From slouch-potato to expedition fit in 3months? Is it possible?

Basic hill-fitness to expedition fit in just three months? Can I do it? Well, I’ve just signed up for a place on a rather special ski-mountaineering expedition this December, so I’d better be able to, as I really want to enjoy that trip!!

Though first of all, I ought to say that I’m not a couch-potato in the conventional sense of the word. Just that I’m not very fast going up hills, and currently am feeling less fit than ideal. Hence my invention of the term “slouch-potato” – it’s a kind of basic level of outdoors fitness, that means you get left behind very quickly by those who run or are mountaineering-fit! But with this ski-touring expedition in mind, I’m in a bit of a hurry to change that, and get properly expedition-fit!

I’ve been looking at various sites, of which triathlon ones seem to be the most useful so far.  Some things seem to be common to most, so I guess they must have some basis.

  • Fitness does not mean exercise every day! Rest days seem just as important, especially after the harder training sessions.
  • Specific fitness is needed – so as I need to be mountain fit, I need to do mountain training. And ideally ski-touring itself. For now though, walking will have to substitute for skiing at the moment though – we’re a bit lacking in snow in Derbyshire in August!
  • Cross training also seems to be important. So just as I need to do specific uphill stuff to get the uphill muscles working I also need to work on more general fitness and make sure that the opposing muscles to those that are really needed are semi-fit too – that’ll reduce risk of injury.
  • It takes time – increasing training should be done gradually – with a 10% increase in distance, time or difficulty commonly recommended as max per week
  • Running seems to be an inevitable part of training 🙁 I was afraid I’d discover this, but I guess it’s just something I’ll have to bite the bullet on.

I’ll be updating this blog and/or tweeting as I progress – wish me luck, I think I’m going to need it! Week 2 follows here