I've been training quite a lot for the last few months in prep, but what are peoples thoughts on what to do just before going to Font?
I'm going at the end of April, so have got about a month left to prepare; only going for 10 days so want to be at my best!
I was thinking to spend the next 3 weeks or so just hard bouldering on as many of my weakest holds/problems/styles etc whilst trying not to injure myself. Then rest for the week before going, but have a good endurance session 2 or 3 days before to totally trash my skin, so the rock at font won't be such a shock for it!
Look after your skin before Font and while you're there. There are a lot of good products out there, however climbers balm is getting more and more popular. No wax, fast to absorb and more active ingredients.
Im off there on Tuesday, have been bouldering 2 or 3 times a week (hard sessions, at my limit anyway) for past few weeks but now Ive tapered it down to a couple of easy sessions (indoor routes included for some endurance, as circuits are quite demanding)
Try to get in as much top out practice as you can, this is quite important as you can be as strong and technical as you like but often the hard bit I found was actually getting out of the problem, many a failed effort due to my weakness here on my first visit, if you cant find suitable rock for this do sets of dips to strengthen the 'mantle muscles'.I guess good mantle technique would be more efficient, I usually just grunt and 'whale out' though.
Lots of press ups to keep 'font elbow' at bay.
Yes, sloper practice is good but there are also hundreds of high quality crimpy lines in Font aswell so dont stop training this grip altogether.
Skin - Dont do the dishes at night during your trip, or if you are inclined, wear marigolds.It helps, seriously.I also used Climb On, applying it after every session and loads on before bed time, I think it really helped as my burning tips felt brand new by the morning and I managed 6 days straight with no issues.
Font elbow is the same as Golfer's elbow (medial epicondylitis). Stretch your muscles/tendons around the elbow loads before you start slapping and pressing around like mad.
Together with getting well-balanced strength in your elbow flexors/extensors, warming your elbows up is pretty much the only way to avoid it. Taping 1/2 inch above the elbow joint works for some, but not for me. On really bad days I've come to rely on nurofen.
A lot of the moves in Font are very dynamic, and are either on huge open slopers or matchstick crimps, so it's worth practising big swings and throws with precise 'sticks' at the deadpoint.
The advice from others about elbows is good; I know a few people who have really struggled with this. It's also true that if, like me, you're a bit of a wuss, the topouts can be your limiting factor. Strengthening your pecs and triceps is a good idea (pushups with low hands and deep locks).
I have very creaky elbows, but was fine on my last Font trip - I did a ridiculous protracted warm up each day. This included gradually moving my arms through circles and reaches until the range of motion increased (windmills, 'swimming', punches, swings), followed by hanging sloping holds with my feet on the ground, and then very gently working onto easy moves before starting on problems. I also threw in some pushups and presses against the rock to warm up my 'push' muscles.
Thanks for all the constructive replies, though I maybe should have mentioned that I have been to Font before and so understand the kind of climbing there etc... My question was more about the quantity/intensity/type of training to do immediately before going - i.e. would you continue strength training right up until the day you go, or have a day off, a week off, two weeks off? Would you do some endurance just before? Things like that...
I tweaked a pulley in my right hand, and strained a tendon in my left hand last week so I'm taking it easier anyway... Though on the positive side it means I'm concentrating on slopers and better footwork so as not to hurt my fingers - perfect training for Font!?
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