Posts Tagged 'Training'



Getting back to training

It has been a good week of training, even if I haven’t been climbing as much as I would like.

3 solid sessions of 30-45 min cardio followed by antagonist exercises (underarm and between the shoulders) and 4 different rotator cuff exercises to strengthen my shoulder joint.

Today was especially good, I felt light and strong through my run, and I am getting the hang of the rotator cuff exercises which makes the sets quicker and more effective.

The plan for tomorrow is to get in some time on the fingerboard, with leg lifts and deadhangs to compensate for the lack of climbing. Sunday will hopefully bring a solid bike ride for some serious cardio. I will not be bouldering since next week looks action packed with rope climbing. Really looking forward to 3-4 days on the rock. It will really test my elbows, and with that many days I should be able to really work a project. Maybe Muffin Man will teach me a few tricks?

Only time will tell.

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Instructor now

I had promised to go bouldering with Maaz and Dan today, and even though I’ve been sick all week I felt quite a bit better this morning (probably thanks to the morphine cough medicine I’m taking), so off to the gym I went.

My shoes were tight as new again. Killer for my toes. Lucky I remembered to cut my nails the night before. I had completely forgotten how uncomfortable my shoes were the first couple of weeks I had them… And as soon as I got close to getting winded, this deadly cough shook my body to the core, and I had to rest. So I didn’t pull a lot of moves.

However, I did act as an instructor of basic techniques for Maaz and Dan. Maaz is one dangerously strong dude, but he has no foot work. Yet. When he does get the technique down, I doubt he will be able to find anything he can’t climb.

We covered edge moves and drop knees, and they both seemed to be revelations for 2 guys who previously just grabbed and pulled like mad. Flags will be next session I think.

It was fun to play teacher for someone willing to learn, and rapid improvements were made. Now they just need to practice it, so they remember in the heat of the moment.

And, also very important, I made some pretty hard pulls (all though not many in a row) and I felt absolutely no discomfort in my elbows. Fantastic stuff. Great relief!

Season is finally underway.

Adding a few action pics from the day.

Climbing season drawing near

Another week gone by. Spring is here. Did my postal route in shorts on thursday and friday. Friday was excellent, amazing weather, the first really warm day of the season. Psyched about climbing soon, and happy to be a mailman and get to be outside so much of my working day.

Training went well. When I started my new strength training regime I never thought I would squat 55 kilos with free weights after only a month. But I did on friday, and it felt great. Getting excited about adding weight every time now, and I have to step off soon to avoid adding too much bulk. But I will run with it for a while to keep smiling.

Today I had planned to go skiing, and the weather is absolutely gorgeous for it, but my back is aching after a long day in the car and at the mall yesterday, so I will just walk the dog and hope to be ready for training tomorrow. I’m sure I will be. I will it so.

In 2 weeks I have planned my first bouldering session since october. Going with a couple of friends, Dan “The Joker” and Maaz. I’m excited about getting into it again, wish it was today, but determined not to rush anything. Nothing is going to ruin what promises to be an amazing season.

And if the weather holds, there will be outdoor climbing really soon. I’m dying to feel some rock under my hands now, and it just can’t come soon enough. Watching climbing videos and dreaming. Yep, the bug is still here and still strong.

Also, I have been reading about the whole FRFM mess with Chris Sharma and Nalle Hukkataival. It is really impressive how big a deal it has become. But hopefully we can get a decent red tag debate in the aftermath.

My view is that if you see it, bolt it, clean it, and work it, then a project is invitation only. It is incredible to me that a large part of the climbing community seems to feel that the work put into creating a route is irrelevant, and that once the bolts are up, any line is up for grabs. Like the work done to prepare the line is some kind of community service, like a public road or something. Well it is and it isn’t. Here is why.

I’m writing this from the perspective of a 5.10 climber, but I belive my view will not change as I develop and become a high level climber (which I am determined to do). Unless you’re opening a new crag for the local club and putting up tons of routes or similar circumstances, then seeing a line, cleaning it, and bolting it, is all done with the end in mind. And that end is the first ascent. It does not matter if it is 5.8 or 5.15b, as long as the outfitter sees it as a challenge. Actually more than a challenge, in fact, his/her challenge. And as long as reasonable work is put into it, I think the outfitter has the right to significant time to complete the first ascent.

It is after all a very personal project, and even if it is closed for a while, it will benefit the climbing community for years after. I really don’t see why it has to be a free for all as soon as the glue is hard. Apart from the development of routes for a climbing club, bolting routes is done by very few people, and I really think it is important to understand the motivation behind it. After all, without people bolting routes, we’d all climb trad, and the diversity and development of the sport would suffer for it.

To “steal” a first ascent is disrespectful to the outfitter, and ultimately selfish. To claim any other motivation than ego for such an act is either a blatant lie or delusional.

Of course it could be said that climbing itself is ultimately selfish, and I can’t really argue with that, but I really hope it is possible to treat fellow climbers and outfitters with respect and feed your own ego at the same time.

So for me, red tagging is not only kosher, but an integral part of route development. Without it the diversity of routes will surely suffer. Climber, disrespect it at your peril.

