Like I mentioned... My focus over the last few months has been on training. My goal for this winter was to learn how to train. I felt that this would make the biggest difference to my climbing, because power is my greatest weakness and I have never really dedicated any time to training... Thanks to my amazing friend and climbing/training partner, Ben Rueck who welcomed me into his world, I have had the chance to get to know and train with Rob Pizem and the crew at Grand Junction Climbing Center. This time spent here in Grand Junction has opened my eyes to another way to approach climbing.
I have dedicated time to training and improving my overall strength with the goal of then being able to climb routes in a shorter period of time, rather than dedicating a large amount of time to working on a route and gaining strength on the climb itself. In the end that total time invested may be the same, but the gain seems to be much more rounded and I am feeling much better overall than ever before! I have not yet truly tested how the last few months of training have really effected my overall climbing ability, however, I do know that I have gained a huge amount of strength, power and core tension. Now I just have to relearn the subtleties of climbing. I found over the last few days climbing that I was pulling way too hard and not really "climbing"... This was a rather amusing realization - I never thought that I would have an issue with forgetting to use technique, but definitely noticed myself simply pulling at first.
A week at Smith Rocks fixed that pretty quickly though - There is no way you can get up anything there without using technique...
I really appreciate the amount of help and support Rob and Ben have given me over the last few months. Having a coach is something I have always dreamt of, and over the last few months Rob has filled this role. He has written training programs for me and helped me decided how much and what to do. This really has been a treat for me - even if it hurt like hell most of the time! I completed two cycles which were designed to make me suffer and push myself to my limits. I am used to pushing myself both physically and mentally, but not over such a long period of time... This took a new level of mental grit just to keep going week after week!
My first cycle went well, but ended a week early, due to the worst flu I have ever had - I was bed-ridden for almost a week... Which may have had something to do with being over-tired all the time and maybe not getting the right nutrients. So, for the second cycle I tried to be extra careful to take proper care of myself and coincidentally right at the beginning of the cycle I received a batch of Gnarly Nutrition products to test. There are many things that have an effect on my training, and it is always hard to know exactly what makes a difference... However, I made huge improvements over this last cycle. It is amazing how much power I have gained, and I am sure that using Gnarly religiously before, during and after training has helped a lot!
Now I am happy to have be officially part of the Gnarly team and am excited to continue working with Gnarly and testing the products in the real world of climbing...
Thanks for reading my rambles... Stay posted for an updates from my time at Smith Rocks and fast approaching trip to Europe!