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/ SKILLS: Lattice Training Series with Tom Randall - Part 1: Endurance

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UKC Articles - on 10 Oct 2018
Maddie Cope leading at The Foundry., 3 kbCrack connoisseur, training guru and director of Lattice Training, Tom Randall, shares some training tips in this 4-part series, complete with live Q&A sessions in the forums from 7-9pm every Wednesday for the next 4 weeks. Ask him anything! (Within reason...!) Download Lattice's new (and free) training app Crimpd to assist with these drills.

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becauseitsthere - on 10 Oct 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

Thanks for this and the App. Needing to plan a training routine for winter. This will be a great help. 

In reply to UKC Articles:

Ask away! Tom will be here for the next two hours...we hope!

Phil_Brock - on 10 Oct 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

In pure endurance sports (e.g. running, cycling, rowing etc) the scientific consensus has settled around an 80/20 approach to training with 80% of work being easy (just below LT1) and 20% being hard (generally above LT2), even for athletes who are competing in events as short as 4 minutes (e.g. individual pursuit in track cycling), the theory being that low intensity and high intensity work build endurance through different pathways and you can do a huge amount of low intensity work and still recover pretty easily. 

Ignoring anaerobic work for the moment the equivalent approach for maximising endurance (e.g. for long trad / sport routes) in climbing would be 80% ARC training and 20% aerobic capacity & aerobic power training (along with supplemental strength and conditioning work). Does this work for climbing or is there little point in doing large volumes of low intensity training like I do for running / cycling?

Phil_Brock - on 10 Oct 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

Question on combining different types of endurance training: what's the impact of combining regeneration and aerobic capacity into the same workout (outside of using regeneration to warm up / warm down)? If I'm running or cycling I'd typically do a low intensity or high intensity session rather than a combined session of say 1hr easy then intervals, then another 1hr easy. Does the same apply for climbing? Obviously more time intensive to split the workouts up but will it give you better results? And if you are combining them is it better to do a block of regeneration first then aerobic capacity or visa versa (outside of warmup / warmdown)?

TomPR on 10 Oct 2018
In reply to Phil B:

Hi Phil this is a good question and one at present that there isn't a definitive answer for. There really aren't anywhere near enough intervention studies/research projects in climbing and mostly our conclusions in the industry are still being based on experience and intuition*. In terms of the models that we've used with climbers over the years, we've had much better results from using polarised endurance training, where we eliminate that middle ground that operates around the lactate threshold. 

With reference to your question about whether the very high volumes of low intensity training are useful for you, then this really comes down to being objective about your own physical profile and how this matches up with your goals. Just because the science says that it's great to train high vol, low intensity doesn't necessarily means a single individual needs to do that if their localised aerobic performance is already above what's required on the route OR that there are other elements that are much more more important to work on!  

* I'd like to say that after a number of years of working with a very broad range of climbers and handling thousands of pieces of data we've got a solid grasp of what is and isn't effective. 

Quoting:

In pure endurance sports (e.g. running, cycling, rowing etc) the scientific consensus has settled around an 80/20 approach to training with 80% of work being easy (just below LT1) and 20% being hard (generally above LT2), even for athletes who are competing in events as short as 4 minutes (e.g. individual pursuit in track cycling), the theory being that low intensity and high intensity work build endurance through different pathways and you can do a huge amount of low intensity work and still recover pretty easily. 

Ignoring anaerobic work for the moment the equivalent approach for maximising endurance (e.g. for long trad / sport routes) in climbing would be 80% ARC training and 20% aerobic capacity & aerobic power training (along with supplemental strength and conditioning work). Does this work for climbing or is there little point in doing large volumes of low intensity training like I do for running / cycling?

mike1979 - on 10 Oct 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

Thanks for the article! This will really help me plan my endurance training. I wanted to ask about training anaerobic capacity as part of a base phase. I looked at the workouts on your app and tried the boulder triple session. Doing a 6-8 move boulder only takes me about 15-25 secs is this what you imagined. From another video you posted, I thought that work time was supposed to be in the region of 45 secs? 

Also would you think that two sessions a week is sufficient and is it best to choose one workout and stick to that or use a number of different ones, perhaps with different work to rest ratios. 

Sorry for the slightly off-topic question! 

Looking forward to the upcoming articles. 

Mike 

Phil_Brock - on 10 Oct 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

Combining strength & endurance: does the interference effect seen between traditional endurance training and weight training apply in a similar way to climbing training? i.e. AMPK released during an aerobic capacity session would inhibit mTOR reducing any strength gains from strength / conditioning exercises in the same session? Or is the behaviour different given that we're primarily working the forearm muscles during climbing endurance training but other upper body muscles during strength / conditioning training (although arguably finger boarding might be impacted anyway as that's very localised?)?

p.s. apologies for the question spam, fascinated by how the rules that apply to training in other sports cross over (or don't!) to climbing given the differences in physiology!

TomPR on 10 Oct 2018
In reply to Phil_Brock:

> Question on combining different types of endurance training: what's the impact of combining regeneration and aerobic capacity into the same workout (outside of using regeneration to warm up / warm down)? If I'm running or cycling I'd typically do a low intensity or high intensity session rather than a combined session of say 1hr easy then intervals, then another 1hr easy. Does the same apply for climbing? Obviously more time intensive to split the workouts up but will it give you better results? And if you are combining them is it better to do a block of regeneration first then aerobic capacity or visa versa (outside of warmup / warmdown)?

The ideal world is certainly to split sessions! There's loads of literature out there dealing with this and it's a pretty logical conclusion to come to once you think about how poor quality sessions can become once you're tired or mentally not there. In terms of ordering in the day (regeneration vs aerobic capacity) then I've seen conflicting statements and findings on this. Most likely this is because the answer isn't yet obvious or that the effect may be relatively small. 

