Thursday, 26 January 2017

Back once again....

....and who knows I might keep it up this time.

In short, November and December I sulked. New Year I went to Costa Blanca and Albarracin, more on that later but suffice to say I cooked the best tuna steak I've ever had.

Now I'm back in the shithole that is Scotland in the winter, and back training. But for what?? Good question. My immediate goal is to spend the next 3 months climbing on gritstone - right time, wrong place, but I'll try. The training for that revolves solely around anti-hydral cream and some stretching. In the longer term I want to push myself and physically improve (a little bit!), but in what direction?? What do I need to do to do what I want to do, which is essentially "more of the same" challenging inspiring trad, in more varied situations??

To answer this, what could have been better last year, which was mostly decent for the first 2/3 of it?? What did I struggle with, and what can I train to improve those situations.

Some UK routes I failed on, and some reasons why:

Traction Trauma, Dinbren - undergraded, reachy, missed footholds when boxed.
Back To The Old Ways, Backways Cove - undergraded, silty death.
Gale Force Zero, North Pembroke - conditions (too smeggy), undergraded, got pumped
Life's Just A Ballgame, North Pembroke - conditions (hot and sunny), scary bold friction climbing
Peryl, Avon - conditions (too sunny and hot), missed guidebook description of rest ledge.
One Rawl For All, Avon - conditions (too hot on the rock).
White Spider, Dartmoor - conditions (only warm but very slopey friction climbing)
Some E3, Anstey's Cove - conditions (warm even in the shade), tired, slipped off.
Black Sapper, Robin's Rocks - very pumpy, committing, hard to read, more pumpy.
Some E2, Gower - conditions (okay on the rock but too warm in general), hard and holdless.
Dragon's Den, Dewerstone - conditions (a bit grubby and not cold enough for rubbish slopers), didn't rest long enough to let skin cool down and rechalk.
Some F7a, Wyndcliffe Quarry - conditions (damp and greasy), hadn't warmed up enough.

And a few routes I really struggled on:

Mad Mutt, North Pembroke - conditions (a bit smeggy), undergraded, power endurance.
Tremelo, North Pembroke - conditions (a big smeggy), very undergraded, pumpy
Black Magic, Pentire - conditions (gloomy and greasy)
Dogs Of War, Gogarth - conditions (hot and sunny)
The Baldest, St Loy - undergraded, missed hidden RP.

Useful. Really fucking useful. Don't climb when conditions are bad, don't get on sandbag routes.Yeah sure let me factor that into my TCA / Ratho sessions *rolls eyes*

Okay. So, more useful might be to rewind back to the late winter sport trip where I really struggled, and conditions were less of an issue - compared to routes being reachy, or really hard to read with endless blind pockets, at least. Physically though, there are a few common threads:

1. Getting generally pumped on relentless trad.
> I can train a bit for this by doing laps on routes and TCA stamina circuits.

2. Powering out on short sections of steep ground and intense climbing. 
> I can train a bit for this by doing more climbing on steep ground, this has previously been identified as a weakness of mine. I've started doing some sets on the 45' foot-on rung ladder at TCA, partly because I've got an injured wrist and it requires little twisting, but I think it should be relevant. I'll also do more nu comp wall routes at Ratho when it warms up.

3. Getting stressed and tunnel-visioned in the above situation and missing options.
> This I am not so sure about as it's partly mental. I can try to focus on looking around me whenever I'm challenged indoors, try to spend a bit more time on the holds to get used to hanging around. General fitness and general climbing fitness will probably beneficial as the problem goes along with being tired, out of breath, etc.

So that's a start. As mentioned my wrist is tweaked (annoyingly from doing eccentric wrist curls to try to prevent further tweaking to my elbow!) which limits what I can currently train on normal indoor holds by about 50%. I'm trying to work around that with more board and fingerboard work.

I still need a lot more regular grit partners though. I haven't been down once yet. Fuck living up here.

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