This post is a long overdue thank you to Niamh and Andres at Sendero Climbing! If you’re a rockclimber and interested in training for rockclimbing, a training plan to progress your grade or to break through a plateau then get in touch with them, I’d highly recommend them as coaches! Find them on insta @senderoclimbing
I turned 40 last year and decided it was a good time to set some goals for the future. The previous 5 years had been pretty hectic, setting up my own company, obtaining my Mountaineering Instructor qualifications, buying a house with my partner Sinead and working on 15 foreign trekking and mountaineering expeditions for Earths Edge.
With so much achieved in my working life and with my business up and running, I turned my time and energy back towards my own personal rockclimbing, as it had started to suffer.
Back in 2015, I was climbing pretty well, I always felt strong and was steadily making progress into harder grades, but in 2020 I felt weak and lacked the confidence to push on.
I had never climbed E5 and always saw it as a great milestone goal to try achieve. I wasnt happy that I had become stagnant in my personal climbing and I was wary of the trap that alot of Instructors can fall into, where work life takes over and they stop pushing hard with their own climbing. I see it all the time and was sure it would never happen to me, yet here I was 5 years in and it was happening. I always thought of myself as a climber first, then an Instructor, but this had stopped being true and it was time to flip the script.
There’ll always be a reason why not to try hard, but mostly its because we fall into comfort zones. It can be safer to court the devil you know rather than put yourself forward to risk failure.
I also love bouldering as much as trad and wanted to push my standards on the small rocks as well as the big cliffs. So my training plan had to be build strength, power and endurance. The mental and skill aspects of climbing I’d have to work on too, alot, but this was made a whole lot simpler when my mate and total beast of a climber Jono Redmond moved in next door to me. I now had a regular climbing partner who was was able to give me encouragement, technique coaching and loads of abuse if I skipped workouts. And that he did.
What Andres and Niamh designed in terms of a training plan really worked for me. From the outset I felt like they really understood what I wanted from a plan and also through consultation were able to make it fit into my other commitments. They checked in with me regularly, but not too much, making sure I was enjoying the workouts and not skipping them because I couldnt be arsed with some of the excercises.
The concept of designing a successful training plan shouldn’t have been so alien to me, after all I understand and know all the concepts myself, but I’ve always had a tendency to overdo it when designing a plan for myself and then get burned out or injured too quickly. Less can be more and all that.
Theres also nothing quite like being accountable to someone else when it comes to training and improving.
For me anyway it worked. I stayed the course, put in the hours and stayed true to the workouts. I was successful in headpointing my first E5, have two more in my sights, while also topping out on a number of boulder problems in Doolin that I lacked the power to send before.
But why stop there! The guys at Sendero Climbing made a new plan for me and I’m working away on that steadily but surely, because why limit your goals. Jono will be moving house soon, but has promised to abuse me online if I slack off.
My onsight grade has always been shocking but as the country comes out of lockdown I’ll have more ability to put the psyche and strength to good use and push my comfort zone there too.
With Mirror Wall on my doorstep I’ll have plenty of opportunities to push that comfort zone nicely.
Thanks again guys!
Training for rockclimbing