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Physical prep for winter ascents for old fogeys

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Physical prep for winter ascents for old fogeys

Postby Alpine » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:38 pm

I want to start thinking about my physical preparation for winter climbs. The extra energy and stamina involved require a different level of preparation, especially as I get older…

I only have a couple handfuls of winter or winter-like attempts and summits so I do have a little sense of what is required but want to do more. I also know that at my current level of fitness ad age (50 :wft: ) I need to prepare differently.

I run regularly (road 2-3 x per week, ~5 miles; and trail 1-2x per month, up to say 1800 vert and 10 miles) so I have a reasonable base to work from.

Looking for ‘bang for the buck’ training ideas I guess - it is not realistic for me to just go do more winter ascents - I have very limited time for that.

What I do have is my lunch hours, access to a lightly equipped weight room, and 1-2 weeks per month where I might have a morning or an afternoon free.

I am thinking strength training of some sort is probably part of the answer but maybe there is something else?

What works?
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Re: Physical prep for winter ascents for old fogeys

Postby mtree » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:45 pm

What you're doing sounds great! Add in some stairs and squats and I call it good. Luckily, I live at 7400' so that helps.
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Re: Physical prep for winter ascents for old fogeys

Postby Dave B » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:40 pm

Interval training sounds like the ticket for you. It requires a solid foundation but the gains come quick and are noticeable, sprints are a great way to improve endurance and speed.

Crossfit's another option, but expensive. While I don't do Crossfit, per se, I regularly go to the Crossfit WOD generator and pick an exercise I can do at the gym.

They'll kick your ass and make you stronger, no doubt.

On days I do these, I'll run 1-2 miles for warm up (depending on the intensity of the WOD), stretch, do a WOD and then cool down with a 5 minute run or elliptical.

I'm never at the gym for more than 45 minutes.

Just be aware, that when the WOD calls for X number of pullups they're typically referring to kipping pullups which seem to be controversial and attract their fair share of criticism.
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Re: Physical prep for winter ascents for old fogeys

Postby geojed » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:02 pm

I alternate high intensity Elliptical at level 18 for 45 mins with a strength routine with workout bands. Works for me and is free since I do it in the gym at work.

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Re: Physical prep for winter ascents for old fogeys

Postby pvnisher » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:26 pm

If you're short on time (like everyone is), then increase intensity.
Intervals have been my best friend for return on investment. But you have to push hard.

Pick a distance (or time), like 400m or 90seconds, and run as fast as you can for that distance/time. Jog slowly for 200m, then do it again. Repeat 4-6 times.

Another one I like is 5-4-3-2-1. Run as hard as you can for 5 minutes, then rest for half that time (2:30). Then run hard for 4 minutes, jog slowly for 2 min. Hard for 3, easy for 1:30, etc. You end up running hard for 15 minutes, jogging for 7:30. Combine it with an easy warmup and some stretching, and you've got a solid workout in 30 minutes. If you have more time add in some burpees, planks, squats, lunges, etc.

Hill sprints are great, too.

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Re: Physical prep for winter ascents for old fogeys

Postby Monte Meals » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:46 pm

While I agree with all of the above comments for climbing 14ers,
none of them really deal with the issues of winter ascents.

1) you really need to figure out your hydration strategy. From my experience, it is far
easier to get dehydrated in the winter rather the warmer seasons.

2) you really need to figure out your layering strategy. If you get wet (sweat) while climbing -
you will regret it on the way back down.

While some may consider me an old fogey (I'm 65) I don't.

The BEST winter prep that I can suggest is get out there and do it!
Personally, I am fortunate to live in Colorado Springs and climb the Manitou Incline regularly.
The COLDER the better. Climbing a couple of thousand feet of altitude daily is just about
as good a prep for winter ascents as you will find.

Cheers,
Monte

Re: Physical prep for winter ascents for old fogeys

Postby Bean » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:58 pm

Dave B wrote:Just be aware, that when the WOD calls for X number of pullups they're typically referring to kipping pullups which seem to be controversial and attract their fair share of criticism.

Image

There's nothing controversial about kipping, it's just stupid.

Crossfit: not even once.
gdthomas wrote:Bean, you're an idiot.

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Re: Physical prep for winter ascents for old fogeys

Postby DaveSwink » Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:09 am

Alpine wrote:Looking for ‘bang for the buck’ training ideas I guess - it is not realistic for me to just go do more winter ascents - I have very limited time for that.

What works?


Everyone will be offering suggestions from their perspective, and I feel a bit silly offering advice to a climber with a lot more peaks than I have, but your comment about age made me want to chime in. I have found that winter 14ers test my long term endurance rather than my strength. Many of my winter climbs have started before dawn and finished in the dark that night while moving almost constantly. Winter climbs are a grind, and it is necessary to keep your energy up and the pace moving for 10+ hours with very few, short breaks. So, given the time you have to work with, I would suggest adding one LSD (long slow distance) run per week. Don't worry about distance, and concentrate on not going too fast, just try to jog for 60 - 90 minutes. Keep your heartrate low enough to allow conversation (140 - 145 bpm?).

My other suggestion would be to get out to Twin Sisters or Mt Lady Washington when possible for some winter practice laps.

I am getting stronger at winter climbs each year, and I am 57 years old. :-D I love reading comments from guys going strong and having fun like you and Monte.

Dave

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Re: Physical prep for winter ascents for old fogeys

Postby SolarAlex » Fri Jan 18, 2013 6:42 am

this winter ive been waking up and skinning keystone 3 times a week...its pretty good exercise, its good for getting used to the cold and wind, and its a lot of fun. Its awesome to be alone at a vail resort. I went out on quandary recently and I felt a definite improvement in my conditioning.

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Re: Physical prep for winter ascents for old fogeys

Postby kansas » Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:30 am

Bean wrote:Image

There's nothing controversial about kipping, it's just stupid.

Crossfit: not even once.


Cute, but those are butterfly pullups (lame IMO) and a poor example at that. Try to string 20 of these together and you will understand its more about coordination than strength.
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Re: Physical prep for winter ascents for old fogeys

Postby rijaca » Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:45 am

Jeez, young whippersnappers complaining about getting old....

As the commercial says, Just Do It!
"Spent a little time on the mountain
Spent a little time on the hill"

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Re: Physical prep for winter ascents for old fogeys

Postby Jay521 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:03 am

rijaca wrote:Jeez, young whippersnappers complaining about getting old....

As the commercial says, Just Do It!

+1
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