Training for the Uphill Athlete by Steve House, Scott Johnston & Kílian Jornet
Outstanding book recommended to anyone interested in improving their fitness for endurance sports.
House and Johnston have years of training and coaching experience and together they own UphillAthlete.com which is an excellent resource itself.
Jornet is probably the most recognizable name in mountain running and skimo racing. He’s won all the big races and race-series in both disciplines and in May 2017 he climbed Everest twice in a week without supplemental oxygen. His training mileage and elevation gain is astonishing – the book explains how he developed his capacity and warns against trying to emulate his training volume without similar preparation.
For anyone interested in science this book is a very satisfying read. The authors don’t try to gloss over the technical details, instead they dive deep into explaining the different types of metabolic function and how you can train your system to increase aerobic capacity so you can run longer at a faster pace without fatigue.
Building upon the foundation of aerobic capacity and how to train it, House, Johnston and Jornet move to sport and event specific training with precise direction for muscular endurance sessions, strength training and speedwork. The focus is on mountain runners and skimo racers but the principals apply to any endurance athlete.
The authors understand that it’s counter-productive to offer specific training plans for readers to follow. Training history, target events, age, available time and other factors play such a big role that one size can’t fit all. Rather they offer strategies and suggestions that empower the reader to design their own training plan following the methodologies in the book. At the very least, having read the book, you can adjust your general schedule and expectations in order to improve that all-important aerobic base and then add in specific strength and economy work according to your sport and goals. And, via UphillAthlete.com you can get in touch with their coaching business and find an off-the-shelf or custom coaching plan to fit your goals.
Published by Patagonia the book is full of stunning images and punctuated with vignettes featuring stories from athletes about races, adventures, rehab and training.
Even if you don’t consider yourself an “Uphill Athlete” you will appreciate this book if you train for endurance and are curious for knowledge.