Summary: French Alps Training Camp

We didn’t have a race goal this year coming into the French Alps.  Last year, we built up for Ultra Trail Monte Rosa Stage Race the whole summer.  Coming from several months training Muay Thai in Vietnam  which was short intensity training more focused on power and speed specifically for Muay Thai, the goal back in Chamonix is to build base again.  We added strength conditioning this summer on top of some running and a lot of hiking.

Strength conditioning in the gym is to maintain strength, stability and mobility mainly.  Combining the hour or two workouts in the gym does require some time to recover for the trails.  There were several days where we were pretty sore climbing up to 3,000 ft or 1,000 m then back down steep terrain.  It takes a day and sometimes two days for the “gym” soreness to subside before hitting the mountains again.  That really kept us more into hiking mode than running mode.  There was a shift in more focusing on muscular endurance rather than speed.  However,  as the weeks went by the legs felt better at a shorter timeframe which means recovery time was much more improved.  There was a need to balance recovery time around the combination of gym workouts, hiking and running.  Recovery time included cycling and easy walks to the village.  An average of one day off a week looking at our training trend.  There was no training plan but much more focus on consistency.  It’s good base building for 3 months.

On our way to India next week, we go into a transition week to acclimate living and training at 11,800 ft (5,454 m).  We have a race goal in November, Pong Yaeng Trail Run 44km in Thailand and a realistic race time goal to work for.  We have 7 weeks to build up for PYT.  Leh, India will be our training camp and it’s a live high, train high scenario which will be very interesting.  The same scenario we had in 2015 training for the Manali-Khardungla Cycling Championship Stage Race – crossing the trans Himalayan of India.  It is when I realize that it is possible to live high and train high.  However, the MKCC race was at high altitude compared to PYT which will be at sea level.  I learned a lot from the LHTH experience and hope to apply it to this year’s training camp in the land of many passes.  I’m really excited about that!

We are leaving France weighing 132 lbs (my weight) and 154 lbs (hunny’ weight) which is lighter by 3-4 lbs compared to 2016 and more so in 2015.  This is something we are very conscious about after our experience in 2015 in the French Alps – even though we were very active in the mountains, we have to be mindful of all the rich food France had to offer.  It was an eye-opener for us in 2015 that the older we get, the faster it is to gain weight!

So, this year we have our weight under control and hope to remain that way for the rest of our lives, seriously.  This year’s weight is really good with the power and strength output we currently have.  Both of us have gained some muscles from the strength maintenance.  This is what we wanted.

In the last few days, I’ve been doing a lot of research and readings about training to put a training plan together for Pong Yaeng Trail Run 44km.  I’m debating right now whether to subscribe to TrainingPeaks to manage our training in Ladakh for two months – enough for PYT.  In a few days, I’ll decide.  The benefits will be very good and I’ll be all geeky again which I enjoy very much.

Next week will be about transition and allowing the body to recover then begin to acclimate at high altitude.  If all goes well, training camp will start the week after.  I look forward to documenting our training towards PYT!

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