TRNovice’s Climbing Training Diary

Week 93 (22nd – 28th December 2008)

Posted in Weekly Training Diary by Peter Thomas on 28 December 2008

Current goals may be viewed here.

All climbing training diary entries may be viewed here.

Haven’t posted for a few weeks as have had a lot on (and consequently only sporadic training). Managed two wall sessions and two MTBs in the Xmas week, which can’t be bad. Still feeling rather overweight though :-o.
 

Training Diary
Day Commentary Stats
Monday 3 hours bouldering at The Castle. Ankle was a bit crunchy, but took some falls with little ill-effect. The pads of my fingers took a bit more punishment as I’m no longer accustomed to yarding between big holds a long way from each other :-o. Problems up to V3, but didn’t really keep count. n/k
Tuesday 15km gentle MTB around Swinley Forest – nice to be out and about, even if it was rather cold!
Wednesday Rest ankle.
Thursday Cook / eat turkey.
Friday Rest ankle.
Saturday 20 km MTB ride round Swinley Forest, again mostly sticking to the main paths. Lovely day, if somewhat cold. No ankle problems :-).
Sunday 3 hours bouldering at Craggy Island Sutton. Was impressed by the venue. Friendly staff and climbers; clean holds and mats; nice, well-thought-out problems; and enough to have a proper work-out. Concentrated more on volume than difficulty as a bit tired from MTBing the day before. Will go back again. A few ankle grumbles, but nothing too bad. Problems up to Font 6a, but again did not keep count n/k

 
Will aim to do some outdoor climbing, and maybe some more MTBing, during the next week.
 

Training Summary
Cycling Other Cardio Wall
Sessions (2)
Road: 0 km Running: 0 km V3: n/k
MTB: 35 km V4: 0
Total: 35 km V5: 0

 
Progress against Short-term Goals

No outdoor routes this week.
5km short of my 40 km minimum, but all of that was MTBing and it was Xmas week.
No running.
No fingerboard sessions, but did get to the wall twice.
No outdoor bouldering.

 
Progress against Medium-term Goals

None.

 

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Week 90 (1st – 7th December 2008)

Posted in Weekly Training Diary by Peter Thomas on 7 December 2008

Current goals may be viewed here.

All climbing training diary entries may be viewed here.

Three wall-sessions, two road cycles and one MTB ride made this my best week training in forever. Aside from a few ankle twinges at the wall, everything went pretty well. I am however a bit down about how bad my climbing has become. I’m also scared of doing anything bar jug hauling when more than 2m off the mat – a question of time and confidence I guess.
 

Training Diary
Day Commentary Stats
Monday
  1. 30 km road cycle, average “speed” a snail-like 19.3 kmph on light cyclo-cross tyres; I guess all the time off has really taken it’s toll on my fitness :-(. On a more positive note, this is the furthest I have cycled since deciding to take my ankle injury seriously and (touch wood) no adverse effects as yet.
  2. 3 hours bouldering at The Arch. Still wary about pushing hard on ,my right ankle and warier of falling, so not exactly pushing things too much and also tired from cycling! Still a reasonable session all in all and the ankle was in reasonable shape at the end. Problems up to V4.
V3 x 4
V4 x 2
V5 x 0
Tuesday Rest ankle.
Wednesday 25 km road cycle, average “speed” a very slightly improved 22.6 kmph on light cyclo-cross tyres. With the thermometer reading 0°C, I made the schoolboy error of wearing a thicker top layer than I should have and hence over-heated horribly. Accordingly couldn’t manage a fifth lap. The good news is that the ankles was 100% fine :-).
Thursday Rest ankle.
Friday 2 hours bouldering at The Arch. Was pushing and swivelling on my right ankle and taking falls from 1-2m for the first time in ages, but still really scared of exacerbating the injury. In point of fact, it started to flare-up a bit, so I (sensibly for once) stopped climbing. Glad I did as it’s not too bad now. Problems up to V4 (flashed, but sadly soft-touch). V3 x 3
V4 x 1
V5 x 0
Saturday 2.5 hours bouldering at The Arch. Tired after the previous day’s session. Ankle a bit grumbly as well. Problems up to V3. V3 x 4
V4 x 0
V5 x 0
Sunday 20 km MTB ride round Swinley Forest, mostly sticking to the mail paths as the single-track consisted mostly of rutted, then frozen mud. Lovely day nevertheless. No ankle problems either :-). However it did take forever to clean the mud off of the bikes.

 
The simple aim is to sustain this level of training into the next week.
 

