/ FitClub 569
Another week rolls by... How about an 'ask fitclub' question this week- tell me of a misconception about training that you have previously held, that you now understand to be false? (ie something you learned)
A new thread is posted each week on Sunday for anyone to jot down their previous week's activity. UKC fitclub is a rich community with posters sharing their goals, noting successes and failures and offering support to those struggling to maintain motivation. Anyone interested in starting is very welcome to join, but to get the most of UKC fit club you should aim to post each week, every week, however little or much you have done. By making such a regular public record of your activities and by restating your goals every week this new habit will hopefully improve your training habits and drive you towards achieving your goals whatever the level of your chosen activity.
For those wanting to find out more about training for climbing a number of physical training articles are linked here: http://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/t.php?t=274502
The following training article by Alex Barrows gives an excellent breakdown on training the four main "energy systems" specific to climbing: http://alexbarrowsclimbing.blogspot.co.uk/2014/02/training-for-sport-climbing.html
Last week’s thread can be found here: https://www.ukclimbing.com/forums/walls+training/fitclub_568-678703
AlanLittle: Given your comments about finger strength etc sounds like taking whips on “big scary roof” really is a success rather than a consolation. Personally I find the more generally fatigued I am, the worse my head game gets/less likely to take falls I am, which makes it hard to get anything out of those sessions where I don’t feel great.
Si dH: Good progress, sounds like the way you have broken your goals down is working well!
guy127917: How did recovery week go?
hms: That’s exactly why kettle bells overhead are good! a bit of “skin in the game” to give you a boost at the end of the set… Not surprised you were tired after last week, sounds intense!
TheFasting: Congrats on the lead and glad to hear it was relatively uneventful! Bloody good hustle on the box steps- is this the new training method to avoid annoying the neighbours?
Tyler: How’s the hotel gym?
AJM: Did you get out this weekend? Weather looks good from here…
Tom Green: Congrats on another STG tick- very much looking forward to hearing about progress on the last one!
MFB: How were the conditions for skiing and/or climbing?
Dandan82: They say teaching is the best way to consolidate understanding. Maybe we should all take muggles bouldering more often (if you take one thing from the bad beta podcast it should be that as a reference to newbs)
wurzel: Nice progress on the campus ladders- you could progress by increasing gaps or duration (coming back down again)? What’s the stopper for you on those tricky 7a/b routes?
the sheep: How did your first half go?
Ally Smith: Well done on doing a structured workout with grippers. I always chuck them in my bag when travelling with best intentions and then never think twice about actually using them!
Powderpuff: Feel any better this week?
Ardo: Excellent, hms of this parish did the Provence trip last year I believe. Looks like you are doing a good amount of volume- what kind of training plan are you following?
LauraMorrissey: Awesome work with the pull-ups, finding a way to get some reps with the assistance band is great. Was sorry to hear about your bike though
Bones: Given recent chat, think you have the Matterhorn in the wrong goal category ;)
Climbthatpitch: Do you have a GPX you could share for your beacons hike? I’m not that familiar with the area but have been wondering about it’s potential for our training (North Wales remains a mission to get to for a weekend).
biscuit: Absolutely, great to find the outside your comfort zone and push it! Inspiring for other people as well, although I’m having to fight the urge to sign up for a trail marathon/ultra etc.
Stuart William: Are you following a particular training plan?
leon: Good positive attitude!
AWOL: Curious Yellow, Just Tintin, mattrm
> How’s the hotel gym?
Pretty good but I didn't do much, most of the week has been spent walking around and eating, I doubt the latter has been cancelled out by the former. Did some weights one day but was curtailed by shoulder. Also did 6 then 7kms on the treadmill, first running in ages but I know as soon as I get to the 10km mark my hip stops working.
Went to a wall today and never been so despondent, if I was a more rounded individual I'd probably pack it in. Vert routes and floppy hire boots highlighted that my arthritic big toe is useless unless held in place by down pointed stiff boots. As soon as I pulled on anything remotely hard my right elbow was really painful as well as my left, added to my front of shoulder injury and my lingering right shoulder injury I'm feeling pretty low.
???????That said Vienna surpassed expectations and Bratislava was pretty sweet.
40 minutes Z1 run
Not the best session- bouldering for 1-1.5 hours on several tricky v4-5 problems in the pen, all quite fingery.
40 minutes Z1 run
30 minutes on stairmaster
Aborted gym session, feeling fatigued and it was mega busy.
40 minutes Z1 run
Couple of hours bouldering in the met, found the new set very hard! Don’t know if that is a reflection on my fatigue or ability to judge grades!
Friday: Gentle routes session- 14 lead routes form 5+ to 6c+ in block of 4/4/4/1/1
The 6c+ felt nails first go, but not too bad at all second time. Good to remind myself that beta/confidence really helps and the seemingly impossible can be conquered!
Saturday: Fairly relaxed gym session- break from TFTNA, warmed up with killer core, then did bench step ups, front squats, split box squats, incline bench press, Egyptian/wing pull-ups, leg raises, military press. Watched the 6 nations and had a couple of beers.
Sunday: 1:20 Z1 run. Didn’t feel the need to go further/longer this week.
Overall pretty meh week- it was supposed to be deload week so not surprising. I need to improve my mental approach to these weeks for the base phase- it’s important I don’t put them off or try and do too much or too little. Not doing something every day makes me get lazy!
We are off to Scotland for 9 days of winter climbing on Thursday, so this week will just be a couple of maintenance/recovery runs and climbing sessions to keep the fingers going.
In other unexpected news, I’m close to booking an alpine trip to the Bugaboos for June. That means I have a packed schedule June-September: Bugs for 9 days, Zermatt for 2 weeks and Krzygstan for 3 weeks. This is giving me good psyche for the high volume base phase training leading up to June!
> Another week rolls by... How about an 'ask fitclub' question this week- tell me of a misconception about training that you have previously held, that you now understand to be false? (ie something you learned)
> Bones: Given recent chat, think you have the Matterhorn in the wrong goal category ;)
Hmm, you might be right there matey. Not anymore!
One of the mainly misconceptions I had was that working at a really high intensity, sweating my arse off and feeling knackered after a 45 minute exercise class was the way to get really fit. I know there are different trains of thought on this but from what I have read and my own experience to gain fitness for alpine, long days and strength, it is really about putting the hours in - working on long hours of low intensity. I have gotten my teeth into the long grind.
