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Training for the Uphill Athlete: A Manual for Mountain Runners and Ski Mountaineers

Training for the Uphill Athlete: A Manual for Mountain Runners and Ski Mountaineers


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Like best-selling Training for the New Alpinism, Training for the Uphill Athlete translates theory into methodology to allow you to write your own training plans and coach yourself to your endurance goals. This is the only book that presents training principles for athletes who regularly participate in distance running, ski mountaineering, skimo, and other sports that require optimum fitness and customized strength. Trail running, ski mountaineering, skimo, and ultra running are increasingly popular all over the world. This book collects the scientifically backed and athlete-tested wisdom and experience of the best uphill athletes and educates outdoor athletes to develop plans to perform their best.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781938340840
Publisher: Patagonia
Publication date: 03/12/2019
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 135,421
Product dimensions: 7.40(w) x 10.20(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Steve House is a world renowned climber, mountain guide, and Patagonia Ambassador, widely regarded for his light-and-fast style. He has published articles in a number of periodicals, and he is the author of Beyond the Mountain (Patagonia Books, 2009). He lives in Ridgway, CO.

Scott Johnston, who grew up in Boulder, CO, has ski raced on a national and international level and is an avid climber. He currently coaches several of the nation’s top cross country skiers, and climbs, establishing local climbing routes in and around his home town of Mazama, WA, in the North Cascades, where he lives.

Kílian Jornet is a professional sky runner, trail runner, ski mountaineer and long-distance runner. He is a six-time champion of the long-distance running Skyrunner World Series and has won some of the most prestigious ultramarathons, including the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, Grand Raid, the Western States Endurance Run and the Hardrock Hundred Mile Endurance Run.

Jornet holds the fastest known time for the ascent and descent of Matterhorn, Mont Blanc, Denali and Everest.

Table of Contents

  • Foreword: TK
  • Chapter 1: How to Use This Book
  • Section 1 The Physiological Basis of Endurance Training
  • Chapter 2: The Physiology of Endurance
  • Section 2 The Methodology of Endurance Training
  • Chapter 3: The Principles of Endurance Training
  • Chapter 4: Important Concepts, Terms and Principles
  • Chapter 5: Monitoring Your Training
  • Chapter 6: The Application Process: Where Theory Meets Reality
  • Section 3 Strength Training for The Uphill Athlete
  • Chapter 7: Strength Training for the Uphill Athlete
  • Chapter 8: Core Strength
  • Chapter 9: Strength Training
  • Section 4 How to Train
  • Chapter 10: Programming
  • Chapter 11: Transition Period Training
  • Chapter 12: Base Period Introduction (for both running and skiing)
  • Section 5: Planning Your Training
  • Chapter 13: Training Planning for SkiMo Team and Individual Races
  • Chapter 14: Base Training for Mountain Runners


We wrote this book to share three lifetimes of knowledge on the science and methodology of endurance training. But we need to start with a disclaimer: Collectively, the three of us have made all the training mistakes and a few of them more than once. We know from painful firsthand experience just as much about how not to train effectively as we have learned about how to train correctly. There are many more ways to train wrong than right. While learning from your own mistakes is the best teacher it is painful and perhaps more importantly, a terrible waste of time. By steering you around the pitfalls and danger areas we hope to save you the wasted days and weeks, to say nothing of the heartbreak of ineffective training. Over the accumulated decades that we have been training and coaching we have been able to refine our approach and want to share this with you in these pages.

The study of any subject is best managed within a framework. We hope to establish that intellectual framework within which to dissect what is a complex topic. Even though none of this material is overly complex there are a lot of topics covered and we don’t expect you to absorb all the information presented here in one reading. It is our hope that you will use this book as reference manual to guide your training over many seasons as you apply what we have spent decades learning. No single part of the book is meant to stand alone. Each section is supported by the preceding ones and as such supports the subsequent parts.

We start in Section 1 with a look at The Physiological Basis of Endurance Training. Despite the limitations of idealized scientific studies, they can still provide us with a better understanding of the whys even if they can’t help us so much with the whats or hows. These last two are where endurance training becomes more art than science. And like any art or craft it can only be learned by diligent practice.

In Section 2, which we call The Methodology of Endurance Training, we identify and explain numerous concepts that, if understood and applied correctly, will make you a better athlete or coach. These are the tools in your tool box. Knowing which tool is appropriate for each task is what makes the master artisan. The range of topics here is as broad as it is deep and this is the area of the book that we suppose will be the one you go back to over and over again to refresh your knowledge.

Section 3 is devoted to Strength Training for The Uphill Athlete. We demystify strength in terms most applicable to endurance athletes as opposed to weight lifters

By the time we get to Section 4 we will be focusing on How to Train. Here we talk about how to categorize, design, and structure workouts as well as how to mix them depending on what you want to achieve. All the previous information will be brought into play as we show you how to progress from very basic, but essential aerobic capacity building to the specific speed endurance required for your event.

Finally, in Section 5 we roll up our sleeves and dig into Planning Your Training and give several example plans you can use for guidance or apply directly to your own training.

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