Injury prevention and risk minimisation should be the number one priority for any mountaineers training plan.
Well, you can't train when injured. And you certainly can't hit the mountain when you are carrying an injury either.
HOW Mountaineers Can Prevent Injury
Too many training program out there chase performance as the #1 outcome. And while improving performance is essential, you need to be smart about it!
With this in mind, here are five things every mountaineer should be doing to help prevent injury:
1) Strength Training
Structured strength training is the single most important thing you can do to prevent injury. There is a HUGE amount of scientific data support this.
If you are not regularly doing strength training as part of your training week, please start.
2) Deload Weeks
You can't train hard all the time. Is just is not possible.
Most mountaineers will wait until they feel overly fatigued, sore or stressed before having a lighter week. But I am a big fan of using this BEFORE this happens. This greatly reduces the risk of niggles and injuries creeping up, not to mention it is great for long term training momentum and motivation.
Depending on the mountaineer, I will usually schedule a deload week every 4-6 weeks.
3) Prioritise Sleep
Sleep deprivation is a significant risk factor when it comes to injury. A mountaineer who is training for a significant goal should be aiming for 8 hours of sleep a night, minimum (many elite athletes sleep up to 10 hours a night).
Sure, that might be easier said than done for some people...
But you should be trying your best to get there!
4) Vary Training Modality
Running every day is a short road to injury. Sure, some people can get away with this... but most can't.
Choose a variety of types of training to develop your aerobic capacity. Swap out some of your running for hiking, cycling, the stepper or swimming.
Your body will thank you!
"All human beings should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves." Dr. Kelly Starrett.
This is a quote I firmly believe in.
Mountaineers should regularly be using things like self-myofascial release, mobility and recovery work to look after the body, help it recover between session and preempt any aches, pains or niggles which might creep up during training.
When it comes down to it, it is MUCH easier to prevent an injury than to recover from one.
Do the right things in your training week. Look after your body. And ensure you keep yourself in the best position to keep moving forwards with your training, and ultimately, performing at your best on the mountain.
If you are a mountaineer and want a training program which will both minimise the risk of injury while improving your performance for the mountain, the Online Summit Program is waiting for you:
Yours in adventure,
Rowan is a personal trainer who specialises in training for hiking, trekkers and mountaineers for their bucket list adventures.
Summit Strength is a personal training for hiking service created specifically to help hikers have the best chance of a safe, enjoyable and successful adventure.