Another good week of training. It seems difficult to fit in two strength training sessions - missed one again this week. I really need to prioritise these sessions if I am going to get them in each week, especially as they are going to get longer when I start doing 3 sets. Still, fitness (whatever that is) is improving. Feel like my climbing is standing fairly still or rolling slowly down a gentle hill but not really recording progress so who knows. Should probably do this.
Transitional phase - week 5 summary:
Energy levels - very good
Recovery - good
Hydration - good - new Nalgene is excellent!
Aerobic activity - 329mins, not including climbing (planned 264)
Zone 1/2 (walk/running) time - 231mins, not including climbing (planned 174)
Aerobic climbing - 90 mins
Climbing sessions - 2
Fingerboard sessions - 0
Strength and core sessions - 1 (planned 2)
Transitional phase - week 6 plan - chill few days before Scotland trip:
Aerobic activity - 150 mins
Zone 1/2 (walk/running/stepper) time - 90 mins
Climbing sessions - 1
Fingerboard sessions - 0
Strength (and core) sessions - 0
Monday: Rest - again quite tired after the previous week
Tuesday: 1hr 35sec afternoon run, 5.90 miles (keeping time and distance as previous weeks) - max HR decreased another beat from 188bpm last week to 187bpm and average HR decreased again from 175bpm in the previous week to 172 bpm which put most of my run in zone 3 compared to 4/5 two weeks ago. I know that this running session isn’t meant to be on the plan but I really enjoy it and it is excellent to see such clear results from monitoring my heart rate each week.
Then 30 mins stepper (level 5) in the evening - this was mainly zone 2 but crept into zone 3 probably due to my run earlier in the day.
Wednesday: zone 0/1 walk to climbing - 45 mins zone 1. Bouldered at the Castle. Worked on overhanging routes in the mez and felt pretty strong. Still don’t feel like I am getting the most out of these sessions. Not quite sure why, perhaps need longer sessions or not working problems enough.
38min, 3.49 mile run home from climbing, mainly in zone 3 (av HR 164bpm, max 175bpm)
Thursday: rest and roughly 8 miles walking around London.
Friday: Lead climbing session. Walked to and from Castle - roughly 3.5 miles, 53 mins each way (around 45 each way in zone 1 judging by previous walks).
Saturday: Fasted gym session - 66 minutes on the stepper (level 5). Stayed in zones 1 (42:32mins) and 2 (23:20mins). Max HR decreased from 157bpm to154bpm from the previous week (av HR decreased from147bpm to 143bpm). Then core and two sets of strength.
Sunday: hungover after two beers - REST.
To climb a big wall - El Cap
Lead 7a+ 2018
Run a trail marathon
Lead 30 x VS trad routes
Lead 5 HVS trad routes
Lead The Great Slab at Millstone Edge (HS 4b)
To lead one 7a lead indoors from each reset
Run a trail half marathon
To complete the TFTNA training plan starting with the 8 week transition phase
Goals for Australia in September tbd
To complete week 6 of TFTNA and keep a record of progress, assessing it on a weekly basis - week 5 went well, 1 strength session missed
To work a 7a on lead once a week when I have a partner - nope
To flash 2 6c/6c+ indoor routes for every reset - nope, finding this hard at the moment - tempted to change it but think I just need to go for it.
To plan my week every Sunday - tick
Hi Clubbers. Thanks Guy.
Yep... quite chuffed to tick off the ski goal (and then smash it out of the park this week!) -I know five black runs are no big deal for most people, but it’s a big confidence boost for me as a relative novice skier, as it makes me feel I’ve got something in reserve for some of the punchier terrain that sometimes crops up skiing in/out of routes.
Last Week Review: W5 of TFTNA
M: Downhill skiing, mostly off-piste. 24miles. Probs about 90 min Z1
T: Fasted skin (1.5km in 35 min with 250m vert gain -Z1/2). Downhill skiing, mixed on/off piste. 22miles.
W: Road run (4.5km in 25 min with 110m vert gain -Z3/4). Downhill skiing, mostly off piste, lift lines, trees, etc. 15 miles.
T: Downhill skiing, mostly on piste due to slightly sore knee from falling in deep powder. 23 miles.
F: Downhill skiing, lots of moguls, trees, steep powder. 26 miles. Probs about 90 min Z1
S: Downhill Skiing, mixed on/off piste, laps of moguls, techy stuff through steep close trees, etc. Again probs a good 90mins of Z1.
S: Travel home -good exercise in sleep deprivation!
Next Week Plan: W6 of TNFTNA
Two general strength sessions -MUST do these!
One long Z1
One short Z1
One short Z2/3
One climbing session
Scottish VI (TICKED!!)
Ski 5+ Black Runs (TICKED and more... much happier on crud, powder, steeps, techy forced turns under pressure of disaster!)
3 Routes ED1+ (dropped from previous goal of 5 as had to reduce trip length)
E1 on multiple rock types
6B in Lofoten
Sandstone trail in <10h
'El Cap Nose Day' 880m climbing in <24h (probs N Wales)
New routes in Kygyzstan
Droites N Face -Colton Brookes
Monty's Axe at Lower Montcliffe
Le Couer at L'Elephant
Trail running medium distances at mid-high intensity will get me mountain fit for Scotland and the Alps.
I don’t need to do any strength training because skill and aerobic fitness are my limiting factors.
>Tom Green: Congrats on another STG tick- very much looking forward to hearing about progress on the last one!
Cheers mate, the last is probably the hardest to achieve... not necessarily due to the difficulty of the objectives, but just because a few more stars need to align to get those kind of routes done. (For me at least!!)
An extra goal for this week is to finalise a shortlist of routes to pick from. Watch this space!
Cheers Guy, the half went well today, a very memorable first crack at one seeing as it was bastard cold and we even had horizontal hail in the high winds. Still the wife and I made it round together in 2 hours 3 minutes so she knocked 5 minutes off her pb! Aches somewhat afterwards which is a reminder that retired second row rugby forwards are perhaps not the best build for distance running
Had an easy week in the run up, swam 1km each lunchtime from Mon to Fri and a 26kmride Weds evening and gentle 5km run on the Friday
Half term next week so a nice easy week at home with the children ahead.
M - cycle commute. Yoga.
