My competition season is approaching full swing with one of my biggest comps of this year just two weeks away. I have been spending the last month training in the gym for the upcoming ABS National Championship in Boulder, CO. The ABS always puts on a great comp, and I have climbed in more than 7 nationals over the past ten years. While its hard to gauge my current level of strength, I have been working hard recently to put myself in a position to do well. I plan to go in with low expectations, try to do well enough to make the US team, and most of all have a good time.
My training schedule has mostly consisted of 4 to 5 days of indoor climbing per week, along with campusing and some core strength exercises. I find it difficult to climb as much as I want to due to my demanding university program. I often spend more than 80 hours a week on school, so time at the gym means less time for sleeping, eating good meals, etc. Its a delicate balance, but a challenge I (mostly) enjoy.
Last weekend I had the first test of my training with a Tour De Bloc competition at the Edge Climbing Centre in Vancouver. I struggled a bit through the morning redpoint qualifying round but managed to make finals in 5th place. In finals, I felt more relaxed and moved up to 3rd place behind Sean McColl (1st) and local strongman Jamie Chong (2nd). The problems were hard but fun, and overall it was a great comp. I even walked away with a bit of cash for my efforts.
In the final two weeks before ABS Nationals, I plan to do a lot of volume and build stamina. Though onsight competitions usually only involve climbing 4 or 5 problems, I often find them very wearing. I hope that having a little extra stamina will help me on the later problems.
I'm working on another post about competition strategy that I hope to have up before the comp, so stay tuned!
(Photo by Simon Parton)