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Photo by Marko Prezelj Steve House approaching the Sphinx Wall, Triglav’s North Face, Slovenia. July 2015.

By Steve House

Training doesn’t have to be complex. In it’s most simple form, training is:

  1. Exertion
  2. Rest
  3. Repeat

Despite the appearances given by our book, Training for the New Alpinism, I often don’t train with a specific plan. It helps that I did so for over a decade, that I can feel what I need to do. So this is what it feels like to me.

Exert: I train at an exertion level where I can nose-breathe basically all the time. OK, if I get to a short hill I may have to mouth breathe for a bit, but I transition back to nose-breathing asap. I only do hard and fast aerobic work in the context of a real training plan. This needs to be carefully planned.

Rest: Eat 300 calories within 30 minutes. (I use the GU Recovery Brew product for simplicity.) Get to bed on time. Sleep 8 hours, minimum.

Repeat: I repeat, do another workout, when I feel my body is rested and stronger than it was the last time I trained. If I trained for my typical 60-90 minutes, I can easily train again the next day if I had adequate rest. If I trained for longer I usually need 1-2 days as a minimum.

Strength: I do strength train twice a week unless I’m doing a lot of hard (in terms of the grade) climbing. It is important to remember that it’s much easier to maintain what you have than gain (or re-gain) strength). Maintenance is important and, relatively, easy.


Photo by Marko Prezelj; Steve House approaching the Sphinx Wall, Triglav’s North Face, Slovenia. July 2015.


2 Sep 2015
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