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02 Connie Sciolino: It doesn't matter how fast you can go if you can't get back home

Mountain Sense

Mountain Sense is a podcast that gets behind the scenes in the world of mountain professionals.  Guests include guides, outdoor educators, avalanche forecasters, SAR team members, athletes, trainers, and more.  Whether you are a fledgling guide worried about glacial abatement, or a grizzled rope slinger more concerned with personal hairline abatement, or a recreational climber and skier looking to gain some insight and entertainment from the world of mountain guides, or one of the bravest of the brave who put up with our crap as loved ones and partners, this show is worth your time.  Joking aside, the bottom line is we all want to have fun in the mountains and come home safely.  Mountain Sense is here to dig into the mindset that the top professionals use to achieve that goal, and disseminate it out to a broader audience.

02 Connie Sciolino: It doesn't matter how fast you can go if you can't get back home

Eddie Schoen



In episode 02 I sit down with Connie Sciolino, head coach and founder of Boulder's notorious Alpine Training Center.  For mountain professionals, fitness is a crucial attribute when it comes to getting our job done safely and effectively.  There is a lot of misunderstanding within our community when it comes to training, especially on the DIY side.  Connie has worked with athletes like Aaron Mulkey, Conrad Anker, and many of Boulder's humblest, under-the-radar mountain sport crushers.  As Connie alludes to, her objective is not to create future olympic athletes.  The demographic of her athletes is mostly 30+, working professionals, who have a serious dedication to their sport.  Be it Skimo racers, endurance runners, mountain bikers, or guides the community of athletes you will find at the ATC all possess a common attitude.  Humble, yet confident.  Committed to their sports, but almost all juggling a demanding professional life which leaves little time to waste.  Looking to perform at the top of their game, while preventing or dealing with injuries that are a reality for anyone continually pushing their body to its limits.  At the core of it all, Connie wants her athletes to be able to play in their sports as long as possible.  The age range of athletes who show up to the ATC on a daily basis is a huge testament to that.  I am continually humbled and inspired by fellow ATC athletes, some nearly twice my age, who are continually kicking my ass in the workouts.  

If this doesn't sound like the type of training you need, then I wouldn't bother listening to this one.  If you are looking to increase your durability, resistance to injury, and want to do your job day in and day out and still have enough energy in reserve should you be faced with a worst case scenario, or just to come home and spend quality time with your loved ones after a long stretch of days in the mountains, then this is worth your time.  My favorite quote from Connie in this one is that "It doesn't matter how fast you can go if you can't get back home."  If you only have an hour to spend at the gym, there are some subtle but critical adjustments you can likely focus on that could make a world of difference in the long run.  Taking a strategic approach to your limited training time is one of the best investments you can make in your longevity, safety, and fun factor in the mountains.  

Find out more about Connie and the ATC:

Try out Connie's foundational strength and sport specific programs on the Train Heroic app:

I have personally used Connie's programming on this app during times of the year when I can't make it into the gym consistently.  These programs are designed to give the same results as training in-person at the ATC, but with the equipment found in a typical commercial gym (ie, Planet Fitness, Life Time, hotels, etc).   Once you purchase a program, most of which are six-weeks in length, you have access for one year.  I often go back and cherry pick workouts when I am traveling short-term and need a quick fix. 

Find the Alpine Training Center on facebook, Connie often posts workouts on the gym's facebook page as well which is another resource I commonly use when I am away from Boulder and need to get a quick workout in.