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I thought I should mention some of the sessions I've been doing because, I think, they are sort of interesting, especially the gym sessions.
At the climbing gym I have been doing stuff that makes everyone wonder just what the hell I'm doing because the whole time I'm climbing I sweat like crazy.
I started--foundation period--with 30-minute sets on the wall trying not to get pumped. These sets help your capillarity (number of capillaries) to increase, which over the long haul improves the body's capacity for performance. Since I don't have time for down time, when you should rest between sets, I would do 30-minute sets of the bike, or stairmaster, or whatever. This means that for 3 X 30m sets I alternate with 3 x 30m cardio sets and the workout takes just over 3 hours. The funny thing is (at least to the gym people who spend 70% of their workout standing around) is that I'm moving all of the time, and sweating like crazy. In the climbing gym, since most people are just bouldering no one is sweating so I think they are looking at me thinking "hmmm, he looks in shape, I wonder why he's sweating so much? Probably taking a lot of drugs."
As I changed to interval training I would keep the same routine of climbing/machine work but I would do a 30-minute interval set on a machine, then complete 10 boulder problems. I would do 40 problems in a workout. I wanted to do 40 V4's but could never even come close in the gym, so I think 40 of anything is good training because the gym is so physical. For me, gym climbing is much harder than climbing outside because it's all physical, whereas rock always provides more subtle ways to climb things (gym climbers often think it's the other way around because they don't have the experience to exploit these and get confused with no tape on the holds). So I would start with 0's and 1's to warm up, then do 5 X 2's, then 5 X 3's, then try some 4's until progress was going backward and work back down the scale. I didn't want to waste time working on hard things so if I couldn't do a problem first try I would move on.
I also followed the foundation/hypertorphy plan in the weight room, first doing 30-rep sets for three weeks, than 12-15 for a week, then 6-9 for three weeks. I skipped doing power in the weight room because for my events it isn't that necessary and it is risky (easy to do too much and get injured) and even a minor tendon injury could be disastrous.
Outside I was doing a lot of very long sessions in the mountains. Trail runs would often be 3 to 5 hours. I did, however, still follow my foundation/hypertrohy principals and would do interval work on the trails, which I feel is not only effective but breaks up the monotony of running on trails all the time.
I also checked my heart rate to gauge how I was doing. Except when I'm doing intervals, I didn't want it to ever exceed 170bpm and tried to keep it between 110 and 150. On good days, it would drop quickly (within a couple of minutes) to below 100 at summits. One day right before Reed's challenge it was hitting 80 within 2-minutes of each summit, which meant I was getting quite fit. After Reed's it hasn't been as good probably because doing his whole challenge was overtraining.
Santa Barbara, CA
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