By Becky Scott – RS Performance Training.
During 2017/18 I was fortunate to work with teams taking part in the 2018 Everest in the Alps challenge. We had big team gatherings in London to discuss to different training plans whilst I worked closely with Toby’s team training a couple of times per week.
When designing the programs my main focus was to remember these are all normal people who have busy working lives, family commitments, kids to taxi around and their own social events to attend.
The training is broken up into different sections to allow progressions in fitness to occur and to use each stage as a building block for the next.
Being an endurance event there is a large focus on endurance training. Planned sections of strength training are also in the program in order to support the longer sessions, as you need strong muscles and joints to sustain longer endurance training. Core and shoulder strength is focused on a lot to due to holding ourselves in good posture with a bag on our back all day long. Even though the bag will be relatively light, it’s just not something we are used to doing everyday. Mobility and stretching are almost just as important as the harder sessions. These give your joints and muscles some love and care to help them recover ready for the next session, vital for reducing the chance of an injury.
The Preparation Phase is all about developing a base level of fitness, planning workouts into weekly routines and starting the ball rolling.
The Consolidation Phase takes the next step into structured workouts with ski touring in mind. Aims would be to complete 2 x 90 minutes endurance sessions and these don’t have to always be doing the same thing. You can run for 30 minutes and then cycle for 60 minutes no problem. It’s more a case of getting the body used to working for a longer length of time without stopping. The strength will be designed to build the muscles up to working for these longer durations whilst also focusing on core and back strength.
Mountain ready increases the intensity of the strength training now the muscles will have adapted from previous weeks and whilst taking the endurance sessions up to 2 hours long. Mobility and stretching are still key factors to fit in on rest days in between the longer sessions. There is also an additional workout of interval training. This is short and sweet to condition the body to deal with some more intense burst on steeper climbs or to dig deep when it’s really needed.
Fine tuning means your nearly there! The endurance training goes up again to 2.5 hours long. This is for more of a mental benefit than physical really. Your body is used to working for a long time but now your training your mind to cope with that length when sometimes it’s not going to want to. You’ll experience some cold days when you don’t want to go for a run or cycle but from experience of this years event dealing with that cold was good preparation for the conditions of the challenge it’s self. The strength sessions will have different exercises in to challenge the body in different ways and add some stability, which is mostly needed when tired on the descents following a climb.
Finally there’ll be a taper in the 2 weeks approaching the challenge. Time to keep the body ticking over, make sure you have all the correct kit, re-charge the battery’s, get a massage and be ready to go!
During any challenge there are always ups ad downs (you will cry at least once!). This year everyone experienced down moments when they wondered what on earth they were thinking signing up for the challenge. However team support, resilience and determination to raise funds for such good causes soon put those thoughts in the past and the elation of climbing that last meter was worth every hour of training.
From signing up to the champagne finish everyone involved with Everest in the Alps are here to support you all the way through, along with your team mates, family and friends. It’s an incredible journey and achievement to complete.
Any questions or queries about anything please don’t hesitate to get in contact with me by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org