Training Program for a Flatlander

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
Forum rules
Please do not use this forum to advertise, sell photos or other products or promote a commercial website. For more details, please see the Terms of Use you agreed to when joining the forum.
User avatar
Flatlander2
Posts: 9
Joined: 12/27/2018
14ers: List not added

Training Program for a Flatlander

Post by Flatlander2 » Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:09 am

I'm looking for a training program for a flatlander. I'm hoping to hike my first 14er in June. I'm looking for something calendar style. TIA
User avatar
LURE
Posts: 1204
Joined: 6/28/2011
14ers:summits32 
13ers:summits11 

Re: Training Program for a Flatlander

Post by LURE » Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:06 am

training in the flatlands? do you have access to hills that you can run up and down?

in a pinch, stair climbers are excellent.
User avatar
Flatlander2
Posts: 9
Joined: 12/27/2018
14ers: List not added

Re: Training Program for a Flatlander

Post by Flatlander2 » Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:09 am

We have a really great treadmill in our basement and I have a couple of 1/8 mile hills a couple of blocks away. I'm really just getting started in my training.

I'm thinking generally using a pack weighted with rice or dog food would help too. Thoughts?
Last edited by Flatlander2 on Thu Dec 27, 2018 5:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
mtree
Posts: 1111
Joined: 6/16/2010
14ers: List not added

Re: Training Program for a Flatlander

Post by mtree » Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:09 am

Stairs, hills, ladders.
Sprints on hills are great! Mix with endurance runs. Long-ass walks/hikes for 7-12 miles. Carry a 20lb backpack. You'll be good to go.
Nothing you can do about altitude training.
- I didn't say it was your fault. I said I was blaming you.
User avatar
LURE
Posts: 1204
Joined: 6/28/2011
14ers:summits32 
13ers:summits11 

Re: Training Program for a Flatlander

Post by LURE » Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:22 am

schlefkm wrote:We have a really great treadmill in our basement and I have a couple of 1/8 mile hills a couple of blocks away. I'm in suburban Kansas City and I'm really just getting started in my training.

I'm thinking generally using a pack weighted with rice or dog food would help too. Thoughts?
For non competition recreational activities, I think all of those will get you where you want to be, no reason to over think it. There a million opinions on getting in shape, but the key element in my opinion would be consistency and frequency.

Run a lot, not necessarily long, just a lot. Or where I said run, insert "hike" or "bike." Running 1 mile nearly every day is better than running 6 miles once a week.

However, though you do live in Kansas, try and mix in hills - you want some slope specific strength. Whether on the stair climber or running up and down small hills. Again, frequency - do it often.

Edit: And a weighted pack sure can help increase strength, but I would focus on the heart and lungs more than anything.
User avatar
RhodoRose
Posts: 90
Joined: 8/21/2015
14ers:summits39 
13ers:summits7 winter3 

Re: Training Program for a Flatlander

Post by RhodoRose » Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:37 am

Is there a nearby stadium where you can do bleachers?
But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3: 13-14
User avatar
WishIWasInTheMts
Posts: 102
Joined: 7/20/2009
14ers:summits36 
13ers:summits15 

Re: Training Program for a Flatlander

Post by WishIWasInTheMts » Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:39 am

IMtree's advice is spot on. Walk, a lot. Daily walks will go a long way (aim for 45 minutes to an hour). I'm a personal believer in the "time on feet" philosophy. As stated, try to mix in a weekly long walk. Again, 7-10 is great, but I'd aim to be on the longer side of that spectrum. Running isn't everyone's cup of tea, but if you are a runner, it'll really help. Cross training, such as biking, can never hurt as well. I had a family member from the flatlands complete the Chicago Basin group with this plan and he didn't have any trouble at all.