Training Summary
Cycling Other Cardio Wall
Sessions (3)
Road: 55 km Running: 0 km V3: 11
MTB: 20 km V4: 3
Total: 75 km V5: 0

 
Progress against Short-term Goals

No outdoor routes this week.
Exceeded my 40 km minimum in the first three days of the week and went on to clock up 75km in total; importantly will no ill-effects.
No running.
No fingerboard sessions, but did get to the wall three times.
No outdoor bouldering.

 
Progress against Medium-term Goals

None.

 

Week 88 (17th – 23rd November 2008)

Posted in Weekly Training Diary by Peter James Thomas on 22 November 2008

Current goals may be viewed here.

All climbing training diary entries may be viewed here.

Did some indoor climbing for the first time in weeks. No problems at all with routes and only minimal ones with bouldering. Also did a longer (for me) cycle with no real repercussions. Overall a reasonably positive week.
 

Training Diary
Day Commentary Stats
Monday Rest ankle.  
Tuesday My right ankle was feeling a lot better for the full lay-off and so I thought that it was worth trying some climbing. The idea of falling or jumping off of boulder problems was not however terribly appealing and so I spent 3 hours at The Westway top roping and easy leading. A couple of twinges, but no sharp pain and no crunching sensation in my ankle, so a positive result. My fingers are stronger from all the fingerboard sessions and I can hang most things, even the chalk-covered horrors I was climbing on. However, I seem to have forgotten how to move between holds (plus maybe being rather conservative with my ankle) and need to get this back. Top-roped up to F6a (flashed) and led up to F5+ (flashed).  
Wednesday Ankle slightly sore after climbing and then more so after a 6.5 km walk. Need to make sure that I don’t rush back into things too quickly I guess.  
Thursday Rest ankle.  
Friday 2 hours bouldering at The Arch. First bouldering session since I decided to give the ankle a total rest. No pain or crunching in the joint, but it did start swelling up after a while, so called it a day early. Still paranoid about falling :-(. I found it really easy to hold small holds (a result of the fingerboard sessions I guess), but harder to move between them (both not fully trusting the ankle and a lack of general climbing conditioning). V3 x 2
V4 x 0
V5 x 0
Saturday 24 km MTB (trail) cycle round Richmond Park – have lost quite a bit of fitness, but it wasn’t too bad. Ankle seemed to survive with just a bit of grumbling.  
Sunday Rest ankle.  

 
More of the same next week, a continued gentle reintroduction to my normal routine and see how the ankle copes with it. So far, so good!
 

Training Summary
Cycling Other Cardio Wall
Sessions (1 bouldering, 1 routes)
Road: 0 km Running: 0 km V3: 2
MTB: 24 km     V4: 0
Total: 24 km     V5: 0

 
Progress against Short-term Goals

No outdoor routes this week.
Didn’t hit the 40 km per week goal, but was nevertheless nice to do 24 km in one outing with no adverse impact on the ankle..
Although I am somewhat warily climbing and cycling, running still seems some way off.
No fingerboard sessions, but got to the wall twice: once routes, once bouldering, again without too bad results anklewise.
No outdoor bouldering this week.

 
Progress against Medium-term Goals

Parked for the present due to the ankle.
   

Week 86 (3rd – 9th Nov 2008)

Posted in Weekly Training Diary by Peter James Thomas on 9 November 2008

Current goals may be viewed here.

All climbing training diary entries may be viewed here.

My second week of ankle rest. It is a bit better again, but still a world away from 100%. I have started the process of getting someone to take a look at it and hopefully will be able to get this done sooner rather than later.
 

Training Diary
Day Commentary Stats
Monday Further upgraded fingerboard session as per here. Reduced the sizes of holds on two exercises. May need to do this session a few times before moving on again.

Exceptions:

  • 2c. A bit shaky on these newly upgraded sets, particularly the later ones with the right hand on the larger hold.
  • 6b. Again rather shaky on these new exercises, the second pull-up with the right hand on the larger holds was week for the second two sets.

Tuesday Rest ankle.
Wednesday Rest ankle.
Thursday Repeated upgraded fingerboard session as per here. Still rather hard in places.

Exceptions:

  • 2c. Still a bit shaky on these sets, particularly the later ones with the right hand on the larger hold.
  • 6b. Still rather shaky on these exercises, the second pull-up with the right hand on the larger holds was week for the second two sets.

Friday Rest ankle.
Saturday Rest ankle.
Sunday Rest ankle.

 
Might try some gentle cycling next week and will see what a specialist has to say about my ankle.
 

