Just had a quick weekend visit to my 'climbing' spiritual home (Smith) and got on a stellar 12d "Kings of Rap". Being right in the middle of a strength phase and having not trained power or PE in months I did not expect to do well. Every move felt like a crux but I managed to keep it together until the last bolt, then started to get heavy onsite anxiety since my onsite PR is currently 12b and this would have been a huge jump for me. I knew I could easily do the last two hard moves but just could not keep it together. I went for a sequence I thought would go and gassed out while adjusting my feet.
I was super bummed about being so close to insuring such a classic route. Is there any great knowledge or tips you have to keep your head strong on an onsite?
I actually think something Mark and Mike discussed in their recent Training Beta podcast resonated a lot with me. One of the biggest benefits of PE/aerobic utilization training is mental adaptation: convincing yourself that you can do just one more move, over and over, despite blistering pump. Obviously not helpful if you're trying to onsight before your PE phase :-P
Otherwise, I always try to move decisively, and only rest at actual good rest stances. I think the biggest challenge is mental; the physical challenges are more about paying attention to the little things that you should be doing on any climb, but onsighting just has a smaller margin of error.
Post by jetjackson on Nov 14, 2016 12:06:08 GMT -7
I can totally relate to this situation. Two weeks ago my best OS was a short, pumpy, 5.11a - my best RP was 5.11d. I went to Maple Canyon in Utah, and hopped on Zoaster the Toaster, a ~80-90 foot overhanging 5.11d. Was doing really well, and then got to about the 2nd last clip and the adrenalin kicked in. I went from calm, to overexcited and burnt a bunch of energy. There was a point where I had a reasonable rest, but rather than try and get it back, I decided to race the pump clock to the top. I got above the last clip, 3 or 4 feet from the chains and fell. I became too focused on the outcome, and I forgot about the process
I think it's hard to determine if you pumped out because of a psychological reason, or a physical reason. Perhaps if you can detach from the outcome, then that OS anxiety won't be there. Much easier said than done though.
I'm reading the RWW at the moment (and vlogging about it - as per link above), and they talk a bunch about detaching from the outcome, approaching the climb with a 'possibility mindset', and trying to shift from an achievement based motivation to a learning based motivation, to reduce the psychological reliance on the numbers. All great things, easy to say, difficult to implement.
Last Edit: Nov 14, 2016 12:06:58 GMT -7 by jetjackson
Post by MarkAnderson on Nov 14, 2016 14:07:23 GMT -7
All good advice above. Jet's comments on the RWW are right on--it's easy to say, but much harder to actually convince yourself that you don't care about the outcome. At best you might trick yourself temporarily, but you'd have to be incredibly f-ing Zen to pull that off all the time. I still think its worth striving for. In the long run we really are much more interested in learning/gaining the ability to on sight every 12d (or even 13a), rather than succeeding on just one 12d in the moment. So it's not even a lie, but the fact is we think we can have both (maybe we can). Imagine, though, starting an OS attempt hoping that you will fall (because then you will learn more), and actually being bummed if you sent (and therefore learned relatively little). Then you will truly be a Rock Warrior, grasshopper.
Anyway, in the moment, it really helps to have specific, practical things you can do (or not do) that will help facilitate both objectives (improving AND sending). There are many such things, most of them subtle, but one that really helps me is to NEVER EVER think you have it in the bag. Always assume that you haven't climbed the crux yet, and climb, pace, rest, strategize accordingly. RWW talks about this too. When you step off the ground, you have nothing, you've accomplished nothing. Once you get through the crux, your Ego starts fantasizing about the glory you're about to receive. Now you have something to lose, and that's where the anxiety comes in. The longer you can believe you have nothing, you've accomplished nothing, the longer you'll be able to stay focused on the climbing. If you can remain focused, all the stuff you normally do when sending (like breathing, staying relaxed, trying hard) will come naturally.
This doesn't answer the question, but congrats on a very impressive near-onsight. Regardless of the whole not-sending thing, doing that well on your onsight attempt represents some impressive progress. Don't be bummed- be psyched. Sounds like the training is working.