Training is boring.

Every single public space in London at the moment is full of Olympics adverts featuring sculpted athletes exhorting the populace to run faster, jump higher, train harder. Honestly, it’s like some Communists have decided to decorate the place, only with better graphic designers.

What the posters don’t give away is just how bloody boring athletic training is.

The last few weeks I’ve spent a good proportion of my spare time at the climbing wall, slogging away at improving my fitness, doing loads of laps on routes which is very dull. Afterwards I feel spent and tired, come home and eat, sleep for eight hours and then look forward to doing it the next day. And this is only training for my very modest amateur efforts, not the Olympian heights of 9a+ sports climbs.

I don’t mind bouldering sessions, in fact I really enjoy them, but then they are mostly resting between problems. However I want the stamina this year, so I have to work for it.

Sunday was the first day out climbing for 2012. We went to Dancing Ledge at Swanage, that superbly reliable winter venue. Typically we were down to t-shirts at one point, which seems to happen on nearly every winter visit I make there. I came very close to flashing a F6c, albeit one I top-roped a year ago, and got it easily second time around, despite feeling tired. So hopefully on track for some of my sports climbing goals and generally feeling reasonably fit for January.

But… I’m at the fourth week of the training regime for the new year and already it’s time for a rest! I’d planned this out, it should have been the fifth week but that didn’t work with the time I’ve got, so three weeks on, one off it is.

It feels like a good thing. My hands were beginning to get really stiff in the mornings and I could feel my tendons straining a little, but that’s disappeared. I think I’ve been a little too lazy – must go for a run tomorrow and do some proper stretching – but overall it’s been good. I’m ready for the next bout.

That means more stamina training and some strength stuff, but hopefully also starting learning some big wall techniques. I’ve bought a “how to” book by John Long and John Middendorf. They’ve plenty of experience and a way with vivid images which cements ideas in your mind. Keep your shoes clipped in at night:

“Drop your only shoes, kiss your feet goodbye. It’s happened, and the survivors walk with a cane to this day.”

Gulp.

 

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