Volume is the key – Entering the Base period

After finishing the last football matches of the season in the Transition phase, It is now time to say “hello” to a new training period. The Base period is going to be the most important and the longest period of our overall training plan. This period is there to toughen up the 2 guys. To improve their fatigue resistance so that they will be able to handle more and hard training and of course eventually become great in handling long and cold days on the mountain.

Both Boris and Jur are not beginners when it comes to endurance training. Depending on how many years of endurance training you have under your belt a higher volume of training is required to see improvement. Time to empty the agenda’s and slowly fill them up with training. Boris is a fulltime professional alpine guide and he will spend most of his days of the basic period making long days in the mountains. This is probably the most favourable way of building his endurance foundation however it is needed to push some boundaries to improve towards his ultimate potential. Jur is completing his training hours mostly at home. For him I designed the schedule below. I’ll run you through it..

This schedule is based on results from the basic Fitness test and the VO2 max -test we discussed before and the rates Jur gave on previous training schedules.

You can see that this period consists of many many training hours and very little recovery time. This mimics the real situation that they will encounter next year. During much of this period they will be too tired to perform at their best and I expect that a constant state of moderate fatigue will occur. This is not something to worry about, it is okay to be a little over trained during this period.
While designing the training program I looked at the actual goal. Which components are necessary to become good at when climbing all the 7 summits. I found the following challenges:

Ultimate endurance tolerance           –           (Long) Zone 1 training, mountain time
Strength endurance                             –           Zone 1 / zone 2 training, rucksack training, climbing
Explosive strength                               –           Max. strength training, climbing

(Long) Zone 1 training, mountain time            

Training in this zone probably feels super slow, perfect! That is what we are looking for. We want to mimic the long days in the mountains by placing the treadmill in an incline position and adding the rucksack you will carry on the actual expedition. This work-out should last for 60-120 mins. depending on how long you can keep your hart rate in this hart rate zone.

Zone 2 training, rucksack training, climbing

This is a form of interval training. Interval is one of the best ways to enhance your fitness level. The most important characteristic of interval training is that you alternate acceleration and rest.
As you can see in the schedule you perform this work out in a higher HR-zone.  The zones were determined before during the VO2- max test Jur did at Sportplein Eindhoven almost 1 month ago.
Check the results below;

Max. strength training, climbing

And last but definitely not least, I have implemented strength. I scheduled 2 strength training sessions in this week plan surrounded by a lot of recovery time. The purpose of these strength sessions is to seek for maximum performance. Recovery time is therefore preferred.  Jur and Boris are probably going to lose weight during this period because this combination of training sessions boosts their metabolisms and creates more muscle fibers that together will consume more energy. Food adjustments are very important and I will explain you more about it in upcoming blogs.

Below you see the 4 exercises I chose for the first weeks: 

Pull ups                                               –           Shoulders, upper back, hand grip, core stability
Box step up + barbell, 5 sec. lowering   –           Quads, calves, ankle and stability, weight shoulders
Overhead squat + barbell                     –           Quads, hamstrings, glutes, lower back, shoulders
One-arm isometric hangs                     –           Biceps, hand grip, shoulders, core stability      

All 4 exercises need to be performed in 5-6 sets of 5 reps. With 3-5 mins. between each set. I have let Jur grade the exercises again. We keep on doing this to monitor the progress.

Do it yourself!

When designing your own training schedule for the base period you want to grab all your measured data together and start puzzling. Of course the schedule needs to be doable. Consider your own possibilities and stay realistic. It is okay to push yourself during this period but keep in mind the importance of the nutritional adjustments.

Make sure you keep an eye on the grading of your exercises and adjust the schedule when needed. Stay in the right pace but take good care of your body.

I challenge you to design your own schedule and become good at it! If you like to discuss your schedule, feel free to ask your questions in the comments below or sent me an email with your schedule to; [email protected]

Related posts

It all starts with the first step – Estimate take-off position!

Judith Huysmans

Food preparations – on to the Khan Tengri

Judith Huysmans

Train, Eat, Climb – Practice in the mountains

Judith Huysmans

Leave a Comment