Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Training! (Mina)

The last few months have been training, training, training. I come from a background of not really training at all, just climbing lots and the occasional pull I have been surprised by how much I am enjoying it! I have done bits and bobs – 6 weeks here and there – in the past, but nothing as full on as this. Part of my decision to immerse myself in training was because I am now a student again. I am studying part time for an MSc in Integrative Counselling and Psychotherapy and it is a lot easier to do training sessions around uni work than it is to go out climbing for the day and the course also means I am at home in Sheffield, not gallivanting around Europe. The other part of the decision came from a desire to do better in the Bouldering World Cup circuit this year. I have done a few events in the last three years but I have always competed in them off the back of long outdoor trips – which isn't necessarily bad – but isn't the perfect preparation..... Thirdly, after the comps are pretty much over (after the Vail event) I am going to stay in Colorado for a couple of months to get my outside climbing fix for 2012. So, all in all, lots of reasons to get psyched and get better.

So the training. Essentially I have been a pupil of David Mason who has been helping me out with a training programme. It all began in September with 8 weeks of conditioning. This was a bit of a trial and error phase and I was a guinea pig for ideas. The guinea pig expired. I overdid it and began to fatigue. I have never experienced real fatigue before and it was an odd experience for me. I was tired all the time but the oddest thing was that I began to cry randomly for no reason (quite often during or after any kind of training). I had nothing to cry about so this began to ring alarm bells and I cut the training down. At this point I began to look more closely at my nutrition. The British Team trainings were just beginning and through the team I received a lot of help from Rebecca Dent (the team nutritionist) who has been brilliant. I also got in touch with Optimum Nutrition and Nick and Sara have been really supportive too, providing me with supplements so that I can recover better and get the most out of my training. The crying stopped! Now I have moved onto my strength phase which is more my kind of thing and I am really enjoying it. At the moment I am doing two fingerboard sessions a week (which are made up of assisted one arm pull ups, weighted pull up pyramids and pull downs), two weights sessions a week (exercises like bench press, bicep curls, squats, roll outs and flies), two or three climbing sessions a week and three runs a week to help my fitness. One thing I can really recommend for training is keeping a diary; it helps you stay organised and (more importantly) keeps you psyched as it shows your progress right there on the page in front of you (even if it's minute).

I'm looking forward to a bit of a break over Christmas in London with a couple of WestWay sessions, New Year in Fontainebleau (!!) and then into a power phase in January......

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