Dec 6, 2011

A Practical Guide to Training Plan Construction, Part I

"It's not the plan that is important, it's the planning."
Dr. Graeme Edwards

Winter is encircling the North Hemisphere in its icy talons, thus for many people is time to create a winter training plan. My step zero for creating a training plan is the collection of limiters. I have a written laundry list of reasons of why I didn't send (e.g., over gripping with my whole body, poor footwork when pumped, small hesitations, suboptimal redpoint bouldering tactics, ...). My goal for the winter training cycle to eliminate those specific limiters. I use "The Natural Planning Model" as a general framework for constructing my training plan:

1. Defining purpose and principles
2. Outcome visioning
3. Brainstorming
4. Organizing
5. Identifying next actions

What is my purpose for training?

Primarily, I enjoy the process of improvement. I like to improve my climbing for the intrinsic benefit of seeing progress. In addition, physical activity makes me happier. I especially enjoy being active with a positive purpose. Lastly, I can complete more climbs on performance days and choose from a wider selection of climbs because of my training.

Everyone has their own reasons. You need to find yours.

What are my principles?

Principles are the boundaries of the plan. It is important to write down your principles to have an objective inventory. Here are a selection of my training principles: I have the ability to make to a plan and follow it. I'm willing to train, instead of defaulting to performance-oriented climbing or doing what other climbers are doing. I have the desire and opportunity to train 4 days a week for 2-3 hours each day.

Currently, I have easy access to a commercial climbing gym with about ~35 quality problems that range from V0-V9, a system board, and a hangboard. I have access to a commercial weightroom with a lifting platform, limited free weights, light dumbbells/kettlebells, treadmills, and indoor rowers. I have a video camera.

I don't list the things I don't have unless I plan to do something about them.