14 December, 2009

Pierra Menta Is Coming

March 11-14, 2010, the most prestigious and unbelievable race in the world celebrates it's 25 year anniversary, Pierra Menta.  With 10,000 meters of elevation gain and loss, over four days, and through some of Europe's most rugged terrain is what makes it so legendary.   The key to this race is training long, and with consecutive days, in order for the body to get used to recovering for multiple big days at higher intensities. 

Stephen Brosse, 2006 Pierra Menta Champion, has built a specific training regime specifically for this race.  Here it is below:
Monday         -  Strength and recovery
Tuesday         -  Ski Intensity (90% of AT) 1 hour
Wednesday    -  LSD 4 hours
Thursday        -  Ski Intensity (90% of AT) 1 hour
Friday            -  LSD or recovery 1 hour
Saturday        -  LSD 4 hours
Sunday          -  LSD 4-6 hours

Keep in mind everything comes into play, nutrition, recovery, hydration, training, gear, teamwork, sleep, pacing, etc.  When all of these are perfected you are ready for anything.  Are you ready for Pierra Menta?


  1. Hi Alex,

    Having been a part of the American group that did the Pierra Menta last year, I have some comments and suggestions.

    1. 90% AT is the right pace (for racing 4 hours per day) but keep in mind this is a very moderate pace. Keep it at the right pace to make sure you get the right amount of time at this effort. Definitely a case when training too fast is counter-productive.
    2. I would work up to being up to 1 hour 30 at that pace with a workout like 3X30m a couple of weeks before the race.
    3. The back-to-back overdistance days (4hr+) are critical to teach your body to have hard efforts day after day.
    4. I would throw in 10-20 minutes of 90%AT pace into those over-distance days to teach your body to go at that pace 3 hours in.
    5. Focus on eating/hydration during/after each workout to make sure you're recovering. Critical in the PM.
    6. Each workout should be such that afterwards you say to yourself, "I could do that again tomorrow." Because with the PM, guess what, you are doing it again tomorrow.

    It'll be the racing experience of your life. Enjoy.

  2. Great comments Jason. Funny you should mention number 2, Stano Faban and myself were discussing this method, during a training session this morning. Thanks for the training methods and suggestions those will be fantastic for everyone to look at and implement into the training schedule!

  3. I used the 90% AT (Anaerobic threshold) pace workout with good returns last year, however, be careful as Jason says.

    This is actually the "zone 2" pace that most training methods call junk miles. I agree with that for the overall training, but I strongly believe there is a place and time for these efforts. In other words - not everything they teach you in school is such in real world :)

    Also, regarding the AT (anaearobic threshold), you can get that tested these days at lot of place. All places will establish your AT heart rate based on 4 millimoles of lactate in your blood. I believe this will be proved wrong (not very accurate) in the future, because there is no reason that AT is at that lactate level for all individuals. Whole another topic :)

  4. There is a great exercise physiologist here in Whistler, who has the ability to test you LT/AT in the field. I understand there is always a slight change with LT/AT in different sports. This way you can test for your exact LT/AT while skinning to get your most sport specific level.