 

From my own experience, I've found that doing the very easy regeneration climbing is a great way of warming up at the beginning of the day and if I've completed that at say 6/7/8am I end up feeling amazing in the afternoon. Training gains.... not sure about that yet

JLS on 10 Oct 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

Can a route climber afford to let endurance slip away while concentrating on strength type activities like bouldering during the winter? Or do you feel maintenance of route endurance is essential to produce year on year improvement?

 

snoop6060 - on 10 Oct 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

How would you train if you only could train for 20mins a day? 

TomPR on 10 Oct 2018
In reply to mike1979:

> Thanks for the article! This will really help me plan my endurance training. I wanted to ask about training anaerobic capacity as part of a base phase. I looked at the workouts on your app and tried the boulder triple session. Doing a 6-8 move boulder only takes me about 15-25 secs is this what you imagined. From another video you posted, I thought that work time was supposed to be in the region of 45 secs? 

> Also would you think that two sessions a week is sufficient and is it best to choose one workout and stick to that or use a number of different ones, perhaps with different work to rest ratios. 

> Sorry for the slightly off-topic question! 

> Looking forward to the upcoming articles. 

> Mike 

Hi Mike, in the interests of keeping this thread full on content to do with endurance training, could I ask that you repost that question in a later Q&A once we get round to the anaerobic end of the scale

Regarding questions about whether 1/2/3/4 sessions a week is suitable for a particular individual, I always try and be consistent with my answer to this. With ANY individual, there's going to be a fair bit of variation in the climber's history (training, injury, climbing) and also in how well they're currently physically adapted. I feel loathed to say that 2x/week is fine for you without know anything at all about your background and how you might be mixing this with other sports or S&C work. I don't want to be copping out on you, but I don't want to prescribe you something that's no good for you either

 

 

Tyler - on 10 Oct 2018
In reply to TomPR:

Can you define what you term "wasted miles" in training and how do you know when you are wasting training effort?

Post edited at 19:55
TomPR on 10 Oct 2018
In reply to JLS:

It somewhat depends on the depth of training history that the climber has. In my experience, if you're a >10yr trained climber then you can push the element of ignoring one part of your profile much harder... IF... it's to the ultimate gain of another key factor. 

In most climbers though,  a level of maintenance of that low level climbing is entirely beneficial, just from the point of view that it's great for recovery, keeps movement skills refined and generally provides lots of variety in moves. 

The last really important thing to note is that if you're a route climber who's typically been strong for the grade and often goes for the shortest routes, then you really can't ignore that endurance element. Just keep working it in the long term - it's certainly something that improves year in, year out. 

JLS on 10 Oct 2018
In reply to TomPR:

Thanks.

 

TomPR on 10 Oct 2018
In reply to Tyler:

> Can you define what you term "wasted miles" in training and how do you know when you are wasting training effort?

I guess you're probably referring to something I said in a TrainingBeta podcast? What I meant in this podcast was that too many people end up training what you can refer to as the "middle" zone of endurance training. That pumped, but just about in control zone where the clock is ticking and you might only able to sustain it for 5-10 mins if you really grit your teeth. 

The problem with this zone of training (I hate that word, but it works well enough in this context) is that  it's highly exhaustive, puts your muscle into an acidotic environment for a considerable amount of time and has physiological effects that you can get from training above or below that "zone" anyway. What happens is that you end up pretty deep in the hole after these kinds of sessions and whilst you do see some physical adaptations that are beneficial, you could get them by being more strategic and training in a polarised manner (see post above). By training more polarised, I've seen a lot of climbers that I work with (particularly the route climbers) end up making much better strength gains whilst still being fit and also getting injured less. 

CAVEAT: This type of training IS useful at certain parts of the year though!! Absolutely the right thing to be doing if building up to a trip/comp in the last 6-8 weeks and particularly if you have longer routes in mind or if sighting is your focus. So it's a case of "a little is great, but only when appropriate." 

 

 

JBO on 10 Oct 2018
In reply to UKC Articles:

Any advice for training/maintaining endurance whilst recovering from golfers elbow?

Tyler - on 10 Oct 2018
In reply to TomPR:

Thanks Tom 

Phil_Brock - on 10 Oct 2018
In reply to TomPR:

Thanks for the answers - really interesting! 

SenzuBean - on 11 Oct 2018
In reply to TomPR:

Is there anything you can say on training resting as a skill in its own right? E.g. Ondra was likely only able to complete Silence after training specifically to hold the knee-bar for over 4 minutes instead of the 30 seconds he could do previously (those are the numbers from off the top of my head).

TomPR on 12 Oct 2018
In reply to JBO:

This one is a really tricky issue to deal with! Typically you would look to reduce loads when suffering from GE, but this may well end up being in conflict with your endurance aims. As we know that load is a function of intensity and volume, an idea to start with might be to only train endurance at VERY low intensities. You'll still stimulate the slow twitch muscle fibres, but obviously you're going to lose some of the elements associated with higher intensity endurance training. In my experience GE responds very differently in each individual and you're best off trying a number of approaches... don't just stick to one because you read it on a forum!

Think: stretching, eccentrics & potentially address an issues up in the shoulder + manage loading. Those 4 are a great place to start....

 

> Any advice for training/maintaining endurance whilst recovering from golfers elbow?

 

TomPR on 12 Oct 2018
In reply to snoop6060:

If I could only train 20 mins a day then I'd always focus on what I could achieve meaningful gains in. Realistically this is going to be some kind of fingerboard training and as you've got such a short time it's likely to be "recruitment" based! 

Definitely not ideal if we're being realistic

That said.... if it was 20 mins EVERY day then I'd alternate between fingerboard and endurance (as I'm a route climber). 


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