T - cycle commute. Home via UCR. FoC x 2 with first set getting best times yet.
W - day off work so double session at TCA. Hour of power moonboard projects first, which I found excessively hard as the style is utterly my antistyle. Break for lunch then boulder 4x4s. Umpteen circuits to warm up and cool down too.
T - cycle commute. FB in evening although after a day from hell it was a struggle to feel motivated!
F - 2 miles urban walking. Core session in evening.
S - UCR for leisurely off-plan session. OS of a 7a where the style suited me. Then chuffed to get a 7a+ on my 3rd attempt - some interesting sequences and powerful moves.
S - visiting D2 for day so nothing.
Only problem at this stage is that my right shoulder has started niggling. I suspect the big powerful throws on the moonboard were probably the trigger but that I should have been more careful to keep prehab shoulder exercises in the mix. They rather got forgotten about because there was so much else to do!
Great effort, well done!
To answer my own question- biggest historic misconception (and one that I still fall foul of sometimes) is thinking that there is little benefit from sneaking those small sessions in. "Do it properly or not at all" is not always a beneficial mindset, you can easily sneak a fingerboard session or some mobility work under the radar and it really does add up. Goes for food as well, a day doesn't have to be going perfectly for it to still be 'worth it' to avoid eating something else bad!
Training misconception: me circa mid '80s - you can train high volume pull-ups multiple times a week, with no counterbalancing work of any kind whatsoever, and not thereby end up with a lifetime of fragile shoulders. I was not alone in this behaviour - all we had to train on was vertical crimping on brick edges, so we had to do something else that we thought was relevant to climbing steep stuff.
Anyway, gave the lifelong fragile shoulders a bit of a de-load this week:
STG: Addressing the head game: fall or jump off every time I have a rope on.
Top out on the Big Intimidating Roof sector at Thalkirchen.
Average weight for the month of February 81.5 kgs.
MTG (2018): Onsight 7a; redpoint 7b multiple times on routes that aren't pure boulder problems
LTG (2021): Redpoint 8a before I hit 60
M: Half an hour elbow & shoulder (p)rehab
W: Wall, Thalkirchen. Horribly overcrowded again so wasn't able to pick & choose routes (so no Big Scary Roof), but did manage to get nine routes in up to & including a 6c redpoint. And a couple of actual falls whilst trying to go upwards, which are much better than voluntary jumping off. Also the least elbow soreness I've had for quite some time.
S: Pack family holiday stuff & drive to Zillertal. Appalling traffic, six hours for a journey that normally takes two.
S: Snowboarding, Zillertal. I too am claiming a guesstimate of my actual time spent on the board as 1hr 40m of Zone 1.
> Great effort, well done!
couldn't bear the sight of that 'nothing' for today. OHP to 10kg, bicep curls ditto, TRX Is, Ys, Ts, then swiss ball shoulder rehab Is Ys and Ts using 2.5kg. Feel far less sedentary now!
Not really Guy, I can't seem to shift this cold, I've had it for over 2 weeks now!
I did manage however to get to a different climbing wall for 1 very easy session consisting of:
Some easy problems as a warm up then a v4 and a v5 followed by the usual exercises.
Not sure If I've got a training misconception as much as a reminder to myself that just because I can't get to the wall doesn't stop me still training on my fingerboard at home.
Hopefully I'll feel better soon
I've changed colour
The last couple of weeks have been heavy on the essay writing. Not so much climbing (or sleep, or anything else).
Mon: Can't remember. Probably essay writing.
Tues: Essay writing.
Wednesday: Ditto. All submitted at 9pm, happiness.
Thurs: Wall. Problems up to V5.
Fri: Wall. Bouldered a bit then minute on, minute off x10 @7a.
Sat: Rest. Went shopping for work shoes, bought a dinosaur onesie and spent the rest of the day being a T-rex.
Sun: Wall. Circuits. Should do some conditioning in a bit.
... Sometimes it's OK to have a rest day...!!
> How about an 'ask fitclub' question this week- tell me of a misconception about training that you have previously held, that you now understand to be false? (ie something you learned)
I've learned nothing, that's the problem, 10 years on fit club and I've just got weaker and more injured! Still masking the same mistakes, ploughing the same furrow
Cheers guy. Yes, managed to sneak out today. Nice in between occasional hail showers!!!
A disrupted start to the week, little one still getting back into sync after an overexcited weekend.
- Wednesday - wall. Good session. Ticked one of the projects from last time first go, got some techy stuff done, nice balancey arete, made progress on one of the other projects and acquired a new one .Also caught up with a lot of folk I hadn't seen in a while .
- Thursday - rested, had landed badly at the wall and by the end of the day my back was a bit sore
- Friday - disorganised, rest
- Saturday - fingerboard, sneaked another pb on the crimps (95kg for ~13s "count of ten"). Then in the afternoon some flies, some dips, some rows and some one arm hangs (~bw-4)
- Sunday - boulderfield. Did a 6A warmup which felt desperate.
Tried Lightning Strike a few times again and felt a bit frustrated. I can't do it, but what gets on my nerves is that I don't know how to improve at it - I just don't really know what I need to do in order to make any progress. As it was, I went backwards from last time, and again don't know why.
Thankfully, we went to try Hot Ride instead (~2.30 here https://www.vimeo.com/95839256 although he does it way more powerfully than me). Much to my surprise I did all the moves, and my best go I touched but didn't hold the first straight down hold on the problem (it's a compression arete) which is basically the end of the hardest moves with only a few moves left. Very pleased .I'd been a bit lacking in potential 7A+s I thought I could do for the winter pyramid, so it's nice to have found a contender.
Dartmoor this coming weekend. Hopefully usual training in the week. Feeling pretty good.
Maybe you would be even weaker and more injured without it...
> I've changed colour
like a mood stone?
I totally agree with you on this Guy
Or one of those global hypercolour t-shirts (I doubt you could possibly remember those...)
Thanks Guy, yep the goals seem to be working ok. I just try wherever possible to ensure they sort of lead in to each other (ie, form a plan when taken as a whole) while still being things that motivate me in their own right too. Sometimes the 'plan' only makes sense with additional context on timings and order in my own head, but it does exist.
The biggest lesson I learnt is that for hard sport, getting stronger makes more difference than any number of aerocap or endurance sessions, and is also more fun.
