Monday, September 27, 2010

WFH: Back On The Board

Moving into the final phases of the Workout From Hell consists of, finally, doing a lot of climbing. No matter how you train for climbing it’s never going to be effective without doing a lot of climbing. It’s such a subtle sport that nothing prepares you for it like doing it, and doing it a lot. Because without climbing regularly not only does you kinesthetic movement suffer but more simple factors, like having ample skin thickness for hanging sharp holds and pain tolerance and wearing tight boots will keep you from applying the strength gains you’ve made.

On Saturday I warmed up at a cliff then came home and got on the board (home boulder wall) for the first time since last winter. I went through my training circuits and easily did each problem. Then did some of my harder problems, most of which went fairly easily. I stopped prior pushing myself too hard as my skin and fingers aren’t up to intense movements yet.

Two things were clear: one that my base fitness is stronger than it’s been in years and the other is that I feel so awkward that I may have left this final phase a little late. It takes a while to transfer fitness onto the rock and my schedule is hectic right now, meaning I get out less than normal so I can’t spend whole days climbing and the transition will be a bit slower than normal. This isn’t a huge deal as I can always push the season a little longer. When our weather gets bad there are generally climbable windows well into December.

Here’s the overview plan to put the WTH to use in the climbing season:

Part I is two to three (or even four if it’s going well) weeks of climbing hard three days per week. For me this means trying to onsight and redpoint at my limit so that I finish each day tired. If climbing two days on, like on a weekend, I like to work routes at or above my limit on day one and then do mileage on day two.

One full body (but not climbing specific) PAP workout per week (probably on Monday). This is cross training to keep preparing for next year’s agenda (more on this specifically later).

The mid week climbing day will also have some training around it. I’m experimenting with PAP as a part of actual climbing performance and will post what this consists of if I find that it works.

One or two days of running, riding, adventuring each week. Two if they are shorter days, maybe only one if it’s a long outing. This is moderate exercise that serves a threefold purpose: prepare for next year, help lose weight for climbing, have fun (since this stuff is kind of what I live for).

A few yoga sessions per week.

During this period I’ll pick a few projects that seem doable this fall. Part II will then be to concoct a short training cycle (similar to this one) and finish my season by trying them.

pic: peter croft ropeless on the rostrum. he calls is mileage, more call it adventure, most call it madness.

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