Come in with a good aerobic base, and you'll do fine. There are some very unfit people who drag themselves up 14ers, so I wouldn't stress about it too much. That being said, at the end of the day, you'll have a much better time if you have a good aerobic base to work with.
User avatar
CaptainSuburbia
Posts: 565
Joined: 10/7/2017
14ers:summits58 winter32 
13ers:summits98 winter18 
Trip Reports (32)

Re: Training Program for a Flatlander

Post by CaptainSuburbia » Thu Dec 27, 2018 12:29 pm

Play racquetball! You'll cover more than 2 miles per hour and have fun.
Some day our kids will study Clash lyrics in school.
User avatar
KS Jude
Posts: 31
Joined: 6/26/2013
14ers:summits28 winter2 
13ers:summits2 

Re: Training Program for a Flatlander

Post by KS Jude » Thu Dec 27, 2018 2:33 pm

Living in the suburbs of KC myself, I can vouch for the effectiveness of incorporating stairs into your training plan. Twice a week I'm at the gym on the stairmaster. Outside of the gym, trail running at Shawnee Mission Park for me has been the most enjoyable way to build/maintain my cardio. Finding the largest hill you can to run up and down is an excellent training workout to add as well. If/when you begin attempting more exposed 14er routes, indoor climbing at ROKC and outdoors at cliff drive (east of downtown KC) have helped me to deal with the exposure and provided some helpful skills. Best of luck with your training and journey!
"Verso l'alto" - Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati
TomPierce
Posts: 2418
Joined: 11/21/2007
14ers: List not added
Trip Reports (2)

Re: Training Program for a Flatlander

Post by TomPierce » Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:12 pm

You state that you're just getting started in your program. I'm concerned that if you go straight into hard core training (hill running, bleachers, etc) with no or a limited aerobic base, you could court injury or flame out. My input:

1) You don't mention your age or fitness. Probably good to get the OK from a doc before starting a program, esp if you're over 40. If you're in your 20's, you're immortal, so you can skip that :lol: . Kidding...

2) A reasonable program would be similar to a race build-up. Take your event date, say June 15, and scroll backwards from there. One week will be your taper/relaxation/travel time. 4 weeks of anerobic work/intervals before that. Anaerobic threshold stuff. Then for a 14er I'd say 6 weeks before that of "strength" work, which in this context would be hill running, bleachers, power walks with a weighted pack, etc. Everything before that is LSD, long slow distance work, e.g. jogging, etc.

3) If you truly are starting off from zero, start with brisk walks, every other day. Then increase the frequency, maybe to daily? Then intensity ramps up, run/walk, then full runs. May take you a month+ to get there. By my count, you have from now until some time in about mid-April to build an aerobic base. Note also that when I say focus on this/that, I don't mean exclusively, e.g. maybe 1-2 days a week for a focused workout (strength or intervals), not 5 days straight of intervals. That'll burn you out.

4) Personally, I'd say when in doubt (to work out or not) assess if it's just having an off day vs. overtraining. If you go too hard, too fast, overtraining resulting in sickness/injury is the risk. Build in some recovery time to your program.

5) And build in as much time for acclimatizing as possible when you get out here. At least a day in Denver, a day in a resort town at about 9K. More time is usually better. Hydrate.

That's my input, good luck,

-Tom
Last edited by TomPierce on Thu Dec 27, 2018 4:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
HULKHIKEGOOD
Posts: 121
Joined: 12/14/2012
14ers:summits19 
13ers:summits3 
Trip Reports (2)

Re: Training Program for a Flatlander

Post by HULKHIKEGOOD » Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:37 pm

One thing that has helped me(aside from some of the previous suggestions) is incorporating more walking lunges and weighted step ups into my workouts as my scheduled hiking trips get close. Usually a month or 2 out. I'm in the military so I do lots of running and pt anyway, but lunges and step ups really stregthen up my knees and give me a lot more confidence on the way up and really more so on the way down. I usually don't get much time to acclimate on my trips, but being properly hydrated is absolutely necessary. I have drove from Oklahoma day 1, summited day 2, and drove back day 3.... not recommended, but doable. Altitude is gonna hurt, no way around it being a flatlander, but being hydrated and getting a good night sleep before your hike will dampen the blow some. If you want some of my workouts, shoot me a PM. Best of luck!!!
User avatar
Rollie Free
Posts: 362
Joined: 6/8/2012
14ers:summits37 

Re: Training Program for a Flatlander

Post by Rollie Free » Thu Dec 27, 2018 4:05 pm

When you say June, do you mean the last part of June?

As a fellow flatlander I have made the mistake of think my summer is Colorado's summer. Even mid June can be questionable. However, I have made it somewhat a tradition going the last week in June. Its still snowy in areas but usually fun and manageable if so.
Reluctant enthusiast....a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic.
Post Reply