Monday, 1 February 2010

Knowledge is power - as long as it's not the wrong knowledge !

View from the top of Brown Cove Crags

Quite a good week has just been and gone. Climbed 4 times - 1 boulder sesh at St Bees South, Stamina at the wall, a routes session at Kendal and a morning Winter soloing grade 3 routes. I even went for a run as well. The end of the week was not quite so good training wise with a weekend away ending in massive ale consumption and puddings. I wasn't too badly behaved - i could definitely have been worse - but i could have been better. It was our first weekend away sans kids for nearly 3 yrs though so i wasn't ever going to be monk like.

Upon my return there was an amazon package waiting for me. Dave Mac's little blue book on climbing training - 9 out of 10 climbers make the same mistakes.

Going completly against his advice of getting lots of sleep i started reading that night and didn't finish until 1.30 am. No, I'm not a slow reader I read the whole thing in a oner it was 'un-putdownable'. Like he says at the start he aims to tell it straight. Page after page of simple guidance and revelations. Loads of info but no technical stuff or references. You just have to trust he knows his stuff and go with him.

Due to the style of writing ( a lot of it is adapted from his blog i think ) it feels like he's talking to YOU and makes you listen. I swear he called me fatty in there somewhere. Some parts just leaped out at me - falling issues, being a chubber - and re-enforced how important it is to my climbing to sort those out.

Other issues are more subtly dealt with and give you have the confidence to make the right decisions for your climbing lifestyle.

Straightaway i realised i'd cocked up. I've a degree in sports coaching and had made a basic error. I am trying to lose weight. What's the best way to do that ? Aerobic exerercise i thought.

What i should have asked is what's the best way to lose weight to improve my climbing ?

Answer - climbing.

Bugger ! I was going to drop a climbing session this week to up my running. What i need to do is drop the running and up the climbing. Anaerobic work burns shed loads of calories during the session and in recovery. The rest times/easy climbing increase your capillary function thus also improving your climbing fitness. He compares it to fartlek in running.

So lose weight + get better at climbing at the same time or go running, get better at running, get tired and lose some weight which should have a knock on effect on my climbing.

Which would you choose ?

Choose climbing not running, make the choice with knowledge, choose this book. Simple but i'd missed it by a mile and i should know better.

Get a copy now. It will help you + help Dave by putting money in his pocket. This means he has to work less + can get on with writing the next 2 ideas he has which will again help all of us get better. It's a win win situation :0)

I was thinking of a period of strength endurance anyway as i am now happy that i am well again and can take training without becoming ill. Got some sport trips lined up if the weather stays fair towards the end of Feb. My strength is OK for where i want to be but i'm never going to get up a route without some fitness. So bring it on.

He tells you how to do this as well of course but if you want to know buy the book.

1 comment:

  1. I've still not finished the book. But I've only got about 30 pages left! Its a brilliant read. I took different stuff from it. My main priority now is climbing outdoors as m)uch as I can (minimum once a week. Why? Because I want to get good at climbing outdoors. Genius.