One of the most important things you can do to get better and prevent a variety of problems is learn to climb with good form and under control you are tired and getting desperate.
We’ve all seen it: as you get more tired, and pumped from the route, you tend to slap in desperation, throw yourself at holds, and be sloppy. There’s a pile of exercise physiology data that shows that dexterity, precision, and focus degenerate when athletes get tired at the end of hard sessions of work.
You may feel like it’s a good thing to really throw yourself at it and give it all you’ve got to finish, but this kind of climbing won’t really help in the long run. It’s much more likely that you'll hurt yourself through wildly flailing.
If you’re outside there are very real dangers that you need to plan for—you need to be able to clip bolts after run-outs, you need to avoid hazards on route, you may have a long, hard day ahead of you, you may face wind, rain or darkness up higher, and so on.
One of the most remarkable things about the very best climbers is that you can’t really tell how hard the route is until they just melt off of it. That’s because they climb calmly, and under full control right up to the very end.
You can actually train to climb better when you’re in this trashed state. Make mental note to work on this during your workouts. When you get to the end of a session and you can see the desperate flailing setting in and your dexterity starts getting worse, slow down and get control of it. Find the rests, strategize, and focus your attention on your failing body. Take more time to set up for cruxes where it’s easy, and try to get through them quickly and precisely. Try maneuvers that you know will work. Stick to the rudiments of technique with straight arms, using good footwork, and advance planning. All of this is much harder because as your body got tired, your mind did too.
The goal is to train good technique so much that it becomes second nature and slips into the unconscious background.
Labels: climbing, tips