May 18, 2011

Off To Practice

It is raining for the second day in a row. I'm dreaming of lichen covered granite, digging into the crank bank, and thinking about training. One of the most important aspects of training for climbing is "practicing." That isn't the same as "doing." Here are Dr. K. Anders Ericsson's four conditions for deliberate practice:

1. Well-defined task
2. Appropriately difficult task
3. Immediate feedback
4. Opportunity for repetition & correction of errors.

Applying those guidelines, here is the "on the wall" portion of today's training session:

1. Super Slow Climbing - I climb as slow as possible for 5-10 minutes. I felt every movement. Where I'm holding unnecessary tension? Where I'm wasting movement and energy?

2. Perfect Repeats - I climb a series of problems three times each with complete rest between every repetition. The problems range from very easy to difficult (but completable in less than 3 attempts). I strive for each repetition to feel easier.

3. N's - I climb up a problem, down a problem, and up a different problem without leaving the wall. I rest completely and repeat the same circuit until failure. The up problems should be very difficult. This closely mimics a day on my current project, a short, brutal route. I should be dialed in by the 3rd set and maintain until the 8th set. Everything past the 9th set is pure training bliss.

I'm off to practice.