/ heart rate and climbing endurance training
There is no correlation i don't think linking heart rate as a guide for measuring improvements in climbing endurance. The important factor in endurance for climbing is the increase in muscle capillary base, enhancing the efficiency of oxygen perfusion to the muscles and removal of waste products. Running and other endurance sports can actually have a negative effect on climbing performance due to the release of corticosterone which inhibits recovery.
Thanks for this. So you're saying there's no point bothering right? Seems to be a little info on the web (had a quick look) saying that your heart rate will increase as will blood lactic acid because you're forearms are working.
I agree about efficiency of oxygen supply being the dominant thing. With that in mind, more efficient oxygen supply to your arms would mean that you're aerobic system wouldn't have to work as hard to achieve the same result ie. your heart rate would be lower for the same route.
What I want to do is get the effort level right (grade, intensity rest time bla bla) so I can selectively train power or regular endurance.
Does that make sense?
Unless you are really unfit your heart rate will not be reaching any sort of aerobic level climbing.
Normally you do a ramp test to get your max heart rate in your chosen sport, then base your training on this.
I.e. endurance 60 to 80% of max power 90% plus. I can't really think of how you could do a climbing ramp test
Ramp test is roughly cycling at say 90 revs a minute for 2mins the you increase the resistance, then after 2 mins you increase it again and so on.
Climbing is not an endurance sport, using "endurance" in the way that cyclists/runners and so on use it.
The biggest limiting factor is local muscular endurance in the forearms, which is as stated above dependant on capillary density, NOT on the ability of the body to transport oxygen.
This is why almost all training plans prompt you to set the difficulty level of routes/problems based on your experience rather than physiological measures such as heartrate, or even perceived exertion - it's mostly things like "problems that you can onsight" for 4x4 endurance exercises or "problems that you can do in a few tries"
The article gives a pretty decent summary of the '5 Level' intensity model which is the approach currently being taught by Ian Dunn (UK Team Coach) on the BMC FUNdamentals 3 - Physical Training for Climbing Workshops, which is part of the new UK Development Coach qualification.
In short, the current thinking is that you focus on 'how much you get pumped' rather than on heart rate or exact grade of climbing. The metric of dropping 4 grades from your regular onsight grade is probably useful, but you still may end up training at too high an intensity.
Also have a read of https://www.moonclimbing.com/blog/school/endurance-training/ - about 2/3 of the way down it also explains the '5 Level' model with perhaps some better descriptions. It also probably explains 4x4s a bit better.
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