And also that sometimes less is more (take that rest day hms!)
STGs January-March 2018: - weight down to 71.5kg (started at 77.0kg evening of 31/12.) - do some 7s and put up one of my own on the new woodie at The Climbing Unit
M/LTGs from April: 7B in Font, Tetris, Eastwood Traverse, Mentalist, Caviar
T: Climbing Unit woodie. Working a new problem that extends the one I did last week.
T: Climbing Unit woodie. Felt really weak on the project. Switched to trying someone else's 7A late on and should have done it, felt much better.
S: family stuff
S: ditto, but I managed to squeeze in 4 sets of my usual TRX shoulder exercises.
Not such a great week on the dieting front. Early on I still had a cold, and since Friday have slept really badly because we are trying to move the little one in to his own room (it's a bit epic.) As a result I've been tired and overeating to compensate. I did ok late in the week before the weekend though.
Weight this evening is 74.4kg.
By the way despite being basically just a boulderer and sport climber these days I am totally massively jealous of your summer alpine plans. Just any one of those three trips would be the highlight of a normal year!
Update for today:
Shoulders say no to pull-ups. Oh well...
STG - Re-establish exercise 'normality' and loose some weight
MTG - 6c at Navigation, then WFD
LTG - Probably bouldering, bearing in mind Trad will be hard for the next few years...
Weight - 14st 4lbs
M - Lazy
T - 20 routes at wall
W - S - Equally lazy....
After a good start on the weight last week didn't really manage anything this week. Managed to get down the wall and had an ok session. Family Stuff (tm) is intervening over the last few weeks. Then we're away for a week in Falmouth. But hopefully I'll still get down the wall and start running again.
excellent - being lazy is overrated!
Don't forget to taper, which actually means being semi lazy, trying hard but reducing volume.
Figures look great for Margalef - preserve your skin and keep the shoulder intact!
> Ardo: Excellent, hms of this parish did the Provence trip last year I believe. Looks like you are doing a good amount of volume- what kind of training plan are you following?
Looking forward to it. Using the training plan outlined in the course guide doco from Adrian Berry. New Lattice board and boulder circuits installed at my local wall, so will be having a chat with the guys there about tweaking recruitment and power endurance.
Where you heading in Scotland? Looking to get up there myself for 4/5 days from Thursday onward, around Bridge of Orchy area.
Mo: General walking, 5.9 miles Bouldering hypertrophy, (22 problems).
Tu: Commuting walk, 8.9 miles. Rest day.
We: Commuting walk, 7.8 miles. Bouldering hypertrophy, (22 problems).
Th: Commuting walk, 6.2 miles. Rest day.
Fr: Commuting walking, 7.7 miles. Climbing ARC, (30m,30m a/belay).
Sa: General walking, 8.6 miles. Gym session, (row/bike/run).
Su: General walking, 8.7 miles. Rest day, (after guzzling 4 whole can of Guinness watching the rugby on Saturday)
- weight 10st 9lb/bf 16.5%
Good training week, but a dearth of non-training oriented climbing
Ha yes I’m pretty lucky to be able to do all of them. It’s the main thing that makes living in Central London seem like a decent place to live for me (decent job and cheap flights out!)
> Next Week Plan: W6 of TNFTNA
> Two general strength sessions -MUST do these!
> One long Z1
> One short Z1
> One short Z2/3
> One climbing session
> STGS -Q1
Nice work on all the ticks! Are you going to repeat the previous week of transition training for week 6 as you have been away or up the intensity?
Excellent work on Hot Ride. Is this on Portland?
Yes, Cuttings boulderfield, the gift which keeps on giving - for somewhere so scruffy there's always another surprisingly decent problem to try!
What are your main goals while out there, is it rock/ice/mixed, any specific routes?
Occasionally I go through a phase of thinking it would be great to do some more Alpine stuff but I always run up against the fact that I can't justify enough time away from the family to do anything properly. The best I've managed is a walking holiday where you can do fun easy routes from a comfortable valley base in a day. That way Ruth could come with me.
> I've learned nothing, that's the problem, 10 years on fit club and I've just got weaker and more injured! Still masking the same mistakes, ploughing the same furrow
Ahh, so you’ve learned self-awareness!
She wouldn't really go in for the communal family camping trip, I assume. There's definitely still alpine stuff on the dream lost over here too
Good luck with the room move. I think the one advantage of just singing M to sleep when he was little was that he always got put down asleep so it was a fairly easy transition for us - we stored the fun for later trying to get him to fall asleep by himself.
Thanks Bones, I think not setting my goals too high is the secret to getting them ticked!!
Good point about the disruption to the training schedule... it’s a question that’s going to keep cropping up, as my golden rule is to always prioritise the activity over the training for it. So trips will kind of ruin the consistency/continuity.
I think that for smaller trips, trips with reasonably hard goal-specific effort or easy trips where I manage to carry on the training whilst on the trip I will continue the programme as originally scheduled. For longer trips where detraining seems likely I’ll go back a stage or two.
So for this ski trip, where I managed to hit aerobic targets, only dropped one strength session and replaced the climbing ‘skill session’ with skiing ‘skill sessions’, I think I’ll just crack on as usual this week.
What do you think?
Learning point..... How little you can do and still improve, as long as it's targeted well and probably as long as you have the right weaknesses.
I used to semi regularly see a set of rules of thumb crop up - something like 3 sessions a week to improve in the 6s, 4 in the 7s, 5+ in the 8s. If, like me, you're mainly limited by strength, it's just not true. For one thing, 5 serious strength sessions a week (ie none that are active rest, prehab etc) is more than anyone's (most peoples) recovery budget could cope with.
I won't claim to be that good at it, but I do maintain that if you train well you can get away without training much... unless your weaknesses are fitness (and even then, 20min endurance sessions! Foot on campus!) or your goals are all about going for long walks - tftna crowd, I'm looking at you ;)
This has been a learning point which I have been very grateful for since having a family. I struggled a bit post van trip with adjusting to not being as good as I was, and for onsight foreign holidays I suspect I may continue to do so because nothing gets you good at onsighting tufa and enduro sport like going out on rock the whole time. But a shift of focus and some decent training results mean I still feel like I'm moving onwards even when my time is far more limited...
