The start of the Intervals

I had my first flirtation with doing an interval session on the Foundry board this week. Dave, who I was with in Malham and is generally a super-strong climber (notably on crimps!) had been talking about it and I'm definitely one for following the ideas and thoughts of someone who has climbed hard (he ticked Mecca - 8b - last year which is on my to-do list). That's one of the awesome benefits of the Foundry right now - I get to watch, and get ideas and advice from a bunch of people who have climbed a few notches above me and it can only motivate. Here's some of them below.

- Justin: "I do all the problems, including my warm-ups using features or screw-ons for feet. It's something I learnt from one of the strong-men who now happens to own the Works" (climbs all problems up to 7c this way). I've been a big believer in this for a while, but hadn't really considered my warm-ups also - I've found already that I'm pulling a bit harder, probably more of a psychological thing as I'm getting prepared in the warm-up for to grip harder.
- Stuart: "Change my interval problem every session to stop me just learning how to get all the moves - I never repeat the same sequence every week" Not completely sold on this one just yet as there's a psychological benefit to seeing gains over a couple of sessions on one specific lap. E.g. I repeat a 90-second long lap of the woodie every 3 minutes for a maximum of 10 times. Can barely do it 4 right now, so there's a nice mental and I'm sure physical gain to be made by repeating this fully 10 times. I'm going to compromise and change the lap I use every two weeks.
- Steve McC: All you have to do is just watch him to see how good his core and his technique is. I've spend a lot of time working on lower back and getting core strength sorted. Again, paying off on steeper problems.

These are just an example but I love the idea and quantity of new thoughts I'm being given. It's easy to get into a rut after climbing for so long with the same (good and bad) habits so these can help refresh. Notable ones this year are that when I first started climbing, I only really focused on crimps, it's now mainly pockets so I'm having to get into the habit again of crimping things - Writing it down as a goal-of-the-night to just crimp everything is surprisingly satisfying, even if I fail on lots.

Anyway, back to the intervals. Dave set this lap so it's super-crimpy and with loads of undercuts (on the 45-degree woodie). All those undercuts are killing me, so I have to fight from the second I pull on. I didn't even manage a full loop on Tuesday (neither did Dave thankfully!) but I put in several burns and will start doing it twice a week now for the forthcoming month of so. progress progress progress........

CWIF10 - The Climbing Works International Festival 2010

Malham - invasion of the 'Peakies'!