Winter is (just) still with us in the mountains but as the daffodils sprout, our thoughts should be turning to the lighter and warmer weather that heralds the arrival of the outdoor rock climbing season. Robin Jeffery gives a few key tips on preparation.
Did you spend the long winter evenings locked in your cellar grunting from the effort of dangling off of ever increasingly smaller holds? Or did you spend the Winter hibernating with a broad selection of fat based foods? If it was the former or the later or indeed a bit of both then now is the time to apply yourself to a bit of last minute training so you can get the most out of your Spring climbing.
Here are selection of simple training tips to get you in top condition:
- Concentrate on volume rather than difficulty. Routes require stamina and endurance as well as strength. Drop your grade a couple of notches and aim to climb ten to fifteen routes in that grade in your session. Rest and repeat a couple of days later. Add to this some 4×4 circuits; choose four routes that are near to but under your bouldering grade limit and climb them one after the other. Rest for two to five minutes and repeat until you can’t pull off of the floor. This will improve your general fitness, anaerobic fitness and improve your psychological strength to keep pushing through the tough times.
- Clip some draws indoors. Lead climbing indoors isn’t the same as outdoors but it will improve your clipping skills (without resorting to one of these) and route reading as well as your general fitness.
- Fall off some routes. Being comfortable with falling off is key to pushing your grade indoors and out. Climbing past your limit and falling will help you lay the foundations to dealing with those emotional moments when you need to push that little bit more to reach the jug…