28 December 2010

New year message for your training plan

As another year draws to a close think of all the training/climbing wall/ crag sessions you’ve done in the past year.
Now think of the grade increase you’ve made in the past year. Not your ‘best ever’ grade when everything came good, but your day-in, day-out regular climbing grade. What do you warm up on; 6b or 7c? What can you onsight 100% of the time? What can you always redpoint in a day?
Odds are it’s pretty much the same. But even if I has risen by half a grade or more, try dividing that grade increase by the number of regular sessions you have through the year. Wall sessions particularly all kind of merge into one. Let’s say you did 200 sessions at the wall and increased half a grade. That’s 1/400th of a grade per session improvement. Not great, for an intermediate climber anyway.
Next year, what sessions could you dream up that would crank that fraction up a bit, or a lot? A session with a good coach. A change of climbing wall. Finally attacking the overhangs you’ve avoided for no good reason. What about a whole year of ONLY overhangs?
You can afford to miss a few 1/400th of a grade sessions for the sake of something else. How about a whole week of practicing leader falls? One after the other, every day. 200 leader falls in one week. What would that do to your onsight grade? A lot more than another year of your regular climbing wall session.
My guess is that if you spent the entire next year doing climbing sessions that were nothing like you’ve ever done before, next new year you’d be counting a bigger grade increase. And anyway, what’s to lose by changing everything? Seriously. Another year of same old...
Have a great 2011 climbing year.


Anonymous said...

Awesome inspiration! I'm a fairly new climber, having only been doing the sport for 18 months, but I do it whole-heartedly! I always anticipate your new posts as an insight on how to keep improving! Thanks for everything Dave!

Anonymous said...

Hi, how many ropes should one use to take 200 leader falls in one week safely? (200/7 = 28 falls per day... sounds like a lot!)

Anonymous said...

Wow, what an insightful way to look at things. In the three years I've been climbing, I've only taken maybe 50 real lead falls. Taking 200 in even a months time, would increase my climbing level and confidence immeasurably. Great advice.

Even better that I have an extra rope to burn through. What's $150 to increasing your climbing level indeffinitely?