these years?
IainRUK - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Robert Durran: Ideally train for the activity you are doing..

But if you live in a city, flat area then running wise you can condense the time..

Personally I find no difference when I stick a pack on and walk.. I'm aerobically fitter than most people so although I never carry a pack, when I do, I'm always the quickest walker.
dutybooty - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to shaun walby: Some people tend to put a lot of weight behind rowing machines for CV and general muscle work out.
kingjam - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to shaun walby:

Shaun

Unfortunate truth is the more you put in the more you will get out. I have been going to the alps for 7 years and will generally train close to the same as running a marathon. Given I run a marathon in around 4.5hrs that translates to not being the fittest or slowest person but its enough to get me through a week plus alpine, climb every day and still enjoying it .

Personally I think twice a week 10 - 20 k will give you a good base , but that works for me and my objectives . Running with any weight is pointless and may lead to injury.

But other factors to consider
- Your overall climbing ability
- Your kit and weight

Regardless 2 weeks of alpine as long as the sun shines you will have fun if you can flex your objectives with your ability
dutybooty - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to shaun walby: Something I've heard is supposed to be quite good is filling a large bag full of old 2ltr pop bottles full of water. To a sort of 20-40kg weight depending upon fitness.

WALK, I repeat, WALK up big wall.
Empty water.
Run down.
Clint86 - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to shaun walby: If you manage to get too fit, don't be tempted to do too much too soon when you get there.
IainRUK - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to dutybooty: Thats just a chore..

You'd be better just walking further, faster up different hills..

Fitness training should have an enjoyable element.. too many people make it a chore and don't keep it up.. and people wonder why?
Exile - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to Exile)
> [...]
>
> If you want "walking up hill with a pack" fitness, then walking up hill with a pack is probably better than running or cycling. Or have I been missing something all these years?

In my experience...

Cycling is a more efficient use of time - if you go walking up hill to train some of your time will be spend walking on the flat and walking down. A well chosen 2 hr bike route can easily give you the same, or better, training effect as a 6 hr walking day. (Yes you will be spending a certain amount of time free wheeling, but as you are going faster on these sections you still spend a lot larger amount of time pushing the pedals.)

Cycling is easier to get into the working week so can be done more regularly. As a resoult the training effect is greater.
Robert Durran - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Exile:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
> Cycling is a more efficient use of time - if you go walking up hill to train some of your time will be spend walking on the flat and walking down. A well chosen 2 hr bike route can easily give you the same, or better, training effect as a 6 hr walking day.

Why should a 2 hour walk with a heavy pack up a hill (maybe one and a half hours up, half an hour down)not be as beneficial (and more directly so) than a 2 hour cycle? Also, in my experience it will be much better than a 2 hour hill run - while good for general aerobic fitness, there is a limit to how much leg strength for load carrying is gained from running.

Incidentally, my hill running is always best after a mountaineering trip when I might have done no running for a couple of months.
Exile - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Robert Durran:
> (In reply to Exile)
> [...]
>
> Why should a 2 hour walk with a heavy pack up a hill (maybe one and a half hours up, half an hour down)not be as beneficial (and more directly so) than a 2 hour cycle?

Again - in my experience - because there is conciderably less impact cycling where as coming down a hill it took you 90 minutes to get up in 30 minutes, with a heavy pack, ain't good for the joints.

Add to this that you can do it from the house, in the dark, before you go to work, indeed, on the way to work, back from work etc, it is more time effective for almost all people.

> Also, in my experience it will be much better than a 2 hour hill run - while good for general aerobic fitness, there is a limit to how much leg strength for load carrying is gained from running.

Completely agree, which is why I prefer cycling - it builds the strength running doesn't. However, if the op isn't near hills and doesn't have a bike running is still very good for you, and like any hard endurance activity will build mental resiliance which is pretty useful for alpinism.

> Incidentally, my hill running is always best after a mountaineering trip when I might have done no running for a couple of months.

No suprise really. You've been walking up hills with a pack for the best part of a couple of months, perhaps at altitude, and then when you come home and go for a hill run with no / very little weight you feel great.

IainRUK - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Exile: I just don't suffer from a lack of leg strength..

TBH more CV work on such a non-existance base will make a huge difference anyway... the main thing is to do one you enjoy that will keep you injury free..
Exile - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

But to be fair Iain you do a bit more hill running than most!

I'm just going from my own experience. I've fell run and mountain marathoned on and off for years and done a couple of ultras, but the most hill fit I've ever been for winter climbing, (so carrying a reasonable weight pack - in fact a heavier pack than I would often carry in the Alps,) is when training seriously, (for me,) for a Summer of Fred Witton, mountain bike enduros and Three Peaks Cyclo cross.
Robert Durran - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Exile:
> (In reply to Robert Durran)
>
> Again - in my experience - because there is conciderably less impact cycling whereas coming down a hill it took you 90 minutes to get up in 30 minutes, with a heavy pack, ain't good for the joints.

The up isn't a problem. Carrying water and then emptying it largely solves the down problem. Having said that, you need to do the down bit in the alps and I find that building this up carefully has its advantages.

> Add to this that you can do it <cycling> from the house, in the dark, before you go to work, indeed, on the way to work, back from work etc, it is more time effective for almost all people.

Probably true. I am lucky enough to be able to go straight up a 2000ft hill from work, after work, in the dark. And I like being in the hills. I do enough driving on roads without cycling too!
Robert Durran - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to IainRUK:

> TBH more CV work on such a non-existance base will make a huge difference anyway...

Yes, without a CV base, you're going nowhere.

