/ Back To The Rock (after 16 years! :S)

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Mi7 - on 29 Oct 2013
Hi all,

Climbed alot when a teen, indoor, outdoor, bouldering, leading, and pitched climbs.

16 years later i want to get back into it, have lost all fitness i used to have some i'm right back to the beginning :S.

My aim is get too a wall once a week in the evenings after work, but i also want to practice at lunchtime in work. I work in Holmewood (outside chesterfield) and this site has been so useful in finding nearby spots!

I'm mainly looking at Pleasley Vale area, especially the Meaden Tunnel http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crag.php?id=19063
as places to start (tunnel good in winter!).

Downside is all climbs seem quite full on for a boulder noob, what advise do you have for technique etc, i went to a wall last week and did a 5 and 5+ but felt a little all over the place.

Cheers
drolex - on 29 Oct 2013
In reply to Mi7: I went through a similar phase 2 years ago when I started again after a 15 years hiatus. I used to be very good as a teen and it was a little bit depressing to see that I was back to 5/5+.

I would advise to try to practice only once or maybe twice a week in the beginning. You will still progress very quickly (my technique kicked back after a few weeks) but that will reduce the chances of tendon injuries. Be really careful with them! They improve a lot more slowly than the rest, especially if you used to climb. I think for the first few months, just climbing is enough, without a need for specific training. A good session of a few hours once a week seemed to be perfect for me. 30 minutes bouldering, then 7-8 routes. If you boulder, just focus on problems and try until you manage to top - you will rapidly improve in my experience. Very frustrating in the beginning but it ends up paying.

So nothing special to recommend, except try to be not too enthusiastic and avoid overtraining. That's hard, I know.
Mi7 - on 29 Oct 2013
In reply to drolex: cheers drolex

just been to the tunnel got 1/2 an hour in

would 5x 30 min sessions every week be to much?
drolex - on 29 Oct 2013
In reply to Mi7: Don't quote me on that but I would say it might be too much if you are pushing yourself 5 times a week. I guess you can maybe alternate physical sessions with technical sessions, but from my personal point of view I don't really see the point of trying to do specialized sessions in the beginning when you improve very quickly anyway. Hopefully somebody else more knowledgeable will come and give his advice.

I was maybe a bit too defensive in the beginning but I have known people injuring themselves by doing 4 sessions of intensive bouldering a week. Hard to tell where the limit is...

If you want to improve in the long term, maybe consider replacing 2 of these sessions by a good run? You will be happy to find some stamina back in a few months (I was happy at least).
drolex - on 29 Oct 2013
In reply to drolex: Once again I don't want to sound like a pessimistic loser refraining your enthusiasm - I was quite impatient myself to go back climbing. But I was very happy not picking up any injury when people around me starting climbing intensively ended up with tendinitis. I might have been too patient but am quite happy with the result. Your experience may differ, of course.
Mi7 - on 29 Oct 2013
In reply to Mi7: cheers again

Today was too intensive i think i barely did a good traverse so i will go again tomorrow and see how i go
Simos on 31 Oct 2013
In reply to Mi7:

I took a 2-year break - I was never good in the first place.

My guess is that you will find that your technique will come back much faster than the average beginner so you just need to take it a bit easy and not get injured as the body is another story, it will till take its time after 16 years off to adjust.

My only suggestion is to try and forget altogether what you used to be able to do and not have any expectations from yourself, especially ones based on past achievements/performances. Only the now matters and you will only get demotivated and/or injured if you keep comparing your current self to yourself 16 years ago. Just enjoy it! :)
ian Ll-J - on 31 Oct 2013
In reply to Simos:
> > My only suggestion is to try and forget altogether what you used to be able to do and not have any expectations from yourself, especially ones based on past achievements/performances. Only the now matters and you will only get demotivated and/or injured if you keep comparing your current self to yourself 16 years ago. Just enjoy it! :)

The above statement doesn't have to be true, it's your choice. I had a 14 year break from climbing and climbed far harder routes in my 40's.
mrdigitaljedi - on 31 Oct 2013
In reply to Mi7: I know the feeling i had a break for 10yrs, now iam back climbing again its taken awhile for the skills/nerve to come back but now its enjoyable all over again, just stick at it, it'll all come back good again.....................
Simos on 02 Nov 2013
In reply to ian Ll-J:

I think you misunderstood me a little - 6 months in since i started climbing again and I am also climbing better than before I stopped. What I meant is that I think it's important to be able to be honest with yourself about where you really are now without getting demotivated or frustrated - only then you can make the fastest progress possible.