And in fact even for some aspects of endurance I am convinced the same holds true. The biggest gains I had were doing 3 x half hour sessions of FoC per week - that was it! I jumped a grade in a month.
Its all about about identifying your weaknesses to make this work of course. Then I think high intensity sessions and good rest periods are more important than training often.
Edit: PS communal camping trip definitely not a go-er!
Back again after a couple of weeks holiday (with one week in between). In Scotland for some Winter Climbing last week, despite picking up a shoulder injury while skiing the week before.
Last week and a bit -
Sat Twisting Grooves (IV 5). Good route to warm up on, though I find the SCNL walkin a bit punishing
Sun East Buttress (IV 5). Stunning day to be in the North West.
Mon Rest day after a big day in Torridon. Drove to Fort William to spend the remainder of the week - stayed in Alan Kimber's Calluna bunkhouse - highly recommended as a base.
Tue Point Five Gully (V 5) - Some reports indicated it to be in nick - it was, but far from being 'fat' as it is later in the season. Took too long, too much belay faff, not moving fast enough over the easy ground. Last 100m or so up to the plateau in the dark. Lessons learned.
Wed Another rest day due to the epic on Point Five.
Thu Scabbard Chimney (V 6) Revisited this one after bailing earlier in the season due to encroaching darkness. This time made it down with time to spare, but started experiencing back spasms on the descent. Self diagnosis - too many long, hard walkins and not enough training.
Fri Rest day
Sat Drive back south
Sun Rest day
Observations on the week. Pleased that I found the actual climbing fairly easy despite the shoulder injury, and keen to start tackling some of the VIs on my list, but my aerobic fitness is a weakness. That said, I can go for long days with very little food which does mean that my aerobic engine is possibly not as deficient as I think. Keen to get back into training as soon as my back sorts itself out.
Back into some light training - TFTNA transition period type stuff.
Make it through a training cycle without injuring myself.
Some of these are pretty ambitious for this year, but...
Scottish Winter 2017/18
British Trad Routes
The HVSs on Hen Cloud
The Embankment routes at Millstone
Something on El Capitan.
Yes, sorry, not being precise, I think we agree though.
By fitness I was meaning the trad or enduro onsight fitness, the base stuff, rather than the higher intensity p-e stuff, big fan of the foot on campus stuff for that. I think you can use the latter to subvert a need for the former, especially for some routes (as you showed) but I doubt it can completely replace it for the longer end.
I'm really trying to get a lot of varied experience this year- Scotland this week will be mixed, Norway in March ice, Bugs mostly alpine rock, Zermatt probably more mountaineery (hopefully bag a few 4ks) and then Krzy is my first expedition/new routing trip (though alpine style). Biggest specific goals are probably The Curtain if in condition (thanks Tom), Hornli Ridge on Matterhorn, NE Ridge of Bugaboo Spire.
Lessons learned? Similar to AJM - you can only recover from so much training in a week - too big a volume stunts your progress just as much (if not more) than doing too little. Happily showed this by getting to same grades (8b+ RP) on a home concocted plan as a high volume lattice plan (though caveat - OS grade suffered - I think most of that was a lack of time on rock though).
STGs for next 2 weeks:
- 3x lap of the Depot 7a and 7a+ purple circuits
- Less steep 7a on teeny footholds ("7b")
- Double lap of the orange 7b+++
- Complete Lattice (Tick - sort of) and FoC benchmarks
- Stretch more regularly.
- Complete double set of pocket repeaters wearing 5kg weight vest.
MTGs for next 2 months:
- OS 7c or harder in Margalef.
- Box 7 conventional split improvement.
- Get a beastly (kneebar competent) core.
- >90% BW hang on Lattice edge.
- Ramp up an-cap and do a hard route (>8a+) in a short bouldery style (Parisella's or Tor cave?)
M - Still a bit sore from going big on Sunday, and a little snotty. Did some training anyway: 2 rounds of pocket repeaters (7/3/6/3); middle-2, back-3, front-3 @+5kg, front-2 & back-2 @ BW. Set up new rings and tried dips – bloody hard; managed a few sets of 4 or 5 reps. Much room for improvement. The idea of doing a rings muscle up seems quite distant…
T - Ab #DOMS – where did that come from!?! Felt wiped out and only managed 30min of stretching in front of the goggle box. New STG: Stretch regularly and new MTG: get bum <6” off the ground in the splits
W - Travel to London. Building One Moonboard session. Freezing wall filled with weirdos doing parkour shite, but good bouldering session. 4x 7A+ & 3x 7A. A bit of warm-down aero-cap was very hampered by how busy it was – how does anyone train effectively in these busy London walls in the evening? Big brekkie, small lunch, protein bar dinner; strong combo.
T - Got up early and went to the hotel gym. 300kcal aerobic sweating before another epic brekkie. Small Virgin rain lunch, normal dinner. Weaker combo!
F - 2 rounds of pocket repeaters (7/3/6/3); middle-2, back-3, front-3, front-2 @+5kg. back-2 @ BW. Much closer to full completion than Monday.
S - Lattice self-assessment. 112 moves max – not too shabby. Accidentally did half rest to work instead of 1:1, so rest of the data less meaningful. An-cap disappointingly low at 16%, but rest time needs factoring in; curve shape pretty good though. This needs repeating with the proper protocol! 30min Moonboard on new 2017 hold set-up. 6C max. Flapjack&brew. 15x 1on/1off on vert 7a. 12min continuity on vert 6b+. Pinkie blood blister from Lattice board means it’ll be a couple of weeks before I can repeat the test, unless I superglue fingertape in place?
S - Morning gym session. ~600kcal aerobic exercise split between elliptic and sitting bike. Deadlift, benchpress and seated row weights in a pyramid. Topping out at 130kg DL (PB?), 70kg bench (PB?) and 79kg row. Evening stretching after much wedding planning and life admin.
I have wanted to try the bouldering there for ages but always spend all my Portland time doing sport. Maybe this is the year. What's the temperature like there at the moment?
Usual Cuttings winter really, on a sunny day it's great in the sun and cold in the shade. The boulderfield can be a bit sunnier than the crag but tempered with the fact that if you're chosen problem faces the wrong way it can be cold. Cold and sunny right now, frost on cars but I imagine primo conditions on the boulders!
If you go, and want some suggested problems, do let me know.
