Obviously, this means I've got a great focus for actually climbing right now, just over three weeks to keep the intensity and get the arms fully into shape after a major lack of incentives in the past few months (terrible weather, no sport climbs to get on, work keeping me occupied, commuting to Ireland, etc.).
I thought I'd post what I'm doing for anyone interested....
For the past few months, and considering I did have a lot of events/activities going on, I've been using it as an incentive to really work on strength, namely steep burly problems. Naturally, I have good physique for small-hold-small-move problems but when the going gets big and far, I usuaully suffer, I don't have the built in power. So, the Climbing Works competition wall has been keeping me largely occupied with it's weird and wonderful problems on volumes.
Since mid-December with a vague idea I'd be away in February I started playing around on the circuit board - it's got numerous circuits from 6b to 8c (and some very subjective grading to go with them too :). Since January, I've been putting some proper time into them, and in the knowledge that Siurana is a small-hold venue, multiple laps on the medium size holds (around 7b I think), and working on some of the grade-8's extending them out progressively towards sending them.
I'm now also following a regular regimen of living on the Beastmaker woody they have, 4 metres of 45-degree overhanging punishment with the most appalling footholds imaginable (until the added some monsters this week bizarely!). This is now my power/bouldering/strength work - 60 to 90 minutes per evening (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursdays some weeks, Tuesdays and Thursdays only). I'll then follow this off with a bunch of laps on the circuit board with attempts to stay on for multiple laps. Lap the multiple 7b, 7c/+ into 7a+ into 6c, etc. for another 60-90 minutes.
And then to top it off, a bunch of pull-ups and front levers to finish it off (the woody and circuit board mainly work fingers/forearms so I'm conscious of keeping up any shoulder gains).
It's awesome, I must admit I actually love just training for the sake of training at certain times of the year. It's funny, I couldn't turn the key in my lock on Tuesday night when I got home becuase it's pretty stiff and my forearms were still smoking after the laps (had to lean into it with body weight to open it - LOL). And it's such an awesome feeling, knowing that you've pushed boundaries (do you test your edge regularly?)
The edge. The ever-changing boundary between what we can do, what we think we can do and what we’re afraid to do. And it changes for each of us every day. Every day.
We meet The Edge when we engage in challenge. We perform a delicate dance with The Edge every time we push ourselves. We take a small step outside our comfort zone. Then a step back to security and comfort. We look into the eyes of our partner, Risk, and step outside once again.
And there we are. Doing what we didn’t know we could. Surviving. Thriving. The dance continues as we maneuver through our boundaries, acknowledging fear and rediscovering our own capabilities.
So I encourage you all to go to your edge today. To dance freely and with joy. What will you discover? Where is your edge today?
I can only hope that it all pays off now when I get to Spain now. The big concerns are that it's still plastic I'm training on so it doesn't transfer directly to rock, and by doing circuits (and not routes) there's some not-so-ideal differences there too. Still though, I do know that when I turn up at the crag, I'll have done my absolute best to be prepared for it and that's all that matters.
There's one or two routes I'd like to return to and I'm debating a day on a route I worked years ago to see if there's any improvements (and which got onsighted by a Brit last week! - hardcore). I won't have time in only 5/6 days to start some serious efforts but I'll be happy to just benchmark myself on it for now. It'll be Naomi's first visit to Siurana also so it'll be fun just introducing her to that amazing location anyway!