4 May 2010
Been talking to Tim Emmett over the past couple of days and sharing ideas about training when you are into a lot of different sports. The same points apply if you work a lot and generally have limited time to climb. If routes are ‘your thing’, you’ll want to do mostly routes in your limited time of going climbing. And if you have any time in the year when you’ll be training indoors, it’s likely that endurance will be an immediate high priority.
This presents a problem for longer term development of strength to move to the next level in climbing. There simply isn’t enough time in the year spent pulling super hard on small holds to get really strong fingers. As always, there are workarounds and they are basic stuff when it comes down to it:
1 - Use brief fingerboard sessions to effectively ‘concentrate’ the strength training into the most time efficient hit. Think of it as the ‘espresso’ of finger strength training. You can get away with it because your time on the routes is keeping your technique sharp. For example, if you are an expedition climber, hang that wee fingerboard rung you packed at basecamp and camp near those lovely granite boulders.
2 - When you do find yourself with enough time to get some bouldering in between routes sessions, you really need to make the most of that time. If you are frequently visiting unfamiliar climbing walls/crags. It’s easy to waste precious time finding the good problems at the right intensity or making some up. Try extra hard to eliminate this by tagging onto locals who can show you what’s what. Don’t be shy, they really wont bite. And if they sandbag you, so what? You wanted a hard session didn’t you. Try not to be put off when you can’t complete many problems. It’s normal if its an unfamiliar situation. Just try hard and you’ve done well.