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7 Summits – Aconcagua Prep 5: Training and Diet

Good Tuesday morning to you,

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you a very Happy and Prosperous New Year!

With less than two weeks to my departure for Aconcagua this is the most nervous and exciting time for me. I’m nervous of catching the annual flu, nervous of injury, nervous of catching any bugs and nervous of air traffic controller strikes. I am however most excited about the adventure that lies ahead; the new gear have been ordered, I’m checking and re-checking the required gear list, and packing and re-packing. I usually pack and repack at least six times!

Thankfully this year, training has been kind to me and no serious injuries have been picked up. Having ended another very satisfying competitive triathlon, adventure racing, running, and sportive season there was no down time at all.

After summiting Kilimanjaro successfully in August, I almost immediately began to prepare for my next climb – the 4th of my 7 Summit Challenge – Aconcagua.

Concentration switched to specific strengthening, conditioning and stamina training while also continuing with my normal protein, carb and moderate caloric low fat diet.

Having more or less finalised expedition details and dates in October my training schedule was increased from one to two sessions daily, 6 days a week. My initial early morning session was either a 10km run or a 30km bike ride. My afternoon/evening session concentrated on strength circuits; burpees, sit-ups, press-ups, weights, TRX, spinning etc. which lasted anything from 45 to 75 minutes.

I can now no longer pool swim as the chlorine affects my sinuses and I try and get to the mountains as much as is possible – no better training for the mountains as being in the mountains!

A healthy diet combined with such a relentless regime is very important. I have found that a high protein and carb diet suits me and my recovery best with care, not too many calories and no bad fats! I take Optimum Nutritionals product from Amino’s, Protein/Recovery Powers and Bars. Optimum Nutritionals have been a stalwart sponsor of mine since 2014 – thank you Team ON!

Hydration is paramount, as is sleep. I am an 8 hour sleeper and while I do enjoy the earlier start to accommodate my training and I’m not a great serial TV watcher I’d be heading to bed around 9pm! 

Left: LoughKey Triathlon (Swim) Right: Quest Killarney Adventure 73km Race
Early morning training session

I’m already looking forward to my down time after summiting; no training, no food or drinks restrictions, and rest when I return in early February.

Take Care and Keep Your Dreams Alive!

Derek