Tuesday, 2 February 2010


Hello out there!

Well as you can see from below, I tried taking the easy option to blogging by posting a few videos – but to be honest my 7 year old PC just can’t hack the video editing so I’m leaving that for now and thinking about getting back to some writing/rambling. I don’t really care if anyone’s out there reading anymore – in fact it’s kinda nice to think that theres not anyone reading it.

So – 2010 huh? Well it’s started with a bang already!

Lots has happened but why bore you and myself with trying to summarise every little detail of what has made up my life over the past couple of months – lets focus on my current state of mind… Training!!!

Font in October was a turning point methinks. I’ve been fully psyched ever since. Plus the route in Llanberris (E-whatever!) in September was a bit of a landmark for me too. Both events gave me wholly new experiences. The trad route gave me a glimpse of a non-reversible position and a “frozen time” moment during which I had to acknowledge that making or missing the next move would result in a serious accident or land me even further away from the deck without gear. It was strangely calming but brought an edge of seriousness into climbing that I’d never really felt before. It was an acid test of current confidence in my ability and I passed. I suppose every other route I’ve ever tried was totally safe – either the protection was sound – or the climbing was well within my ability. Font was my first pure bouldering trip and I loved it! Pure fun. But throughout the week I was continually assessing and comparing my climbing – what was I lacking, what did I do well, What am I shite at, can I fix this? It was fun, there was no agenda for problems, lots of things were tried and I had a taste of some success. Returning back to the UK and work and shite weather – I was ready to try training for the first time too.

All along I had been working towards getting into a position to allow training consistently and sustainably. Long months of building a climbing wall in my spare time for a local company had finally yielded dividends and I had a nice enough juggy systems board at my disposal – 1 min walk away and free! I already had the fringe board in the flat – at 35-40 degrees overhanging and populated with smallish holds it is perfect for short finger intensive sessions. And of course a trusty finger board – often hung from never used with any focus or plan…tisk, tisk! And finally, slight improvements in our financial situations put us in a place at last to be able to afford a weekly trip to a lead wall!!! Woo fricken hoo!!! Only 5 bleedin years later!

So the plan..

I was going to use 6 week periods to structure a phase based training plan. Each phase would build on the last with a focus on route fitness.

Phase 1 – 6 weeks (pre-Christmas) of letting the body know what it was in for. I wanted to regularly use each training venue/technique so that the body would adapt to it and not get too shocked when the training kicked in fully. Holding back but being consistent was the focus of phase 1. Mon and Wednesday were for short interval sessions on the 30 degree board – jugs only. Just enough to initiate a mild pump. Tuesday and Thursday were low reps on the fringe board – crimps only but just 5 moves – 10 times. Not even enough to feel like we’d done anything – but knowing what I know from past attempts to train I wanted to really give the body a long and gentle lead up – like acclimatising. Friday or Saturday was Awesome walls day – 10 leads each with no grade targets – just raw mileage.

Phase 2 – 6 weeks (post-Christmas). Training starts in earnest. Same weekly plan but proper sessions. Timed Stamina pyramids on jugs, longer crimp sessions on the fringe board and leading 8 routes in the 7th grade after a 2 route warm-up. Most sessions supplemented with a fingerboard session – 5 sets of 5 reps of 7 on 3 off (varying holds) – or pull-ups. Throughout this stretching and corework is introduced and the hammer twist and writs curls become a habitual preventative measure against chronic injuries and RSI. Also as a side note – I came back from Ireland after Christmas a massive 85kg!! The Doc telling me not to run due to back problems in November didn’t help there, let me tell ya… well with a little care and attention to diet and some stubbornness I’m back at 80kg 4 weeks later – averaging 1kg a week is sustainable I feel – 75kg would be a goal to hit before Siurana at Easter.

So that’s were we’re at! 12 days in Siurana at Easter during which I’d like to hop on an 8b just for laughs. Caroline is the most psyched I’ve seen her in years for climbing – I think she’d fancy 8a as soon as possible really and her training is building with mine nicely – still nothing you’d class as a mega arm busting session yet but it’s regular and sustainable and hopefully that’ll make a difference long term. The main goal is to be fit and healthy for 5 weeks in Ceuse this summer! If I can break under 75kg and keep training till then I wouldn’t have a clue what I’d be up for trying! But that’s a lot of “if’s” and the “when” is a while away yet too – for now lets just stay psyched and injury free and enjoy the climbing.


Paul said...

Oh people are reading alright :-) Always cool to read about it when someone gets psyched!

Stephen Mc Gowan said...

Still subscribed here as well, I might see you at Easter...Naomi was talking about it to me.

Ah but apparently Paul has the premier Irish climbing blog these days....EVERYONE read it's....aye Paul :P

Paul said...

Slowly but surely extending my media empire....McMullan will never know what hit him! :-P

Neal said...

nice post dude :) keep it up!

Dave said...

Cheers lads - hope i didn't bore ye too much - will keep it little and often from now on