> ....the main thing is to do one you enjoy that will keep you injury free..

True. Actually, if trying to get fit for mountaineering, I mix hill running with heavy sack work - yes, the running is certainly more enjoyable if the sack is heavy enough!

Chay - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to shaun walby: Personally, I like cycling for trip training. This is down to several things:

1. Cycling gets in a decent work out in a relatively short period of time; I generally budget 1.5hrs in my cycling training sessions. This gets me out for around 25-27miles (terrain dependent) and if I ride at "pace"- So giving it the beans and working hard it can be quite a tough session.

2. Cycling is a really low impact method; hence, if the bike is adjusted right the chance of injuring yourself and being out of the trip is low. Obviously, there's a chance of falling off but I think I've fallen off twice in years of cycling.

3. Trains similar muscles to those used in the hill and works the CV system too; if you sprint between targets in a sort of interval style session it can work lactic acid threshold too.

Cycling has always worked really well for me; as others have said, enjoyment is key. If you enjoy your training you'll clearly be more likely to work hard and keep it up.

C
Solaris - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to shaun walby:

One thing that hasn't been explicitly mentioned in the discussion (so far as I've spotted) is the importance of stamina. Longer, uphill runs (>1 hr; adjust accordingly if you're going to be cycling or hill walking) will definitely help with that, but as others have said, you'll need to be doing far more than 10k/week to build it up.
GridNorth - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to shaun walby: I'm not totally convinced about how beneficial running is. I have done all 6 alpine grande courses and, at that time, couldn't run a mile to save my life. Similarly I took a guy climbing who regularly ran ALL the major marathons but he was slower than me at getting up to Cloggy when we were loaded down with climbing gear.

I'm not saying running is worthless but perhaps walking up hills with a heavy pack on is more beneficial.
Robert Durran - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to Solaris:
> (In reply to shaun walby)
>
> One thing that hasn't been explicitly mentioned in the discussion (so far as I've spotted) is the importance of stamina. Longer, uphill runs (>1 hr; adjust accordingly if you're going to be cycling or hill walking) will definitely help with that, but as others have said, you'll need to be doing far more than 10k/week to build it up.

Yes, big days with a heavy pack are obviously ideal training.

Robert Durran - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to GridNorth:
> (In reply to shaun walby) I'm not totally convinced about how beneficial running is. I have done all 6 alpine grande courses and, at that time, couldn't run a mile to save my life. Similarly I took a guy climbing who regularly ran ALL the major marathons but he was slower than me at getting up to Cloggy when we were loaded down with climbing gear.
>
> I'm not saying running is worthless but perhaps walking up hills with a heavy pack on is more beneficial.

Yes, big days with a heavy pack are obviously ideal training.

ice.solo - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to shaun walby:

Ive run with weighted packs for years, as do many people and professions. The most useful training i know. Amongst other running i currently do 1 x 20km run with between 12 and 20 kgs every 9 days.
Its a simple equation: to get better at any activity, add resistance, time and rate - weighted pack, run up hills.
It goes without saying you need appropriate shoes, pack, terrain etc. Do it properly, like any training.

Ive never been injured by it because i train to avoid that. Again, obvious.

Not just as the exercise itself, this stuff highlights all sorts of other weaknesses to work on.
OwenM - on 29 Apr 2013
In reply to shaun walby: Why a heavy pack? Who carries a heavy pack in the Alps?

As often as you can get out into the mountains (Lakes or Wales etc) and do some long days. Lots of scrambling as fast as you can, don't waste time with rope work, solo, just keep moving. In the mean time up your runs to three times a week then up the mileage. If you have a bike you could mix that in as well. You can never be to fit for the mountains.
shaun walby - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to all

Thanks for thoughts...i was really only looking at the running element, this is my 7th summer trip so i know the best training for climbing in the alps is climbing in the alps. My days of running with packs are over ive done a lot of it and had the chronic shin splints for 3 yrs.

Iam regulary trad climbing inthe lakes, wall twice wk, mountain bike 20miles per wk swim and a bit of climb specific weights....running is very family/work friendly so i need to use as effectively as poss....hence question.

iam thinking two runs wk, one 6 miler and a 10 miler added to the above should provide decent CV fittness?

Martin...next time in Alps with your good self ill start your training programme 6months defore you get me on the Dibona
Simon4 - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to shaun walby: Hi Shaun

I am never an enthusiast for running, primarily because it has a high risk of causing yourself damage, especially if people insist on running with a pack. Cycling (best up a steep hill, repeatedly), or swimming are pretty low impact with only slight chance of overuse injuries.

It you are within easy reach of the lakes, have you thought of climbing on high mountain crags in the weeks before you head to the Alps? Places like Scafell Pike or especially Pilar have great climbing, but necessarily involve long arduous walk-ins with full climbing sacks, so combine largely non-destructive weight carrying with enjoyable climbing, so training, but not just pain for the sake of it.
chris gooder - on 30 Apr 2013
In reply to shaun walby: Yes I agree Martin is taking the piss, I think 5 times a week would be enough.
Seriously, you've had some very good advice but training is a personal thing as some routines suit some people better than others.
As you know I run and that does for me, I was never one for walking up hills in big boots and carring a heavy sack.
I think whatever training you do should be enjoyable and hopefully your partner is in the same shape because if they're not then it doesn't matter how fit you are, you wont get anything done.
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shaun walby - on 01 May 2013
In reply to Chris Gooder

Cheers Chris...yes particularly keen to work on the CV this year as my partner is 10yrs younger than me...dont wanna hold the lad up too much!

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