One more month and we will be in Leh, India. We just received our ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization) for India, that was quick! Leh is the most beautiful place I’ve ever been and the first time we were there in 2015 we were captivated by so much peace and history of the place. We’ve made arrangements with the same family we stayed with and I look forward to visiting them again.
The last time we were in our training camp in Leh, we were training for the gruesome Manali-Khardungla Cycling Championship stage race. The mountain bike stage race started in Manali crossing amazing passes in the trans-himalayas to Leh and then the final stage was a climb to the highest motorable road in India. All the passes were over 13,000 ft (3900 m).
Our training consisted of altitude acclimatization for more than a month before the race, a lot of miles of SFR on the bike (Slow Frequency Repetitions) and long climbs. We ran, hiked and put together a training plan for self-supported multi-day or “mini” stage race trips. It was an incredible experience and hard! We only had a backpack and our mountain bikes climbing over big passes and stayed in very remote villages meeting nomads and buddhist monks.
This year, our focus is training for Muay Thai and Boxing for Hunny. Much of the training in our French Alps training camp is focused on building strength, power and muscular endurance. This includes a lot of gym workout, plyometrics and sprints on the treadmill. On days not in the gym, we climb slow and long either running, hiking or cycling. This training is as demanding as our training here in the French Alps last year preparing our UTMR (Ultra Trail Monte Rosa), a trail running stage race in Switzerland that goes partly around Zermatt. That was an incredible race and unforgettable. Our bodies were pretty beat up from the short time training before the race but it did not disappoint.
There is no race goal this year, just building a good physical foundation for Muay Thai and Boxing training, a lot more of those SFRs and long steep hikes. It is fun and it makes a difference feeling strong during training sessions of pad work, drills, bag work etc. The more endurance and power we have, the better. We would also only be training once a day to allow full recovery for the next day. Two sessions for us doesn’t work quite well in terms of recovery physically and mentally. It is much more fun to put full energy of body, mind and heart into one good session.
In both here in the French Alps and in Leh, we train at altitude. In the French Alps, it’s not as high as Leh but it’s a good start before heading to Leh. In Leh, we sleep high and train high. Our training camp sits at 11,800 ft (3575 m) and in France, we sleep low but train high. We hike up to 8,000 ft (2400 m) the most in the French Alps, not any higher. Hope to get some acclimatization before landing in Leh.
It will be interesting to see the results once we head back to Thailand. There are a lot of things happening in the body living and training at over 11,000 ft! It’s so fascinating…