Eg the way you used to train before you stopped might not be the right thing to be doing when you come back - in my case I initially tried to pick up from where I left off but ended up getting injured and climbing badly. After I realised what I was doing and went back to basics I saw much faster improvement.

Anyway maybe my comment was a bit philosophical - I certainly didn't mean that one can't climb better than before after taking years off, it just needs the right approach based on your new reality

SteveRi - on 04 Nov 2013
The good thing about being *completely rubbish* (I refer to myself here) is there are some good gains to be made quite quickly. Though I'd second the advise about caution. I was utterly shocked by how much I'd lost - I could hang the holds but not physically pull up on them. That all came back fairly quickly and I got to a ticking over stage where I could apply myself to a bit of bouldering and get results, whilst still not actually having time to climb that much. Course, it partly depends whether you've been eating pizza in the intervening 16 years or keeping fit doing other things. Bon chance :)
threepeaks - on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to Mi7: You might be interested in my regular blog here: http://www.theclimbingdepot.co.uk/blogs/training

It focuses on beginner to intermediate climbers so some of the training methods may be of interest.
David Bennett - on 07 Nov 2013
In reply to Mi7: I took a 10 year break and got old in the process. I got back into it with a bang and climbed every chance I had, built a woody and climbed every day plus fingerboard. Blew my elbows and had to have the op. I would say no more than 3 times per week for the first year. Sorry if that sounds pessimistic but I had to take another year off to get back to fitness again after going too hard too soon.
abcdefg - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to David Bennett:

> ... Blew my elbows and had to have the op. ...

What did you do to your elbows? (Both elbows the same?) And what was 'the op'?

Thanks.

David Bennett - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to abcdefg:
> (In reply to David Bennett)
>
> [...]
>
> What did you do to your elbows? (Both elbows the same?) And what was 'the op'?
>
> Thanks.

managed to get golfers elbow (medial epicondylitis). Basically an overuse injury to the tendons. All non operative remedies failed including physio, eccentric exercise, prolotheraphy and cortisone. The op is the surgical removal of the damaged bit of tendon and having it reattached at the elbow. Only needed this on my right alarm, the other recovered with all the rest I had to take while removing from surgery and was never really as bad.
abcdefg - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to David Bennett:

Thanks for that. Good luck, and take it easy. The whole thing mirrors my own experience - though I've never considered surgery. Management of the condition - and of one's expectations - helps!

Good luck!
Simos on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to David Bennett:

I did something similar when I started getting back into it (bit less extreme) and started damaging my elbows too - hence my comment above to the OP about taking it easy at least at first - too easy to do too much too soon to try and get to where you were (or better!), also just the enjoyment factor after a long absence. Was the op successful? I hope so! I was a bit luckier and managed to contain the damage, feels better now after a million pushups and a lot more care when climbing!

MischaHY - on 08 Nov 2013
In reply to Mi7: On a more positive note, I got back into climbing after about a 2 year gap of barely touching a wall. In April I was leading about 5+, now I'm onsighting 7a/+ and redpointing 7b/c with a January target of onsighting 7b. Take it easy for the first few months to let the tendons strengthen, and then get on it as regularly as possible without injuring yourself. If you need rest, take it. I also never climbed on real rock before April (despite having climbed since I was 10), but am now building up to my first E5 lead - my point being that if you want to, you can progress fast. Have fun getting back into it!
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Mi7 - on 11 Nov 2013
Cheers All!

I've had a refresher recently which was good to go over belaying and a bit of foot tech.

Still going to Medel Tunnel 3 times a week, pulled my shoulder one day so been careful not to overdo it.

Looking forward to drier weather so i can mess around the outside boulders around Pleasley Vale.

Cheers for all comments, been enjoying it so much, can't wait to do more outdoor stuff.

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