Training Summary
Cycling Other Cardio Wall
Sessions (0)
Road: 0 km Running: 0 km V3: 0
MTB: 0 km V4: 0
Total: 0 km V5: 0

 
Progress against Short-term Goals

No outdoor routes this week.
No cycling due to ankle.
No running due to ankle.
Have kept up with at least two fingerboard sessions each week for a while. I’m now at a set of exercises where I find a few of them quite tough. So if I can step it up further than this, I will definitely feel that I am seeing strength gains.
No outdoor bouldering this week.

 
Progress against Medium-term Goals

Parked for the present due to the ankle.

 

Week 85 (27th Oct – 2nd Nov 2008)

Posted in Weekly Training Diary by Peter James Thomas on 2 November 2008

Current goals may be viewed here.

All climbing training diary entries may be viewed here.

A variety of things led to me not being able to set up an appointment for some one to look at my ankle this week. However, on the advice of Clem at The Arch, I decided not to even try to climb on it and simply stuck to the fingerboard. This led to quite a large improvement and I even resisted the temptation to see how cycling went towards the end of the week. While I’m still a little concerned that I may have done something more serious to myself, it is at least possible that what the right ankle needed most was a total break from climbing, even puntering around on V2s. Let’s hope that I’m right.
 

Training Diary
Day Commentary Stats
Monday Further upgraded fingerboard sesssion as per here. Increased some reps and reduced the time between reps to 1 minute. Will do at this level one more time and then think about where else I can make it harder.

Exceptions:

  • 6a. Last set with LH in Deep 3 Finger Pocket I ended up crimping with my RH rather than holding it open-handed – maybe because of the shorter recovery time.
  • 6c. Leg swings still not as solid as they could be, but then they are the last exercise and I keep upping what goes before, perhaps leaving little energy for these.

Tuesday Rest ankle.
Wednesday Rest ankle.
Thursday Rest ankle.
Friday Repeated fingerboard sesssion as per here. I wouldn’t exactly say that this session was easy, but I clearly need to start thinking about how to make it harder, which is good news.

Exceptions:

  • 6c. Leg swings a lot less reliant on momentum, until towards the end of the final set of six. Still room for improvement here.

Saturday Rest ankle.
Sunday Rest ankle

 
The break from climbing seems to be helping, so I’m going to stick with this for another week and see whether this leads to further improvement before deciding what (if anything) else to do.
 

Training Summary
Cycling Other Cardio Wall
Sessions (0)
Road: 0 km Running: 0 km V3: 0
MTB: 0 km V4: 0
Total: 0 km V5: 0

 
Progress against Short-term Goals

No outdoor routes this week.
No cycling due to ankle.
No running due to ankle.
Continued to sustain the fingerboard sessions, which I feel I am progressing with.
No outdoor bouldering this week.

 
Progress against Medium-term Goals

Rather than being negative about going backwards, I’m going to park these until the ankle hopefully gets better.

 

Week 84 (20th – 26th Oct 2008)

Posted in Weekly Training Diary by Peter James Thomas on 26 October 2008

Current goals may be viewed here.

All climbing training diary entries may be viewed here.

Right ankle is still crook (more than 30 days after initially injuring it, which is not a very good sign). I didn’t get round to doing anything about it last week for a number of reasons, but have to soon as this is verging on the ridiculous now. Kept up the fingerboard sessions and had one abortive trip to the wall; but no other exercise sadly.
 

Training Diary
Day Commentary Stats
Monday Upgraded fingerboard sesssion as per here. Still not that hard, but it probably makes sense to progress gradually to avoid pulley problems. Will stick at this level for at least this week and maybe next.

Exceptions:

  • 6a. Last set with LH in Deep 3 Finger Pocket was a bit shaky.
  • 6b. Last set with LH in Deep 3 Finger Pocket was also a bit shaky.
  • 6c. Final set of leg swings was rather relying on momentum, need to be more smooth and in control.

Tuesday 2.5 hours “bouldering” at The Arch. Again a reasonably careful session ankle-wise. Pretty frustrating not being comfortable more than 1m up and not being able to push or twist on my right ankle. Rest doesn’t seem to have helped and ignoring it doesn’t either, so I guess I had better start thinking about doing something else. V3 x 2
V4 x 1
V5 x 0
Wednesday Rest ankle.
Thursday Rest ankle.
Friday Upgraded fingerboard session as per here. Much more solid than my first go at this new (admittedly still pretty low) level.

Exceptions:

  • 6b. Final pull-up with LH in Deep 3 Finger Pocket was improved but still not 100%.

