Interval training for climbing and trekking
Interval Training and how it can help you!
“Intervals” are repeated segments of high intensity effort and lower intensity recovery pieces, and can be done by running up hills and jogging back down, briskly climbing up hilly terrain with a weighted pack and then walking back down, or cycling through a set Interval program on a machine such as Elliptical trainers or step mills.
This training technique prepares you for the challenge of working near or at the Anaerobic Threshold (AT); however, be aware that you won’t be able to sustain that higher level of heart rate for any substantial length of time. At high altitude, where there is less oxygen, you may sometimes feel like you’re struggling to catch your breath. If you have trained your body to deal with such stresses at lower elevations, it’s likely that you’ll be more comfortable with those stresses on a high mountain.
To incorporate intervals into your program, place them on a shorter cardiovascular day, perhaps preceding a legs strength day and after a medium length cardio day. Warm up thoroughly for 5 – 15 minutes to ensure increased blood flow to the large muscles in the legs and core. For your first interval day, try something fairly tame such as walking (with lightly weighted pack) or jogging up a fairly steep hill for a minute, trying to get your heart rate 15 – 20 beats higher than your normal training number. Return to starting point at a comfortable pace so the heart rate drops down to base rate, and repeat until you’ve completed 5 – 6 hills, or 6 complete intervals. The next time you try it, you can 1) add a hill, 2) try to go faster to get your heart rate higher, or 3) add a little weight to the pack. Try to work your way up to 30 minutes of intense intervals, and then make sure you cool down and stretch following that workout.
Since interval training is quite intense on the body, we recommend only doing such training once, maybe maximum twice a week during the month or two prior to your climb.
Tip provided by Mountain Madness Conditioning Partner Body Results.