Thursday, November 27, 2008

4 Inches that Keep You Coming Back for More and More


The last swipe I took at the hold fell short by 4 inches yesterday. Only 4 inches but enough to tell me it won't be today that I make the next hold on that route. The last time I was on that lead route was when I tested out for lead climbing. The test has you go up 5 clips and then climb above the fifth and take a fall. After passing the test I climbed it again and got the sixth clip but no further. Yesterday I was able to get well above the sixth clip only to fall 4 inches short of the next mandatory hold. Thinking about it I realize that if it had been 3 inches I would have been able to push it a bit more and make the hold "that day". 4 inches tells me it's time to rest and let my muscles build and come back again. I have tried this year to be more disciplined on my climbing. By disciplined I mean considering the mandatory rest day between climbing to be just as important as the day of climbing. So far it's been paying off. Being patient and determined this year has added much more ability to my climbing. Not to mention the changes physically. I've noticed added muscles in more places and a huge increase in my grip strength. As I get older I really have to seriously schedule rest right along with my sports that I do. I've learned that working swinging shifts rob me of sleep and will throw my circadian rhythm off balance. The result of that will have me craving sugars and caffeine to make it thru a day. It's a downward spiral. Bottom line is for top performance, which means maximum enjoyment, feel free to sleep and not feel guilty about that extra hour or two. Take off days and do an aerobic sport such as racquetball or hiking. Be aware of your body. Some days you find your body and mind, scream for a day of nothing but a hot tub and that's OK also. Those are the days you can work on stretching. Keeping to this I find that my "on" days are so much more fun.

OK now what do you do when rest is not an option? You've blown it out one day and your muscles are completely depleted of glycogen but you're facing another day of the same. This happened this summer when I took the Freestyle Clinic with Colin Kemp. He worked us HARD the first day. I felt like an old person the next day. Totally whipped and thinking, wow...I suck. Then I saw that I was not the only one that was whipped. From young to old we were all exhausted on day two. I tried the resting but it had pretty much knocked alot out of me. Problem solving for next year I concluded that the only way to be top of my game for comp was to forgo the seminars. Something I didn't want to do. Well I picked up a copy of Silent Sports at the Midwest Expo this last weekend and there was an article on how to replace all the glycogen in your muscles...yes it said all...in only four hours. It detailed a study of using caffeine and carbs spread out over the four hours following your workout. I have yet to try out this method but I have signed up for the Freestyle clinic again. My goal for 09 is to shake up those top three in the Masters division.

This was the first time I had read Silent Sports. It's a great mag with intelligent, well researched articles and it's all based in the Midwest here. Definitely worth the subscription!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Today is an aerobic day so I'm hiking Rattlesnake Bluff this afternoon. One of my climbing friends, Ron, has expressed interest in climbing this bluff and it's sparked curiosity. It's big and tall and it's on state land. They built a bike path below it this year so it's much more accessible...so I hear. But then again they didn't name it Rattlesnake Bluff because there are alot of bunny rabbits up there...I'm glad it's cold! Today I'll be the probe for our group and recon what it looks like up close. I have this feeling that we'll be climbing this bluff early this spring...on a cold day!