Mountain Training

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Last week Ueli Steck smashed the Eiger North Face speed record, climbing it in 2hrs 22mins 50secs. Whilst not everyone can devote even 5% of the time the “Swiss Machine” does to his training, we are getting quite a few queries from people about how to focus their mountain training over the winter months, and what is the most effective training.

We’ve put a huge amount of time into developing training plans and advice, which are freely available on our website (click here), but all our clients live in different parts of the UK and world, where the training facilities, local geography and opportunities for training all vary massively.

Our key advice is that mountain or off road running is the most effective aerobic and muscular conditioning training for most of the mountain sports we offer. The reason for this is that the cross training provided by uneven terrain helps avoid RSI, or biased training on one muscle or tendon group, and the rough ground develops balance and fluidity and efficiency of movement in the mountains.

So what’s the difference between jogging, running and sprinting when doing ‘running’ training? Speed, stride and landing impact, to name the three key measures. Jogging is for speeds below 6mph, running is above 6mph where there is a heel strike and a roll towards the toe, and sprinting is at higher speeds where you run on your forefoot alone. The increase of pace affects the activation (growth) of the muscles, primarily in your gluten (bum), hamstrings, quadriceps (thigh), shins and calves.

For most mountain sports, it is evident that great sprint speed is rarely required, and carrying excess muscle bulk is inefficient and causes excess fatigue. Our training plans suggest a mixture of jogging for endurance, and running for muscle toning, higher calorie burning, and speed. Jogging is less effective in terms of gaining fitness, but has a lower impact on the body, so is vital for protecting you against injury.

All out training advice pages have been written by qualified Personal Trainers, so read through them to see what planners would best suit your requirements, and don’t hesitate to contact us for specific training advice for your course.

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