Saturday, October 19, 2013
Motivation and Training
Getting ready for a road trip can be tough. I go on trips usually with a few goals in mind. In the months that precede I try to prepare as best I can for hard climbing. The problem with training is that it's hard to stay motivated. After I get out of an 8 hour day of work, I usually get home and want to just sit on the couch and relax. The temptation sounds pretty good even to an climbing junkee like me. But, I've been powering through the distractions all summer, and despite a few tweaks, it's kept me on a good track.
The training circuit I've been on seems like it has worked pretty well for me. I've been doing basically 6 days of training per week. Each training session lasts from 45 minutes to 2 hours. Each session has no stopping points. Everyday I hit a different muscle groups. Most of the exercises are pretty basic. Push ups pull ups, hang boarding, L sits, and lots of rotator cuff routines. I believe that training for climbing comes down to just getting your overall fitness up, strengthening muscles to avoid injury, and keeping up your climbing technique by spending lots of time on the rock.
One of the hardest parts of training is motivation. The biggest question I get is how do I stay psyched to train 6 days a week on top of working and doing all of life's errands. I'm usually training with a goal in mind. In this particular case right now, I'm going on a trip across the U.S. to do 3 boulder problems that have been challenging for me for multiple seasons. I put a lot of time into these lines yet sending has eluded me for quite a while now. When you fall on projects time and time and time again, you eventually get frustrated. In the midst of this frustration I have this feeling come over me that perhaps I didn't prepare enough to have the skills to complete the climb. It is a stale pain like regret. Knowing that you could have done more to get ready, but that now that you're here at the climb, it's too late. Climbing is climbing and nothing more. It's not that important or even exciting in the big picture. But in the life on an obsessed boulderer, that moment of sending is everything. When I realize that I spent money and time getting to the project and came ill prepared to send, well...it sucks. THAT is the moment that gets me off the couch. That's what I think about every time I do a pull up and grit my teeth. That moment when you were there and not ready to send. I then realize that this is my chance to make up for it right now. In training, you get out of it what you put into it. Every push up I do, endurance lap, and campus move I think about that moment at my project when I wish I could have done more to get ready. That's how I keep my motivation. I think about the goals. No matter how tired I am, or sore or unmotivated, I just imagine what it might feel like to sit down under one of those projects, look up and know that your gonna get the bastard this time. These are the thoughts that get me through training.
I've been living in this mindset for a few months now. Keeping my eye on the ball at all times. And the training has paid off well. The other day after a few days of rest, I went to Truckee to check out the famous Charlie Barrett test piece Boyz in the Hood v12. This is the first hard climb I've tried in a while. The problem fit me very well. This combined with the training from the previous months made me feel ready. Somehow, and by the skin of my teeth, I managed to send this rig in a day. It was the classic case of last try best try. All I can say is what a great line.I felt like I was using this problem as a test for how ready I will be for my far away projects. I still have about 6 weeks of preparation left so there's room for improvement. At this point, I'm psyched that despite working and hot temps I pushed through into my training season. Feeling the progression is a great way to gain momentum. Ultimately, thinking about what I wish to accomplish this season is driving me towards better climbing. Even if I don't send any of them, it is good to be driven, and continue to push forward
into a better....whatever.