Monday, 13 October 2008

Good Training For Something

I'm not sure what it is, maybe I watched Rocky films too much when I was a kid, but I love training - hard-won improvement through honest sweat and suffering. I've been dwelling on this subject for a while recently. I've never really fathomed the old fashioned notion that 'training is cheating'. By participating in sports where grades or finishing positions exist, it seems entirely natural to want to be the best you can, but maybe that's just me being competitive.

Another reason to train: not having to stare at Duncan's arse all weekend on the OMM

What with the OMM looming large on the horizon, and the onset of the Lochaber rainy(er) season , I've been pounding the grassy hillsides and chalky bouldering walls of this land quite hard. Last week I managed a session at the Ice Factor and at Kimber's wall, the Cow Hill circuit run, a run up the Ben, another session at the Ice Factor and a 20km run in the Mamores. After a rest day yesterday I'm stoked for another session at Kimber's this evening and more running in the week. This mixture of running, bouldering and endurance circuits is just too fun, but the thing is, is it really necessary? Are my tiny, incremental gains worth the effort I put in?

For the likes of Dave Macleod and Blair Fyffe, who I happen to know put in crazy amounts of climbing training, gains seem obvious to me. One dry day in the not too distant future Blair is going to be clipping the chains on Stolen (F8b) at Steall Hut, and Dave, well, he's going to the clipping the chains on a F9a+ in Spain. But is there really any point in me trying endurance circuits with these boys when I'm still lobbing off E2s? Sometimes I think that all the work I put into doing Midnight In a Perfect World was pretty daft, considering I took a 25 footer off Travellin' Man, or bailed on the crux pitch of the East Face Route on the Old Man of Hoy.
But then it's easy to think that, and to forget that the Macleod's and Fyffes of this world have been climbing and training forever. The only way anyone can improve is by putting in the hard yards (or crimps) and being patient.

All good fun, but will it really help a trad climber?
Chris Edwards bearing down on Inspector Cleuso (Font 6c), Cameron Stone, Glen Nevis.
Picture: Chris Edwards

The real difference in trad climbing is psychology, and the only way to train that is by getting out and gibbering above those cams. But what with this being Lochaber in the rainy(er) season, there isn't much chance of that. So, back to the wall we go....

An obvious advert for training: Do I want to have to snow plough forever?
If not, I'd better put some effort in. (Picture: Sarah Jones)
Soft Rock Selekshon

I may be a little behind the times, what with living and working a long way from the centres of popular culture, but two international flavoured tunes that have got my juices flowing this week are:

Rodrigo y Gabriella - Tamacun. It's the second track on their Myspace site. Latin metal - rock on.

DJ Mujava - Township Funk. The first track to play on his Myspace site. South African techno stuff. Aaaaiiiiii.

1 comment:

Sarah Jones said...

what are you talking about? snow ploughs are well sexy