Interval training can be an incredibly powerful method of preparation for a mountaineer.
Whether it is long, short or sprint intervals, there are dozens of legitimate methods of interval training a mountaineer can incorporate to increase their performance on the mountain substantially.
But no matter what type of interval training you are using, there are a few fundamental rules a mountaineer should follow, to get the best benefits.
And today, I want to share them with you:
High Intensity Interval Training For Mountaineers
1) Have A Progression Plan
This is the biggest mistake I see from mountaineers with their interval training. If you do not have a progression plan for your interval training, you are wasting your time.
As with any type of training, the body gets used to a certain stimulus very quickly. So to keep it adapting (and getting fitter, stronger and more resilient), you need to give it a new challenge regularly.
Now a progression doesn't have to be too complicated; it could involve:
2) Don't Use Heart Rate During Short Intervals
For most types of interval training, heart rate monitoring isn't an incredibly effective method of monitoring intensity.
This is for a few reasons:
But as a general rule of thumb, I recommend choosing a different measure of intensity for interval training (i.e. speed, power output or rating of perceived effort)
3) Choose The Right Training Modality
When performing interval training, a mountaineer should choose exercise options which require little technical skill, minimal coordination and simply allow you to push hard, for the desired time.
Great examples here include things like running, hill hiking, cycling, rowing, sled pushing etc.
Don't make the mistake of getting 'creative' with your interval training (and doing things like plyometrics, burpees, strength exercises, etc.).
This stuff might be 'fun', but it will limit the effectiveness of the workout.
Put these three rules into place with your interval training, and you will be well on your way to getting the most out of this method of training, and best helping your performance on the mountain.
If you were preparing for a mountaineering adventure and needed help applying specific and structured interval training into your program, it might be worth checking out the Online Summit Program.
Here you can get clear and proven structure to your training so you can eliminate all the doubt, confusion and frustration which often comes with creating your own training program.
So you can be confident you are doing the RIGHT things to help you towards a safe, enjoyable and successful mountaineering adventure.
You can find it here:
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.