Training for a multi hour endurance effort in the mountains normally requires many hours of training to achieve your best performance. But for those people who have busy lives during the week it can be hard to get the long training hours in. This often results in people not doing anything at all, as if they can’t get an hours or longer training session done they don’t bother.
But there’s a lot you can achieve in a short time frame that can supplement your longer training sessions at the weekend. You’ll still need to get that multi hour training session done during the weekend, but adding some strength and higher intensity work during the week doesn’t need to take up too much time and is very efficient.
For shorter strength sessions at home, don’t think of them as a “cardio” session, but as a pure strength/power training. In half an hour or less you could do some body weight squats, single leg dead lifts and press-ups. All good for the core and legs. Take your time between “sets”, let the heart rate drop again, so you’re ready for another quality set. Try; 10 squats, 5 dead lifts and 10 press-ups. Have a two or three minute rest and then repeat up to five times. After two of these sessions you could then increase the reps (number of moves) whilst still keeping the sets to four or five.
If you’ve got a bit more time for a run or bike ride then rather than a slow jog or ride try a higher intensity session. After a good warm up of 10-15mins, go at a “comfortably hard” pace for ten minutes, 5 minutes rest and then repeat again. You could build up to three of these intervals. After two sessions of three harder intervals, try dropping back to one interval, but a twenty minute one. Then the following session could be 10 min warm up, 20min interval, 5min rest, 20min interval and then a 5 – 10 minute cool down. That’s a pretty solid session, and you would need to build up to that.
A weekly programme of one strength session, one harder intensity bike or run followed by a longer session (or two) at the weekend is a pretty good combination. Try to find the time for the mid week training, it’ll pay dividends once you get to the mountain.