15 November 2009

My own board- notes after 6 months

Many of you have emailed or commented asking me to talk a bit more about my board and  the structure of my sessions. The short version is that I have been using it most evenings after work and I’ve made really good strength gains in the past 5 months or so. I’ve also been almost constant on the edge of getting injured - climbing in there is pretty damn intense. I’m used to training for several hours at a climbing wall, so I’m conditioned to keep going. But 1 hour on my board equals about 2 in a climbing wall and 4 outdoors. I just completed a couple of projects on it I’d been trying for about 4 months which are in the wee youtube above.

It’s really kept me going since I’ve been writing the book. Btw progress with that is going great guns with 12 hours a day working on it. Right now it’s mid way through being edited. I’ll keep you posted how it goes...

I use the board as much as my body allows. At times I can get away with two 90-minute sessions on it a day for about a week. But the next week I might only manage day on, day off. I do bouldering, endurance circuits and dry tooling on it. The main difference I’ve found to past training is that it’s much more intense on my board and I can do less hours training before I feel exhausted or develop injury niggles. On a climbing wall 45 degree board I’d normally expect to boulder for 2.5-3 hours straight with rests only about a minute between trying moves or a couple of minutes if trying a longer link. But on my board I can only manage 1.5 hours before power fades. The main reason is training alone so rests are shorter; 30 secs for working moves or maybe 90 secs between link attempts. The 4-6 move problems seem to be excellent for building strength and I tend to make them totally sustained which really tests body tension to link between successive hard moves.

The main problem I’m having right now is that I’m developing a lot of injury niggles after nearly a month of using it most days. I can see it’s going to be essential to break it up regularly with other venues to avoid getting injured.

The best things I found that really helped the board be more effective were:

Painting the board and generally making the room a little less of a dingy, grim place to spend time - I look forward to the session much more! (NB: the flowery wallpaper was put up by the previous owner of the house!)

Very carefully choosing fingery but skin friendly holds. My favourite holds are Dream Holds Dumby edges and pinches (review on the way), Entreprises Big Bangs, Old school bendcrete selection, my own wood edges and pinches and Dream Holds Torridonian Sandstones.

Not putting too many footholds on the first metre of the board, just an adequate selection, and all tiny.

A fan for keeping the temperature right and cooling down soft fingertips.