14er Peak Push Endurance Challenges For The Speed And Power Athlete

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Edward Troy reporting; 7/21/2012, we started Peak Push, an informal gathering to hike up non technical 14ers in Colorado, and maybe some other local hikes and climbs up lesser peaks and passes. Peak Push is for a select group of people, active and inactive clients. The peak we hiked is La Plata, the 5th highest mountain in Colorado at 14336ft. I have already done the highest — Mt Elbert. This 4136ft. (total elevation gain is even higher) ascent took me 3 hours and ten minutes, carrying a 40 lb pack. I always carry enough water for 2 people — just in case. My friend, Scott, former coworker and now client who has incorporated speed training in his marathon and ultra endurance training, was easily able to outdistance me, as expected. He has knocked 22 minutes off his marathon time. Scott summited in 2:30. If I had taken a daypack with water for me only, I believe I could have taken 20 minutes off my time, but no more.

If you are a speed and power athlete or simply train for speed and power, do you have endurance athletes challenging your fitness levels? This happens in my line of work — I am a personal trainer. I don’t buy into the metabolic training modalities, because the lack of recovery prevents peaking efforts in the speed-power-strength continuum. My methods produce greater muscularity in mass and quality than either, metabolic training or straight steady state aerobic exercise, while making small sacrifices in aerobic abilities on per unit of mass basis. In some ways, absolute aerobic capacity may be even higher, due to greater muscle mass.

In the 5 mile Boogie race in Aspen I was able to sustain a heart rate in the mid160s for more than 35 minutes. 220 – 54 = 166. Wait! Isn’t that the maximum heart rate for my age? Not for a long time. All of my students after training with me are able to sustain heart rates above that old guideline; mine is currently in the mid 180s, matching the abilities of those in their twenties. For this much longer test, starting 2000ft higher in altitude and going more than 6000 ft higher, with greater mileage, I did not wear a heart rate monitor. After training with me, and with a heart rate monitor for a couple of months, my students and I can generally tell, from perceived exertion, where their heart rate is. I am sure my rate went into the 170s, out of necessity, but I kept it in the 150s most of the way. Scott was able to keep his far lower and he did wear a monitor. Scott and I now have a heart rate safety margin; through training we have raised our redlines. Scott is discovering hidden potential in his effort to become a really good endurance athlete, by adding maximum anaerobic effort to his already sufficient Long Slow Distance (LSD) training. I expect a break out year from Scott next year.

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