The first is that you need to work every single day at being great at that one thing if you want to be great....taken from an amazing post on BrazenCareerist.com about being expert
To start with, I'm asking that this is a two-way discussion - if you think I could be doing something better, harder, less often, whatever, please comment or email me to air your thoughts. I know far from all the knowledge there is on training methods so share with you all so you can feed back in return! And if there's any pro coaches that want to take me under their wing, you know where to find me :)
Secondly, this is transferable to trad, my primary focus right now is for sport routes. Imagine reducing the amount of pump you get while on that trad route?!?!?
Before planning exactly what I was doing each week, I basically take a rough draft of what trips I'd planned for the year:
Summer: unknown, but multi-week trip somewhere
Following on from this, I was able to judge that I had roughly 6 weeks from the beginning of January, then another 7-ish weeks till April, and then another similar time-frame before the summer. There's another trip planned after this, but I'll decide the 2nd half of the year closer to the date once I re-evaluate my performance.
Obviously Christmas was a nice excuse for a break, so I tied onto this that I would start off with a consolidation phase to begin with for my endurance - I've been climbing relatively consistently for the past few months so was happy with by-passing a month of just easy mileage as I essentially did this after my lay-off in October - get a good grounding and prepare for higher-intensity work from the return after the first trip. This has mainly involved two sessions a week of double laps on a grade (not including a warm-up route or two) that I'm relatively solid on, but would push me a bit.
For me, this is a 7a-ish route - a grade I can onsight comfortably more often than not - and mixing it across three different routes at the wall. One slightly overhanging crimpy, one steep and one slightly overhanging pocket-y. I was not getting the full 10 routes immediately, maybe about 7 (especially if I was doing a lot of the crimpy one which pumps me stupid) but fell off the last hold of the last route for the first time on Tuesday (6 steep 7a's and 4 of the crimpy routes). So, I'm seeing progress.
In short, if you can do it all on the first night, you've probably set it soft. If you can barely manage the first route, let alone two back-to-back, you might want to give your ego a kick up the arse and be realistic :) Expect to use one, maybe two, nights just getting the balance right....
These sessions normally fall on a Tuesday and one of the weekend days. Alongside this, I've been bouldering on Thursdays for definite, on the other weekend day (outdoors if the weather is being kind), and using the fingerboard twice a week - 5/6 days (I find one of the fingerboard sessions can be mixed in on an evening of bouldering) in total. I'll elaborate more on this in the next post....
Once this period is up and it's mid-February, i.e. (after next week), I'll then start just projecting hard routes until Siurana. Close to my limit and aim for 3-5 goes on it per night.
And once Siurana is complete, I'll then be hopefully projecting routes outdoors by then so will just continue to consolidate in this fashion, although probably with something similar to my January session, only on harder routes.
Lessons Learned from previous climbing:
- I've tried doing easy 30 min laps (then rest 10, and repeat for 2-3 hours) of a climbing wall (just traversing) as basic arm fitness at the start of a training block and found it quite a nice way to kick off a batch of training, if a little boring if you forget the ipod and a bunch of music and podcasts :) For anyone who does want a nice basic level of fitness, this can be pretty useful - I'm sure it'd transfer to big multi-pitching very well. Many of those who started climbing with me will remember this is vaguely comparable to what we used to do at DCU's climbing wall by attempting a number of traverses back-to-back.... I don't feel I need it right now as I haven't had a long enough lay-off so I skipped this block.
- I used to turn up with just a goal to do as many routes as possible in a night and of any grade. In the end, you spent most of your time chatting, and picking the easier routes cause you flash pumped on the first route of the night :) Nowadays, I always turn up with a set grade range in mind (e.g. currently 6c+ - 7a+).
- Make sure your belayer is keen on the same sort of session, or else just doesn't mind belaying you if they only do single routes - if not, you'll get nothing done either. Having said that, if you DO find someone who's intrested, you'll both feed off each other and see some fab gains by the summer months......
Good training books from Amazon:
9 Out of 10 Climbers Make the Same Mistakes: Navigation Through the Maze of Advice for the Self-coached Climber
Self-Coached Climber: The Guide to Movement, Training, Performance