Podcast Episode April 14, 2021

Episode 37 | Endurance Training for Backpackers

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In this episode, Ryan chats with Dirk Friel, co-founder of TrainingPeaks, about endurance training for backpackers and how to get the most out of limited training time. Also in this episode: hiking in a post-Covid world, wilderness permits, bear-canister compatible packs, synthetic insulation, and more.

a luxuriously bearded man rests after running up a snowy hill
Co-host Andrew Marshall participating in some loaded winter endurance training. Credit: Rachael Shaw Marshall


Catching Up

Gear and New Favorite Things

Dirk Friel Interview

  • TrainingPeaks is a subscription-based software that helps you analyze your fitness data and plan your training
  • Why should backpackers care about endurance training?
  • Altitude and how to train for it
  • Performance output metrics
  • The three endurance training metrics
  • Which fuels your body burns at what point in your effort
  • What happens when your heart rate and pace decouple
  • High-intensity interval training and how it impacts endurance
  • Training for a New Alpinism: A Manual for the Climber as Athlete
  • Training for the Uphill Athlete
  • Dirk’s recommendations for targeted training
  • Progression and modulation
  • Heat training and adaptation and its effects on endurance
  • Strategic macro-nutrient intake
  • Examining different endurance scenarios: periodic week-long efforts, thru-hiking, FKT attempts
  • A-efforts vs. B-efforts vs. C-efforts
  • TrainingPeaks and how it can help
  • The power of data collection
  • CORE Body Temperature Monitoring
  • Dirk’s thoughts on WHOOP
  • The advantages of getting expert level instruction
  • What’s new for TrainingPeaks

Interview Follow-up Conversation

  • Training the gut
  • Listening to your body
  • a body-scan meditation practice can help you get in tune with your body
  • hot weather adaptation

What’s New at BPL?

  • Website update!

In the Forums

Related Content

About the Backpacking Light Podcast


More Episodes

Feedback, Questions, Tips?


  • Backpacking Light - Executive Producer
  • Ryan Jordan - Director and Host
  • Chase Jordan - Producer
  • Look for Me in the Mountains - Music


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(Updated April 9, 2024)

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Home Forums Episode 37 | Endurance Training for Backpackers

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  • #3708901
    Backpacking Light


    Locale: Rocky Mountains

    Companion forum thread to: Episode 37 | Endurance Training for Backpackers

    Ryan and Andrew chat with Dirk Friel, co-founder of TrainingPeaks, about how to get the most out of your endurance training.

    BPL Member


    This post was reported by our community for violating our forum guidelines, reviewed by our moderators, and has been removed. – BPL

    John L


    Lol my neighbor did “elk fit” last year, walking up my inclined street doing lunges and pushups with a loaded pack….he got ripped

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