This morning's weight came in at 11' 3/4"
> Not such a great week on the dieting front. Early on I still had a cold, and since Friday have slept really badly because we are trying to move the little one in to his own room (it's a bit epic.) As a result I've been tired and overeating to compensate. I did ok late in the week before the weekend though.
Good luck with that. I'm sure he'll get it down eventually. My little one seems to have eventually got into it. He can be a pain to get to sleep, naptime is especially fraught.
I'm really hoping that it'll lead to more free evening time so I can get more sleep and have some spare time to exercise.
> Another week rolls by... How about an 'ask fitclub' question this week- tell me of a misconception about training that you have previously held, that you now understand to be false? (ie something you learned)
I used to think that you could only do one kind of training in a session, so endurance, or power, or fingerboard or core etc, and I used to marvel at how some people managed to train so much! I should add I had no reasoning behind this thought, I've no idea where it came from.
It was only within the last couple of years that I found out you could combine several things into one training session as long as you do the more intense/powerful sessions first, so Fingerboard followed by 1 on 1 off followed by core is a perfectly reasonable thing to do.
> Dandan82: They say teaching is the best way to consolidate understanding. Maybe we should all take muggles bouldering more often (if you take one thing from the bad beta podcast it should be that as a reference to newbs)
Good week with an intriguing discovery...
M: Indoor Boulder: 6:1's climb 3 min on, 30 sec off x4. 2 sets.
Core; rapid fire dish hold - crunches - plank - hanging leg raises, repeat x3.
T: TRX; low rows, prone flys, reverse flys, typewriters. The typewriters feel much better on the elbow than they did the last time I did them (several months ago)
W: Indoor Boulder; Split Continuity, 3 x boulder at 75% difficulty followed by 6 mins of easy climbing. 3 sets.
T: Fingerboard Aero; Yes, you read that right, an aero session on the fingerboard! Basic premise is to work out 7 second max hang on BM2K AA slot (18mm) then use assistance weight to hang 40% of this figure (considerably less than bodyweight). Do 7:3 repeaters for 10 minutes straight.
Apparently this should feel very low effort, almost like doing 10 min on 10 min off ARC type session, with a lightly building pump towards the end. Well for me it was seriously hard work, at 40% I only managed 5 minutes before I could do no more! I tried 35% after a rest and still only made 8 minutes, so it's seems that we may have found a chink in my proverbial armour!
It's interesting that a Lattice test doesn't seem to highlight this, but then the difference between 1.6s a move and 7s a move is considerable, so I guess the energy system usage is different. I would say that 7s a move is more relevant to outdoor routes, especially if you can't perfectly divide the route into work and rest periods, when there are marginal rests or when there are awkward clips to make. It's a good argument for climbing fast, but id rather fix the area in which i'm lacking!
It's almost a relief to find a physical attribute that needs real improvement, the frustration of hitting high Lattice numbers but not converting them into grades continues to be a real bugbear. I'll still be pursuing other areas of my climbing of course, I've been chatting on email to Maddy Cope about various mental aspects that I can work on, and me and Mrs Dandan are making a concerted effort to get outside more often.
F: Nothing. DIY club
S: TRX: same as Tuesday.
S: Indoor Routes; Some people we know risked a trip to Portland but the 45mph winds put us off, it was okay at the Cuttings apparently.
Had a play with the 7c+ again, it's really good. I found a couple of bits of better beta and i'm happy with the whole sequence now, it's going to be a real fight to get it clean...
Also managed to whack a stray hold with my elbow, it's really tender today, but just bruising, I don't think there is any lasting damage!
STG: (last week)
* No excess woody use - TICK
* 30 second handstand - Fail, nothing over 20s again
STG: (next week)
* Don't go too crazy at Boulder comp
* 30 second handstand
MTG: (next few months)
* Pull on Nina mala/flash over in Margalef in May
* 7c in a day on Portland
* 8a in a day in Margalef in May
* Pick a lattice max moves target for May based on result from todays test
LTG: (This Year)
* 150 ticks in logbook - 19/150
* tick 3 x 8a
* tick 10 x 7c/7c+
* Go to Kilnsey
* Get to December without any new injuries
* +bodyweight pull ups (2 reps)
* Enter BLCC and don't come dead last
* 9a by March 2022 (40th Birthday)
* Stage 1a of BHAG is 8b by the end of the year
Yeah WNW blows straight over the top .Walking back into the wind with pads was a bit of an effort mind you!
That sounds like a pretty good approach, especially if you are managing to still fit in strength sessions when you are away. Are you noticing a difference from the training?
I am off to Scotland on Thursday and am predicting that I will need to work quite hard so dropping strength sessions and aerobic hours this week. Will also drop strength sessions during the trip although will get plenty of aerobic in. I reckon I will drop back to what I did last week (week 5 transition) when I get back and then continue from there and see how it goes. How long have you got left of the transition phase?
Sounds like perfect bouldering conditions. Would love to try them this year, will def get some advice - i.e. what is the absolute easiest boulder that mimics indoor safety with the flattest ground and cleanest fall?! Haha. Bit of a wimp when it comes to bouldering outside :s
No, I think that's too strong for me. I've been trying getting the right heel and hand on the lip before trying to get into compression (and then via an intermediate left hand crimp below the lip), but I also feel like I can't slap high enough from the lip right hand hold so I've actually been trying to bump the right hand up first to get more height before slapping the left up.
I don't know. There seems like so many possible permutations and for the one above I seem to be stuck in that if I go slappy the heel often pops and there's some weird knack to being able to move the right hand up in control that sometimes I can get and sometimes I can't and I don't know the difference!
Am I noticing a difference? Yeah, I think so! I think at the moment there could be a bit of a psychological component to it, but I guess it doesn’t matter if it’s more mind than body -the end result is I feel a little ‘fitter’.
In terms of measurable stuff, I have been able to increase load/progressions on some of the strength exercises. I’m assuming that a big part of that is better neuro-muscular ‘organisation’ or whatever the techy term is?
Being at the start of week 6 of my Transition I feel like I haven’t really started the hard work yet, but it’s being great for forming the habit of training and getting my form sorted for the general strength exercises before I get into max strength stuff on the base phase. I’m even coming to terms with the low intensity of the Z1 stuff, although I still need to give it some purpose (walking to the crag or something) otherwise I feel like I’m not achieving anything!