Saturday Rest ankle.
Sunday For a change went back to the 10 Minute Fingerboard Session that came with the Metolius Wood Grips board. A very different session to the normal one, as it much quicker and much pumpier. I always used to struggle with this (one of the reasons that I moved to doing the Moonclimbing-inspired session instead). I still did struggle with this, non-puntered-down session, but it was a vast improvement on before.

Exceptions:

  • Overall. I took 15 minutes rather than 10 – it was too pumpy and I needed to rest longer between sets, particularly from the middle to end.
  • 4b. Hung for 15 seconds only and on the Deep 4 Finger Pockets.
  • 5a. Hung for 15 seconds only.
  • 6a. Last pull-up was very weak.
  • 6b. Last two pull-ups were both very weak.
  • 7a. Hung for desired time, but on Deep 3 Finger Pockets.
  • 8a. Did 5 pull-ups, but on Medium 4 Finger Pockets. Last two were very weak.
  • 9b. Did on the Deep 3 Finger Angled Pockets – repeating 9a.

 
Aside from keeping up the fingerboard (and maybe trying a little light road cycling to see how I go), the aim next week is to get some one to take a look at my ankle.
 

Training Summary
Cycling Other Cardio Wall
Sessions (1)
Road: 0 km Running: 0 km V3: 2
MTB: 0 km V4: 1
Total: 0 km V5: 0

 
Progress against Short-term Goals

No outdoor routes this week.
No cycling due to ankle.
No running due to ankle.
Sustained the fingerboard sessions and reintroduced an old one. Nice to have something positive to report for a change.
No outdoor bouldering this week.

 
Progress against Medium-term Goals

Still going backwards :-(.

 

Twice the fun

Posted in General Climbing Post by Peter James Thomas on 19 October 2008
Expanding our fingerboard horizons

Expanding our fingerboard horizons

As referred to in this week’s Training Diary, I spent quite a bit of time playing around with drills and screws this week. The result is now we have two fingerboards in our “training area” (aka the back bathroom).

I have been using an easier form of the Moon board training routine anyway and it seemed interesting to try some of the moves on the board that generated them. Also my current board routine is becoming a bit easy, so I needed a new challenge. Keeping the old board also offers the opportunity to make up new movements, involving going from one to the other.

Anything that stops training from getting boring must be good, right?

For purists, here is a before image for comparison.
 

Week 83 (13th – 19th Oct 2008)

Posted in Weekly Training Diary by Peter James Thomas on 19 October 2008

Current goals may be viewed here.

All climbing training diary entries may be viewed here.

Decided to see whether total rest would help the right ankle. Maybe it has a bit, but not enough to be that encouraging. I guess I had better go to the Drs now as it has been about a month with no real signs of healing.
 

Training Diary
Day Commentary Stats
Monday
  1. Right ankle swollen from the weekend, so no prospect of any cardio training for a few days.
  2. Fingerboard sesssion as per here. Felt easy, will continue for one more repetition at this level and consider which exercises to step up for the following week. Exceptions: None.
 
Tuesday Rest ankle.  
Wednesday Rest ankle.  
Thursday Rest ankle.  
Friday Rest ankle.  
Saturday Rest ankle.  
Sunday 2.5 hours bouldering at The Arch. Very, very careful session on stuff that I was both 100% sure I wouldn’t fall off of and could also down climb. Ankles were OK, save for tweaking the older injury again walking there *sigh*. V3 x 2
V4 x 2
V5 x 0

 
Very low about all of this, probably shouldn’t have done even the limited climbing I did on Sunday, but going a bit stir crazy.
 

Training Summary
Cycling Other Cardio Wall
Sessions (1)
Road: 0 km Running: 0 km V3: 2
MTB: 0 km     V4: 2
Total: 0 km     V5: 0

 
Progress against Short-term Goals

No outdoor routes this week.
No cycling due to ankle.
No running due to ankle.
Did one further fingerboard session. Others were stymied by taking longer than anticipated to refconfigure our training “wall” by adding a Moon board to the Metolius Wood Grips. Started this mid-week, but didn’t finish until Saturday night for a variety of reasons. Now at least have some other board options.
No outdoor bouldering this week.

 
Progress against Medium-term Goals

Going backwards :-(.
   

Week 82 (6th – 12th Oct 2008)

Posted in Weekly Training Diary by Peter James Thomas on 12 October 2008

Current goals may be viewed here.

All climbing training diary entries may be viewed here.

