/ ML training - how strenuous?

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KS132 05 Jun 2019

Hi all, 

I am planning on doing summer ML training later this year. One thing that is delaying my booking is wondering how physically strenuous/intense the course is, as I have a knee problem that surfaces every now and then depending on the severity of the days. I regularly walk in the mountains for whole days and I can generally manage the problem myself, altering routes etc if needs be or planning a gentler day as it’s the descent that causes pain. However, on the 6 day training course, this will be out of my hands. I have looked carefully at the syllabus but am keen to know how many of the days consist of ‘easier’ sessions that perhaps don’t take place within the context of a long and strenuous hill walk. A split course on different weekends is an option. 

Many thanks. 

kestrelspl 05 Jun 2019
In reply to KS132:

Only have a sample of one from my training so take with a pinch of salt. The week was pretty full on being out on the hills all day every day and in my case in fairly constant heavy rain. Having said that we often didn't cover very long distances. A lot of the time we were micronavigating around smaller areas so not covering a lot of distance, but on rough (including easy scrambling) terrain.

The last two days were an expedition carrying fairly heavy bags. The provider I used was aware that some people have different requirements though and we ended up cutting the last day short as someone had some back issues and was struggling with the heavy pack. As far as I'm aware they were still signed off as completing training.

derryclimbs 05 Jun 2019
In reply to KS132:

My experience was that it was far less strenuous than I had expected. I was training for an ultra marathon at the time and thought - great, this will be great for my training, but in fact I regressed quite a bit. In fact, two people on my course were professional runners operating in the alps and were going out for a jog each morning before breakfast. 

However - I did my training in December where light levels were diminished and there was a lot of gale & snow dodging. All the the mini-teach points meant that we weren't on the go all the time and with everyone's micro-nav, we certainly weren't charging across the countryside getting a lot of distance in. 

I guess a lot of it will be determined by three things - how your provider runs the course, the other candidates fitness, and the weather! 

Billhook 05 Jun 2019
In reply to KS132:

Have you thought of contacting one of the providers?

jezb1 05 Jun 2019
In reply to KS132:

Here's a rough idea of the last ML training I ran a couple of weeks ago...

Day 1. Easy day around Crimpiau area, intro to nav type stuff
Day 2. Moel Eilio loop, approx six hours worth
Day 3. Intro to steep ground in the Pass, don't go far that day
Day 4. Tryfan North ridge, no great pace as focus on group management
Day 5 & 6. Over Cnicht to wild camp spot. 4 hours worth of night nav. Walk out in the morning, lunch time finish.

Hope that helps...

KS132 05 Jun 2019
In reply to kestrelspl:

Thanks for this. With the micronav being what it is and the need for all to practise and learn from each other, I can see how this means smaller distances are covered. 

KS132 05 Jun 2019
In reply to Billhook:

I would have done this if I had decided on which provider to book with. Good idea though and once I do decide, I’ll probably ask such questions as in this post when I’m choosing between a week’s course or split weekends. 

Post edited at 23:26
KS132 05 Jun 2019
In reply to jezb1:

Really useful, thank you. I had sort of thought perhaps split weekends might be my only option but this makes me think a whole week is still a viable option. 

Gwilymstarks 06 Jun 2019
In reply to KS132:

There is a lot to get through on a ML course and if we did long distances it would never get covered. Most people on training get mentally tired before physically tired. On my courses (and all of the others I have seen/worked on) I make sure that emphasis is on learning not on miles.

1
KS132 08 Jun 2019
In reply to Gwilymstarks:

This is reassuring; thank you. Really looking forward to the course. 

Dingerbell 09 Jun 2019
In reply to KS132:

I think you grow in confidence has the week goes on , especially for me ,if you have a good 1st day then you should be fine.

I started off well then made one or two errors and start of night nav which brings panic in but corrected myself on nxt leg then from  there it went well.

just concentrate more on your nav work and  and steep ground and not to much emphasis on the rope work in my opinion.

you will have a rough idea if you think uve passed after 1st day of expedition.

jezb1 09 Jun 2019
In reply to Dingerbell:

> I think you grow in confidence has the week goes on , especially for me ,if you have a good 1st day then you should be fine.

