Anyone combine running with climbing?

Hi all,

Running is probably my major interest and when I come back from injury I want to take my running a lot more seriously (and carefully). I also enjoy rock climbing, hillwalking, winter climbing and mountaineering in general. I'm off to the Himalayas in October to climb Baruntse and Mera Peak, which means 35 days away from proper training. But was wondering if anybody else on here enjoys mountaineering, and whether you manage to combine it with your running training? Do you find they complement each other? I've always struggled to be happy with combining the two, as a long day hillwalking doesn't really count as a quality session and means I need a day of rest after and rock climbing requires extra muscle mass for upper body strength to be good at it (which I want to be).

It's almost a debate about which sport I want to be best at and take priority over the others, but I want to be able to do them all to an extent.

Thoughts please image


  • I don't do climbing but I do static trapeze, which requires some of the same kinds of strength. I think it is probably true that I have slightly more muscle in my shoulders and back than I'd need to be carrying around for running. However, it's also very good for core strength, so I wouldn't say it's entirely uncomplementary. However, I only aim to be moderately good at both and to enjoy them, so don't feel the need to specialise.

  • I'm no expert on the requirements of rock climbing but all the best climbers I've seen look to be extremely lean and slim, which suggests to me you don't particularly need to bulk up your upper body in order to have the required strength.  I've had a go on an indoor wall not so long ago and apparently did OK for a novice.  (Met my match on the 5+ if that means anything to you?!)

    It might be worth experimenting with combining sessions just to see what you can cope with.  For example, you say a day of climbing doesn't count as a quality session, but if that's the case, surely you can manage a run the next day, allbeit on stiff legs?  Getting used to doing back-to-back sessions like this will bring on your fitness.  It's what I do to some extent with running and cycling.

  •  As a climber and recent convert to running, I’ve found that climbing helps maintain my core strength - mainly because I struggle to motivate myself to do core strength exercises or visit the gym.  With the mountaineering, you may find the altitude affecting your appetite and influencing any kind of nutrition plans.  When I get up Kilimanjaro I ended up losing over a stone.  On the other hand, you might be able to use the mountaineering as altitude training in your running program? - I think I saw a thread on altitude training somewhere?

  • I'm half decent at bouldering, and getting less rubbish at running, so i don't think the two are antagonistic. There's no reason for you to drop something you enjoy doing so you can see some marginal benefit in running, if anything. Do all the things you enjoy and find a balance between them. It wasn't really until i hit 30 that I stopped taking for granted that I have a fully functioning body that enables me to do lots of things I enjoy.

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