Have fun in Scotland (definitely agree that a Scottish winter week doesn’t need any extra sessions!!)
> wurzel: Nice progress on the campus ladders- you could progress by increasing gaps or duration (coming back down again)? What’s the stopper for you on those tricky 7a/b routes?
Good question on the coming-back-down. I was told by someone that that is likely to lead to elbow problems, and as I have had elbow problems previously from climbing that took ages to get over, I thought I'd avoid it, so generally drop off at 8 which my knees are okay with. There are two sets of thinner rungs, so I've got options, but I try and limit myself to once a week to avoid joint problems, although I do use the bigger ones more often at the end of a warm-up. With the 7a-b routes the main problem is that indoors I'm only just scraping into 7a territory by working something that plays to all my strong points. Above that I'm into the zone where I just can't do crux moves, or link easier sections with multiple moves near my limit.
STG: another 7a indoors or outdoors.
MTG: 7a+ indoors or outdoors.
LTG: 7b indoors or outdoors.
Session 01: 15 mins easy bouldering. Campus match 0,2,4,6,8 big rungs. Medium rungs match 0,1,2,3,4,5 2 sets. Auto belay 4 routes 6a-6b. Had an attempt at two 6c+. Back on auto-belay worked the black 7a ish for 20 mins.
Session 02: All auto belay: 10 min easy warm up plus 4 routes 6a to 6b. 30 mins working the black. 12 repeats on the 6a one after the other, then 15 mins continuous climbing up/down on an easier route.
Session 03: Easy boulder and autobelay 30mins. 4 sets of 3 at V1 ish across boulder cave roof. 15 mins continuous climbing autobelay easy route.
Session 04: Quick finger board session: 10 mins warm up then 7s on 3s off over 2 mins by 3 sets.
Plus hill walk with a grade I snow gully and scrambling.
It's a while ago now but I'm sure the key for me on LS was getting a left heel wrapped around a jug under the roof, opposing the right heel, which made me feel far more locked in to bring the left hand out and slap up.
> If you are going up as far as Meconi, it's worth taking the extra few minutes walk to sector MQZ as well, loads of good punchy 7's up there.
No descriptions, stars or comments in the database for this sector (and it's not in my POD guide).
Any suitable warm-ups (6b+ to 7a) near by?
Anything you can recommend as mini-project routes for hms (7a+ to 7b+)? Is it easy to walk between the 2 sectors? (I've only walked up to Coma Closa once, and remember it being a bit of bush whack in places)
I found a bit knacky, and did a mix of your sequence and the one from the video. Slapped up to the left arete off the little crimp with left hand and the good hold on the lip with right hand, this is made easier by a really solid left heel cammed in the roof. Then took that heel out and put right heel round the right hand side before slapping my right hand up.
Well I went up there on a rest day so didn't climb myself but watched a friend who is a very similar ability to me do Dame Canto y Dime Tonto (7b) in 2 goes, and Mac did one of the 7c's a few routes along. They both looked great but very intense, they really get going fast. I think they warmed up on the bottom half of something hard but longer back at Catedral sector, at MQZ you are a good 20 minutes away from the nearest 6! There is one 7a at MQZ but I can't comment on it's suitability, if memory serves it's in a shallow dihedral so it might be equally small holds as it's harder neighbours but with a bit of bridging for the feet perhaps. The walk was ok, I think it's been cleaned up somewhat since the new guide came out so it doesn't take long to get between the two sectors but they aren't side-by-side.
My favourite routes 7a+ to 7b+:
Bésame Mucho (7b+) total stereotypical Margalef pocket pulling, straight up, 30m endurance route. 2 routes to each side are very similar and all good
El Último Poeta (7b) at Espadelles extension so not for a sunny day. Solid at the grade but really good. The whole sector is quality.
I didn't climb it but watched a guy do Mindundi (7b+), it's insanely steep for the grade if that floats your boat, 45 degree cave climbing with a 'climb inside' featured headwall! There is a 7c next to it which looks equally awesome.
That's pretty much all the ones i'd highly recommend, my logbook is a bit thin at that grade as it's kind of the dodgy area between an onsight/flash and a project so I tend to go higher or lower!
EDIT: I could post you my shiny new guide if it would help? I don't need it until May
> Biggest specific goals are probably The Curtain if in condition (thanks Tom)....
When are you heading up? None of the lower altitude ice routes were formed on the Ben last week - I expect they'll be fairly late forming this year, if at all.
That's awesome. You seem to do an awful lot so I am not surprised.
Are you able to do the hanging leg raises and l-sits? I just don't seem to be able to get my legs at 90 degrees let alone higher. I don't really understand what muscles they even engage! Maybe my neuro-muscluar organisation is caput.
I agree, the habit forming has been so important, I am not sure I would have stuck at it if it had gone straight into base. It's great to have a bunch of us doing it at the same time. Glad you are getting on better with zone 1. Does seem weird to count just walking everywhere but hey, if it's in it's in!
Very excited for Scotland, Guy has some great ideas for places to go after your trip. Enjoy week 6!!
Hmm. Maybe once I get hot ride done I might try that. I've tried toes in the roof before to try to oppose the heel on the lip, but not a heel in isolation. Thanks
It'll be inspiring if I perform to anything like a decent level on them. If I fail miserably it'll be whatever the opposite of inspiring is! But point taken. I'm enjoying the challenge so far, though I keep having moments of panic.
Biking has gone OK this week with some shorter rides to keep the legs spinning and a decent loop home one night and a big ride on Sunday. I was deffo tired after it but not wasted. Good sign as for me it was a long way.
Climbing wise I've not done much. Had a quick go on The Depot circuits after coaching on Wed eve. 6a, b, c and 7a all done in one go. It was a fight on the end of the 7a. Had a boulder at BUK on Friday. I think the new V6's are hard as I didn't get any of them. Tried hard though so all good.
This week will be bike commuting (snow permitting) and Plywood Masters comp on Sat. I'm in it for the free hot pot and t shirt. They don't class 40+ as vets so i'm in with the big boys. I'd be happy with a top half finish.
Can do an L-thingy for about a quarter of a second!!
Havent actually done the raises in the last five weeks as I’ve not had anything to hang off, so going to add them in now we’re in a house with good beams!
