Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Time to Train

When you aren’t so fit, you have to be more proactive about finding good rests. Recovering on Pota D’ Elephant 7c+, Siurana.

The coming months are going to be really exciting. For the last couple of years, I’ve somewhat put climbing on the back burner, just climbing routes that would go fairly quickly (NB. My definition of ‘quickly’ may differ from others). The last time I tried a really hard route was Rhapsody in 2004-6. After I completed that, I knew that I was after another project that would take as much and more commitment, but that it would take some time to find.

I don’t think it’s possible to go out and search hard for a route like this, you just need to go out and look and climb until the right inspiration hits you and the right route is there. For something so close to your limit, the chances of the climb being a little too hard (or easy) are pretty high. Of course you can respond by increasing your level, but this takes time.

I’ve hopefully found the right project, and so I’m hoping for a good dry summer so I can work hard at it. I tried it before and realised I’d need to be climbing 9a to even be able to try it properly. Now the climbing is more realistic for me, so I should at least be able pull on the holds and move a little and start to make progress.

I’ve been saving for two years so I could reduce my work level and train properly if I was ready to have a crack at a project like this. Now that time is getting close. For the rest of April I’m trying to finish as much of my work as I can. In between writing, I have to go and work on gear design at Mountain Equipment and visit Oxford, Inverness and my local climbing walls for some coaching days. After this, my task is to lose quadricep from the winter’s heavy sac carrying and to get into a good training routine leading into summer.

The last time I trained properly was in the ten months before I did Rhapsody. I have really missed the daily routine of getting up and training every single day, for most of the day. I can’t wait to start again.


  1. Hi Dave, I've just started a mission to 8a (if you're not to busy you can read the ins and outs on my blog) and I'm keen to get a good training regime on the go. You say in this post that you are looking forward to training all day everyday! Does this not just wear you out to the point where you can't train anymore? How will I know if I am training to hard/much? Is it worth starting running? Loving the resting in Siurana, I'm going out there for my first foreign rock trip this summer, can't wait! Any help would be much appreciated and I may be after a wee one on one session after the summer to set me up for winter training (if I've got the spare cash).

  2. I studied sport science for six years to understand how to plan my training well and manage a high volume of work. There is a lot to it so there's not so much I can say in one sentence. Training for 8a you shouldn't need to run to help recover, but it's sometimes useful, and definitely if the training load is very high. There are many markers for overtraining, so you can keep track of your recovery state. If you read some sport science or get some coaching you can manage this fine.

  3. good luck with the project Dave, go for it. looking forward to reading about your progress on the route! and thanks for the inspiration.

  4. I'm curious, how do you lose muscle like quadricep? I thought I was stuck with it once it was there given that I'm so active.

  5. Wish I could put as much time in as you seem to be planning! Sounds pretty cool. Will definitely check back to see how you're getting on - be sure to write about it!

  6. I'm also curious as to how you are going to reduce your quadriceps?