Some thoughts on success factors when climbing alpine routes in winter…
Know the approach and descent. With short days you may have to get to the base of the route in the dark or descend after sunset. Knowing where you’re going will be a bit help. Check it out beforehand, perhaps on a poor weather weekend.
Rehearse the climb. If you’re trying do a winter ascent of a line that climbs a summer route then climb the route in summer at least once. Getting off route in winter will waste time and saps your momentum. I’ve failed more than once after a slowing of upward movement turned into full blown retreat.
Watch the weather. In the Cascades at least weather is everything. Follow the weather forecast and read trip reports to keep up with conditions even if you can’t get out in the hills to check them out for yourself.
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A while back someone dumped a weight vest in one corner of the gym at CrossFit. If sort of lurks behind the dumbbells tempting you to pick it up. Of course getting 50lbs over your head turns out to be awkward at best. But a smack on the back of the neck is really just its way of saying “put me down, no good will come of this”.
The minute you do instantly you’re transformed to look just like Conan the Barbarian… but with a weight vest. OK, so now we’re all geared up in our homo-erotic splenditude, what next?
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The clocks went back last week so it’s time for those of us who live in Puget Sound to hit the trails after work. The inaugural meeting of the 2008 Hike Club convened this week on Tiger Mountain (2,557′).
Now you could take a leisurely hike up Tiger. The new trail is about 2000′ of ascent over 3.25 miles, slightly longer than the old trail. It would probably take around an hour if you maintained a reasonable pace. But where would the fun in that be?
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Some good things just aren’t supposed to go together…
An afternoon snack of herring in canola oil. Good! Way better than coffee and donuts.
CrossFit. Also Good! More fun than running and a better way to burn off the donut I didn’t eat. Fight Gone Bad even better.
Fight Gone Bad and hour after that afternoon snack? Errm… Not quite so good. The herring nearly came back for a rematch after the end of round three. Thankfully I managed to keep it together by hugging one of the jumping boxes.
Still it was better than my last experiment in diet and working out.
There are several of ways to do this…
- Train right
- Watch what you eat
- Take only the gear your really need on a route
- Take the lightest gear you can afford
What’s a real shame is most people seem to want to buy more lightweight “stuff” rather than work at what they have. A shiny new $150 climbing harness or a month of CrossFit?
Colin Haley’s article on equipment for alpine climbing is well worth a read however. Colin really knows what he’s talking about. Check it out.
So I have a new favorite CF workout, a variant on Helen. Four or five rounds for time of:
- 4oom run
- 15 x push press @ 44kg
- 12 x pull up
We’ve done this at CrossFit Eastside a couple of times and I’ve always liked it. Running and pull ups are fun and lifting overhead humbles the climber in me who can only pull. We did four rounds on Wednesday but a “bonus” round seemed like a good idea at the time.
I’m still contemplating the rep. numbers and rounds a bit but I figure the push press should be half body weight, which is a tad more than I can manage right now but only by a few kilos. The pull ups seem like a bit of a rest but it’s for time so I need to do them faster.
The weather here is ugly and I’ve only made BC ice once this season so training is all there is to write about.
Christmas Eve workout, it just seemed like a good idea at the time…
On the twelth day of Christmas CrossFit gave to me.
One tough workout and pullups two hundred and fifty.
Have fun out there.
So it’s been a long while since; Peru, getting sick, a business trip and then getting hammered by a major deadline at work. Which pretty much added up to nearly three months of not training or climbing that seriously. All of that, combined with a somewhat mediocre fall weather wise has led to not a lot of climbing or training and a big motivational crisis.
How to get back with the program?
- Show up. Turn up and work out. Don’t worry about the results.
- Ease back into it. Start doing a few runs and workouts. Don’t try and pick up the same training load right away.
- Don’t expect the same results. Don’t get depressed when you’re way off your previous performance.
- Set some goals. Training goals, climbing goals.
- Congratulations you’re back in the saddle.
That’s the strategy I used. Basically I’m back up to three CF workouts a week plus biking, running or climbing depending on the weather and other commitments. I’m now one pullup away from my goal of 40. I’ll be sticking a couple of pictures of some lines I’d like to climb this winter above my desk too.
So the motivation is finally starting to return. I went to CrossFit on Friday for the second time in a week. I tried to go back just after I got back from Peru while I was still sick. I ended up sitting on the grass half way through a mile run with cramps so bad I couldn’t stand. Not pretty.
Going back is tough. I launch into workouts and start to bonk halfway through them. Weight that didn’t feel like weight before is crushing now. Movements that I remember as easy feel awkward and stiff. I figure it’ll take a month.
Welcome to the Suck…
The moral of this sad little tale is. If you’re going to quit CF then quit for good. But if you really have to come back then pace yourself and don’t expect much when you start.
So I just got back from a conference in Washington, DC. DC has lots of crosswalks with lights and lots of cops who can get upset if they see you jay walking. So unless you want your run to consist of a lot of rests then you have to figure out what at the crosswalks.
I came up with two rules for the “game” …
- If the crosswalk isn’t in your favor do squats until it is.
- If you run past a flight of steps with more than ten steps you have to run up and down it at least once.
The lights are also sort of interesting as they show the number of second remaining until they change. This means you can try and make a light before it goes red on you by running faster so you also get a sort of interval workout along with everything else. You end up doing a lot of squats. I figure in a six mile run you end up doing about a hundred and fifty to two hundred. Enough to know about it the next day.