I have been experimenting with the PE phase for the last 4 seasons and I wanted opinions on my training schedule before going on a trip.
So here is how I have been doing it:
I changed it from the standard RCTM schedule because I felt like there was too much rest. I saw better results when I increased the frequency for training days early on, then decreased towards the end. I favor this setup up because I do not have the luxury of going out and making RP attempts every weekend (I live in wonderful NJ).
I don't have a crag close to me so I end up taking about an 8-10 day trip after every cycle. I go to about 3 climbing areas a year. Red, Rumney, and a random location. During these trips I climb almost everyday. I do about 2 climbs per day, 1 warmup and 1 beta burn or RP attempt. I did not send my goal route on a recent trip and It made me start second guessing my training schedule. So I started thinking that I should be taking even more rest before an upcoming trip for week 3 or 4?
Any suggestions would be helpful.
Sorry about the long post but here is some background info:
- been climbing for almost 4 years - started at age 29 - hardest grade climbed 13b and v10 - have my own training room (35 degree woody, campus board, weights, etc.)
Post by MarkAnderson on Apr 11, 2016 13:40:25 GMT -7
Interesting questions and approach. Am I understanding correctly, that you climb every day, but you only do (on average) 1 hard/serious burn per day? If so, right off the bat I would recommend just climbing every other day and doing two hard burns per day (you could also do 2 warmups per day or a warmup and cool down burn if you want to maintain the same total volume of sends). The reason for this, is that often my 2nd hard burn of the day is MUCH better than my first. This is perhaps more of a problem for half-dead (aka "old") people such as myself, but often my so-called warmup is not sufficient to really get me going at my best. And on the 2nd burn of the day I often am much better technically (that is, I remember the beta really well because I just rehearsed it all an hour earlier). Furthermore, despite no data to support, I would think it would be easier on your body to climb every-other-day, even if the total volume is identical. In particular I think your schedule would make it really tough to maintain your power over the course of the trip. Probably not a huge deal at the Red, but perhaps critical at Rumney.
Anyway, to the PE training.... I'm inclined to think you're getting too much volume early on, but I like the way you taper off towards the end, so I doubt that is a huge factor. I think a bigger factor could be the length of your PE Phase relative to the timing of your trip. Are you doing a good bit of power maintenance training during this PE Phase? Do you feel like you have good power on your trip? I think if I were on this schedule I would have a hard time maintaining my power at a high level for that long (and, the density of training/climbing early in the phase would compound that problem).
Conventional wisdom is that PE is the most easily "over-trained" type of training, and that over-training PE is the most likely to lead to physical and/or mental burnout. I tend to agree. I've found for myself that one day of indoor PE training per week is sufficient, especially if you are getting some rough PE work on your outdoor days. I would consider switching one of the wk 1&2 LBC days to a power day (LB or LB+Campus).
When you're failing on a PE route, it can be really hard to tell what the root cause is. It usually feels like you just need a little bit more endurance, but that is often just the symptom of another problem. In my experience, if failure is coming at the end of a long season, the real problem is lack of power. I've observed this in myself many times, when I've struggled to make progress on a hard project after many days of work, then I come back the next season and crush it in 2-3 days at the end of my Power Phase (often having only done 1-2 PE workouts).
I am not really concerned with volume so for my next trip I will give your recommendation a try. My reason for just 1 warmup climb and 1 RP attempt per day was so I could give my goal route an efficient attempt each time and have plenty of time to recover. I am bit on the older side as well (I will be 33 soon and I climb with people that are 20-26). I am very curious to see if the second RP attempt would be better. I always assumed It would be worse.
As for power, I typically do a few sets of campus after each LBC day. I mostly stay on the large metolius rungs and a few sets of pull ups on the hangboard. It never even crossed my mind that it may be a lack of power (this is the first trip where I didn't send my goal route). I will certainly replace one of the LBC days with a power day, but are you saying I should shorten the PE phase to just 3 weeks instead?
The goal route for this trip was Kaleidoscope. I felt like I was pretty close, but I may have made my LBC too long. After being on the route, it felt more bouldery than I anticipated. So It may in fact have been a lack of power. Also, I chose this route because I saw pictures of you on it. lol. Not joking.
are you saying I should shorten the PE phase to just 3 weeks instead?
I was saying that it would be really tough to maintain your power for 4 weeks, especially without doing specific power maintenance workouts. So, if you think power might be an issue (during your trip), then you should consider a different approach. It sounds like power could very well be an issue, so I would consider adding more power maintenance into your plan (as discussed) and perhaps shortening the PE phase.
RE Power maintenance, I don't think that the relatively easy campusing you are doing after your LBCs is going to help much. I think power maintenance needs to be intense. It can be short, but it needs to be at your limit. I would recommend instead doing a short bit of hard campusing before your LBC. I know that I would not be able to campus effectively after an LBC. If you keep it short it should have minimal impact on your LBC.
Hey sorry for the delayed response. I haven't been on here for a while.
Anyways, my background was not much of a contributing factor for climbing. I used to skateboard mostly and did some martial arts. What I think really helped is that when I started climbing it turned into an obsession. I thought about training/climbing all the time. Motivation was definitely a key factor. Every time I climbed/trained I gave it everything I had. Left nothing for tomorrow. Everytime you climb or train, push yourself further than you think you can go. Basically you just have to suffer.
Training plans are important too, but it wont matter which one you are on unless you push yourself.
Train hard and rest hard.
Idk if this will help you at all but its what helped me. Good Luck!!