Training Program for a Flatlander

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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Re: Training Program for a Flatlander

Post by billycox » Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:30 am

Either your body is capable of handling elevation or it isn't.
Huge if true.
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Re: Training Program for a Flatlander

Post by justiner » Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:59 am

I think it's better to be more prepared than less. Especially if you want to have a good time, and not get totally destroyed on a hill walk. Winter is also a good time to armchair-prepare:

Anything that gets you into an aerobic zone would be good for training. It's hard to emulate walking down a hill, so be aware that that's gonna hurt a lot. On your longer training days, see what foods you like to eat when you're not at rest. Dial in your footwear. Lots of those little things people may forget to do.
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Re: Training Program for a Flatlander

Post by zackrobinson2 » Fri Dec 28, 2018 11:30 am

There is a lot of good advice in here. I will share what has worked for me in the past. Before Rainier last summer, I used the maxi climber a lot. It is a knock-off version of the versa climber, and it only costs around $150. I did a mix of intervals and longer stuff on it. I have also used the stair stepper a lot. In terms of relevant cardiovascular fitness and muscle endurance, I think it is hard to beat those two contraptions if you are sticking to the world of machines.

Of course, you need something with some impact in order to get prepared for the downhill. Running the closest thing you have to hills or running down some stairs is probably as close as you can get to mimicking that.

I think long, slow distance is important, but I also think it is important to mix in some high-intensity stuff once you have a base of fitness. A lot of recent research has indicated that "polarized" training is the most effective. That means you spend 80 to 90% of your time doing long, slow distance stuff and the other 10% or so doing the hardest intervals you possibly can… 95% of max heart rate. Too many people spend too much time in the middle zone. It is slightly counterintuitive, but spending too much time at the heart rate you will actually be working at is not the most effective way to train. A huge portion of the benefit from this type of training comes from doing the hard intervals as hard as possible.

If your goal is simply to get up summer 14ers, you won't be required to carry a heavy pack for extended periods. I would focus mostly on getting in the cardio shape you need to be in.
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Re: Training Program for a Flatlander

Post by timisimaginary » Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:34 pm

Bill G wrote:There is absolutely no training required to hike 14ers! I read these responses and what came to mind was John Belushi's "Little chocolate donuts".

Either your body is capable of handling elevation or it isn't.

Thanks for the laughs!
this is excellent advice for anyone doing Mt. Evans or Pikes Peak.
social distancing since the day i was born...
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