Totally agree. I've been 'maintaining' for the last however long and can go a couple of weeks without climbing and most weeks are once a week only. But with a little bit of thought I've hung around at OS 7a level without too much effort. That'll do for now.
And when I was climbing a lot back when I lived in Spain I too made a big leap by building a little FOC board in my garden. Using that for 3 short sessions a week got me a whole letter grade in 2 mths.
I am now learning to listen to my body and not to push it when it's saying no.
> This morning's weight came in at 11' 3/4"
I reckon you need to buy some new scales. I'm 68kgs (having just put a kilo or two on I think) so about 10 and a half stone. No way are you a stone heavier than me? Have you got metal bones?
> I used to semi regularly see a set of rules of thumb crop up - something like 3 sessions a week to improve in the 6s, 4 in the 7s, 5+ in the 8s. If, like me, you're mainly limited by strength, it's just not true. For one thing, 5 serious strength sessions a week (ie none that are active rest, prehab etc) is more than anyone's (most peoples) recovery budget could cope with.
I ticked off a fair few 8s by usually only climbing at weekends, so 2 sessions a week, except for holidays: Malham / Kilnsey from March/April to October; indoor bouldering over winter. For the last couple of years, I have had one or two midweek fingerboard / home woodie sessions but I am ambivalent as to whether that has helped: possible gains versus definitely feeling more fatigued / injured. For me, midweek climbing / training is more about assuaging boredom and feeling like I'm doing my best than improvement. Two sessions a week, particularly for an older gent, can seem like plenty - you just have to keep turning up and trying hard once the crags are dry.
I took your advice (and Bones) and did a short fingerboard session last night rather than doing nothing!
> Sat: Rest. Went shopping for work shoes, bought a dinosaur onesie and spent the rest of the day being a T-rex.
This is the best thing I've read in FitClub
> I reckon you need to buy some new scales. I'm 68kgs (having just put a kilo or two on I think) so about 10 and a half stone. No way are you a stone heavier than me? Have you got metal bones?
Not yet but if these hips carry on deteriorating....
That's meant to say 11 stone, three quarters of a pound so not quite a stone but at least a half. I am carrying a lot of scar tissue
L-sits are an awful lot about posterior chain flexibility, because that determines how much resistance you're trying to pull up off the floor.
I don't think I have a particularly strong core, but I do have quite loose hamstrings - have always been able to get my palms flat on the floor easily even before I did yoga - and generally find 10 to 20 second l-sits not too hard, although I do get a bit of cramp in the hip flexors if I haven't done them for a while.
Yes, agree - I'm terrible at l-sits in a way I'm not knee raises (allowing for the fact one is meant to be harder than the other!) because of my flexibility. Something I should work on harder!
0.25 seconds is excellent!!
Enjoy the new place and the beams
M-Middlefell butress 200m height gain
T- bike 30mins
F-Middlefell butress 200m
S- downhill ski 5hrs, with kids, glenshee, exhausting but not sure how aerobic
S- downhill ski 2 hrs, brutal winds shuts hill, more surviving than exercise, great fun.
Eating too much
I've attached the link to my movescout as I am on the work computer and it will not let me download, this has the route I took. I will try and download a GPX file and send it to you when I get home. To be honest though the beacons are ok for walking but compared to north wales it is a bit uninspiring.
There are some lovely walks but it is all grass and very little rock.
The reason I went up this way was just for easy of access on a Sunday morning with limited time. If you are going to come over I would go up the north ridge as it is less busy and you don't follow up the track like a line of ants
If you want some good routes in the beacons let me know and I will try and plot some out that I have done before. Personally I like the Fforest Fawr area.
Not setting no short term goals for this week as I am basically just taking a rest. I will go climbing once and out for a run but I have to pack for Norway next week
M - Rest
T - Run 10.3km, Pace 8:26 perkm, Accent 189m, Started a condition session but felt really crap so called it a day after 1 round.
W - Climbing indoor routes up to 6b
T - 2 rounds TFTNA conditioning
F - Climbing with my boy. Just some easy bouldering
S - Run 15.5km, Pace 7:38 perkm, Accent 294m
S - AM 2 rounds TFTNA condition
PM Run 14.6km, Pace 8:12 perkm, Accent 329m
Both longer runs this week were fun. Saturday night I could see about 3 meters and had non stop rain then Sunday Non stop snow with zero vis. Good times
Awesome. It’s great to keep getting those sort of reminders, as even though I know that I need to do long low intensity sessions, the enjoyment of a good blast along the trails still seems much more appealing!
I guess I need a combination of just good discipline (eyes on the prize!) and making it more fun (going nice places for my Z1, or using walk ins etc)!
maybe I should sack off this TFTNA crap and shift my goals to bouldering!! ;-)
hahaha, don't let Steve House hear you say that!
Yeah the box steps aren't really to avoid annoying the neighbors. It's more that I do it because I can hold a book during, so I can study while training. Works pretty well so far.
Had the flu last week so only had time for one proper training session on wednesday.
- Did some Moonboarding after failing a bunch of the gym's problems. I just basically failed on everything and found a lot of new 6A+ projects.
- Then I did some deadlifts and assorted other stuff. Did 100 kg x 15 for the last 8+ set: https://www.instagram.com/p/Be54mYDDPer/?taken-by=thefasting
- I did some lead climbing at some point during the week and onsighted a 6b and repeated my 6b+ onsight but had no gas left for the 6c+ extension.
- I wanted to try winter climbing so I went to Vardåsen to climb Jungelstien (winter) (M3). Turns out we actually didn't climb Jungelstien but climbed up a part of the slab where there wasn't a route before. Probably for good reason, because we managed to get 3 pieces of proper protection in on a 90 meter route (3 pitches), the rest was some slung tiny bushes and trees for anchors.
All we had to climb on was mostly some powder over what amounted to friction slabs, with some consolidated snow here and there. The final last 10 meters to the top was just balancing on a slab with no features I could find and somehow maintaining upward progress with a #3 cam 10 meters below me. Very exciting stuff. I guess it's a good intro to winter climbing?
The angle of the slab was very forgiving though, from 45 to 60 degrees, so I wasn't that worried about a fall. And I've talked to the local climbing club and as far as I can tell it was an FA (in the summer no one bothered to climb there probably because of lots of vegetation and nothing to place pro in I guess). Haven't named it yet. I gather it must be M3+ due to being slabby but also having technical drytooling.
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