> I started off well then made one or two errors and start of night nav which brings panic in but corrected myself on nxt leg then from  there it went well.

> just concentrate more on your nav work and  and steep ground and not to much emphasis on the rope work in my opinion.

> you will have a rough idea if you think uve passed after 1st day of expedition.

Just to clarify, there no element of assessment on the ML training.

KS132 09 Jun 2019
In reply to jezb1:

Thank you! I was slightly puzzled and pleased you clarified this. Not thinking about assessment just yet! 

Martin W 10 Jun 2019
In reply to KS132:

> I would have done this if I had decided on which provider to book with.

I would have this conversation with each of the providers before you make your choice.  No-one should have any problem with someone wanting to make sure that both the course and the provider is right for them.  It's entirely reasonable to check how a particular provider would be able to make allowances for the potential issues you describe.  It's called pre-sales customer support.

If any provider is unhelpful at this point then that would be a good reason to strike then off your list IMO.

jethro kiernan 10 Jun 2019
In reply to KS132:

As mentioned speak to the provider, generally people are pretty helpful. 

A couple of points most of which have been covered.

•your pack will be slightly heavier than usual, shelters etc. Ie you’ll be carrying as though for a group.

• Whilst not every day is about big miles you generally won’t be on paths, in fact your trainer probably will make a point of it.

•Any twinges won’t have a chance to recover as you will be using your knees each day, maybe as well as speaking to the trainer speak to a sports physio and explain you want to prepare for and manage the course and your knee.

good luck, as someone moving into working their way through outdoor qualifications in their late forties creaky joint management is something we have to work around .

lucozade 10 Jun 2019
In reply to KS132:

I reckon you'll be fine. Some great advice above my comment! As others have said, it's worth asking around for a good provider. I did my training with people who I later found out don't have a great reputation, although it was still OK. I did a winter course with someone else and it was sooo much better! I'm sure the right provider would be very flexible as someone else has stated - probably many good providers on here and look online for reviews. As for walking around, there is a lot of other training where you'll be sat or standing around - in class or first aid, rope work, crossing rivers, micro-nav. We did our 'expedition' bit in snow and clag (Summer ML!) and it wasn't too strenuous. There were varied ages on our course from early 20s to mid 50s and we were all fine. Hope you enjoy it - I had some great people on the courses and learned a lot from them too.

KS132 10 Jun 2019
In reply to jethro kiernan:

> •your pack will be slightly heavier than usual, shelters etc. Ie you’ll be carrying as though for a group.

This is not something I had considered and is a useful point. 

> •Any twinges won’t have a chance to recover as you will be using your knees each day, maybe as well as speaking to the trainer speak to a sports physio and explain you want to prepare for and manage the course and your knee.

Great advice. I saw a physio a year or so ago and followed advice re exercises etc. I also have started using walking poles this year after being a little sceptical about their benefit (for the issue as I was experiencing it) and this has made a big difference. 

> good luck, as someone moving into working their way through outdoor qualifications in their late forties creaky joint management is something we have to work around .

How familiar this sounds (bar the age bit - although I’m not that many years off!)!! Good to know I’m not the only one! 

jethro kiernan 10 Jun 2019
In reply to KS132:

Yes I forgot to mention poles, very good, I was sceptical I now sing their praises to everyone, especially those who don’t have problems yet!

KS132 10 Jun 2019
In reply to lucozade:

Thanks for the advice. There are just so many providers, some which get booked up quickly (a good sign, I guess). I’m in the process of looking through different companies, reading reviews etc. I’m trying not to pick a provider based purely on convenient dates and location. 

jethro kiernan 10 Jun 2019
In reply to KS132:

I can recommend Phil George in Llanberis he  is very helpful with regards managing this type of thing.

KS132 10 Jun 2019
In reply to jethro kiernan:

> Yes I forgot to mention poles, very good, I was sceptical I now sing their praises to everyone, especially those who don’t have problems yet!

Ha, me too! They’re a pain when using a map and compass but you can’t put a price on getting back to the car in a relatively pain free state! 

Dingerbell 16 Jun 2019
In reply to jezb1:

Appologies thought it was assessment.

KS132 16 Jun 2019
In reply to Dingerbell:

Interesting points re assessment though. 


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