To clarify, red tagging is putting a bit of red string on the first bolt of a route, signalling to other climbers that it is a closed project.

It is not like there is a shortage of rock in the world. If there is any kind of shortage, it is of developed rock. So if you want a new route to climb, get a drill, find some rock, and put up your own damn line. Don’t be a punk, be an outfitter.

In the case of Chris Sharma and his project First Round First Minute, it is even more cut and dry to me. Chris has worked on it for over a year, and is seconds away from sending it (last move left). It is an artists masterpiece. Even more reason to respect it, and though Nalle says he respects it, he takes passive aggressive stabs at Chris in his blog.

A lot of arguments back and forth in the commentary to both blogs, for and against red tagging, for and against Chris or Nalle, yet most seem to lose sight of the real issue. It is not about whether it was ok for Chris to ask Nalle to back off, yet let his buddies climb on the route. It is about respecting the outfitters vision and effort.

It should be pretty clear that I am siding with Chris on this. He is pushing the sport forward by developing new and cutting edge routes. Of course I will support his right to do the first ascent. If Nalle wants to climb the hardest route in the world, he should find some the rock and bolt it himself, or wait for Chris to finish FRFM. In the meantime he can climb Es Pontas or Jumbo Love which are still unrepeated.

Without guys like Chris Sharma and his outfitting peers, there would be no routes for guys like Adam Ondra and their like to climb, who travel around doing second and third ascents of the hardest routes.

I have added links to Nalle and Chris stating their side of the story so you can make up your own mind about it, if you want to. 😉

Nalle stating his side.

Chris stating his side.

Finally, I have decided to get into some of the ethical and philosophical sides of climbing, so there might be a post here and there about issues like bolt or not, preclipping the first bolt, and I will likely revisit red tagging. I apologize in advance for any heart burn, anger, disappointment or boredom it may result in for the reader.

Easter week

Managed to keep up with my training even though I had the week off and felt more like being really lazy, so I’m pretty pleased with that. Also managed to get some skiing done, although not the 60 km I was hoping for.

Stopped at 45 km over three days because of shit conditions and lack of waxing know how. But I got to spend a night in a tent, which was good, and it was really hard going, so I figure I burned a few calories. And I forgot to check the battery on the camera before I went, and it died after a couple of snaps, none worthwhile, so unfortunately, no winter wonderland pics. Next time.

Yesterday and today I was really low on energy, or motivation (sometimes it is hard to tell the difference) but I got through my workouts and actually looking forward to tomorrows interval training. Hope I feel the same way tomorrow afternoon…

Now I am desperate to climb. Last two weeks of april I will put in a few sessions of indoor bouldering. Even indoor climbing seems like a dream to me now. But I don’t want to rush it. Actual climbing is right around the corner!

2 entertaining weeks

Well it has been a couple of entertaining weeks. Training has gone well. My weight training program is getting really hard, and I have felt some discomfort in my right knee, but not while I am working out. I think it is the volume of squats I have been doing that causes the discomfort. I ran a hard interval training session yesterday, and the knee is actually better today, so I am keeping my fingers crossed that it is not a major problem. I am fresh out of patience for such things these days.

I’m hitting new personal bests every time I lift now, and especially the deadlifts have been a revelation. Technique is worth a lot, it seems. But still can’t do the damn chin ups, and it bothers me a lot, since I could do one on my fingerboard this fall. Amazing how that kind of strength has dropped from 4 months of no climbing and training. I will get over the hump though, and once I do, I will be racking them suckers up like it is going out of fashion.

Running has been good to me as well, I can do 10k in one hour consistently, and I’m juicing up my interval training as well, so that part of my training is uplifting for sure.

In between all this training and work, I managed to get hooked on The Wire, and watched all 5 seasons in a couple of weeks. Took a lot of time, and the only place I could get it from was sleep. So I have been a little sleepy lately. Fortunately, I’m done with it now, and can get back to 8-9 hour nights.

Easter is skiing for me. I am going to do about 60k over the next three days. That should burn a bit of fat I expect. So close to my next target of 80 kg I can smell it. Maybe monday?

Interval training ftw!

Did my first session of 4×4 interval training today, and it was hard but really good.

4 minutes on the treadmill, 4 minutes on the bike 4 times. 32 minutes all in all. Ended the last interval on the treadmill with pulse of 179. Should be pretty damn close to max, and I was completely empty after. But it felt great to just put it all in and not look back.

And so a new tool is added to the training toolkit. Once a week intervals, and 2 long runs/skiing will be the new cardio setup. Also looking forward to the next session of Stronglift 5×5 tomorrow. Exciting times.

Rest week almost over

I have felt tired and lazy all week, and I am really looking forward to getting back to training again tomorrow.

Found a new strength regimen that I will follow for the next 12 weeks and see how it goes. It is called Stronglifts 5×5. Interesting stuff and I am looking forward to seeing how my body responds to it. It starts off relatively easy, but it gets hard pretty quickly. Time will tell.

But starting with running tomorrow. 10k in one hour is the target.