Tried to pick-up on the cardio this week, but still rather limited by the ankle. Was surprised how well I could do on the fingerboard after a long lay-off. I started by virtually completing a session that it had previously taken quite some time to build up to. Second time round I did all of the sets that I didn’t quite finish on the first session, but then had weird things happening in my ankle *sigh*. Nevertheless I guess I still have some residual finger-strength from earlier in the year. This was demonstarted later in the week by sticking some pretty marginal crimps on a roof problem in The Peak.
 

Training Diary
Day Commentary Stats
Monday
  1. 20km bike ride, average speed 24.5 kmph on MTB tyres, which I hadn’t got round to changing. First bike ride since a) being ill and b) spraining my second ankle. Ankle is a bit sore, but otherwise no ill-affects.
  2. Fingerboard session as per here. Exceptions: 4b. Only held last two hangs for 4-5 seconds, rather than full 6; 6b. Last two sets of pull-ups with left hand on jug were closer to 1.5 than 2.
Road 20 km
Tuesday Rest / Bike maintenance. Ankle a bit stiff/sore.  
Wednesday Rest  
Thursday
  1. 20km bike ride, average speed 25.8 kmph on light cyclocross tyres. Ankle still a bit sore :-(.
  2. Fingerboard session as per here. Exceptions: Did everything up to 4b, but then my @#%$ing older ankle injury (the left one) started playing up. Felt like something inside was caught over something else that it really shouldn’t be. Back on the ice pack :-(.
Road 20 km
Friday A rather topsy-turvy day for several reasons, which saw me getting little done. However, the left ankle seems to have calmed down, it was feeling most odd the previous evening.  
Saturday Drove to The Peak. 4.5 hours at The Climbing Works. Didn’t climb too much that I couldn’t then down climb, but a good session nevertheless. However managed to aggravate the right (i.e. newer) ankle injury somehow. Also didn’t keep track of grades.  
Sunday Had a look round a wet Rubicon, lots to play on there some drier time. Mostly spotted at Cratcliffe and Robin Hood’s Stride. However repeated a Font 6b (sans top-out as my ankle was having none of it) and, more importantly, stuck the first few moves of Razor Roof (Font 6c). I have never been able to pull over the lip before, so doing this whilst injured was a sign of improved strength. Have to get back on it when (if?) my ankles improve. Nice to be out in the sun on (mostly) dry rock, even if my own efforts were somewhat curtailed.  

 
I’m pretty fed up about the ankle problems, some rest and maybe physio is in order.
 

Training Summary
Cycling Other Cardio Wall
Sessions (1)
Road: 40 km Running: 0 km V3: not known
MTB: 0 km     V4: not known
Total: 40 km     V5: not known

 
Progress against Short-term Goals

No routes this week, only bouldering.
Ticked the objective of at least 40km cycling for the first week since the ankle injury – would be nice to sustain this.
The idea of running on the ankle(s) seems very unappealing at present.
Ticked recommencing fingerboard sessions – again now need to sustain this.
Repeated the harder bits of a V4 (with no topping out due to the ankle). Also got a V3 (again with no top-out). I know neither really count, but I am grateful for small mercies at present.

 
Progress against Medium-term Goals

None :-(.

 

Week 81 (29th Sept – 5th Oct 2008)

Posted in Weekly Training Diary by Peter James Thomas on 5 October 2008

Current goals may be viewed here.

All climbing training diary entries may be viewed here.

Sadly still have a crook ankle (though it seems to be improving somewhat), so – yet again – no cycling or running and little climbing this week :-(.
 

Training Diary
Day Commentary Stats
Monday Nowt.  
Tuesday Nowt.  
Wednesday A rather ginger two hours climbing at The Arch, basically not attempting anything that I might fall off of or where I couldn’t downclimb. Also did the first few moves of quite a few things. V3 x 2
V4 x 3
V5 x 0
Thursday Nowt.  
Friday Nowt.  
Saturday Does going to the David Graham lecture count as training? Excellent talk (if somewhat compressed in length). Motivational and somehow made what a world-class climber thinks about seem not too different to a world-class bimbler like me. I might expand on this theme later. <no sarcasm intended> So psyched now!!! </no sarcasm intended>  
Sunday 3 hours bouldering at The Arch. First proper session since hurting my ankle, only one twisting fall onto it caused any pain, but have lost strength and endurance; couldn’t repeat problems that felt easy pre-injury :-(. Also probably made the mistake of initially wearing myself out on overhanging V5s. V3 x 1
V4 x 1
V5 x 0

 
So back to climbing, but seem to have taken several steps backwards. More work required!
 

Training Summary
Cycling Other Cardio Wall
Sessions (2)
Road: 0 km Running: 0 km V3: 3
MTB: 0 km     V4: 4
Total: 0 km     V5: 0