It’s April 2020 and we can’t climb. It’s safest to assume that, for now, this is our reality. We need to work out how to live through it without moving into a tent in the garden and gutting the house to build a personal climbing wall (that’d be bad… right?!).
These are some of our top tips and exercises to help maintain your climbing performance whilst the lock-down continues.
We’ve split them into the five key elements of sporting performance, nested within two more all-encompassing areas that may be particularly useful to consider at this time.
Some of our tips may cross over into several areas of course and they’re not
rocket science, but we hope you’ll find
All the tips below can be done without a home wall/fingerboard/exercise equipment.
If you are lucky enough to have access to any training aids and want some input on how to get the most out of them, feel free to contact us for personalised coaching programmes!
Your mindset is one of the things you currently have the most control over - attitude and approach is a key element for surviving and thriving in challenging situations.
It’s called social distancing, not anti-social distancing! Of course we need to comply with guidance regarding physical distancing and non-essential travel, but thanks to technology our society can be more connected now than ever before.
We are social creatures - meaningful relationships with the people that matter to us (and with those for whom we matter) are essential to create an environment in which you can succeed, whether in terms of climbing or dealing with the Coronavirus situation.
Lifestyle & Nutrition
Sleep well and eat well - this underpins all other elements of sporting performance so use this time to develop or nurture healthy habits, ready for when normal life (and climbing!) resumes.
We're not nutritionists or health-care professionals - if you're struggling with sleeping or eating, you should seek professional medical help.
The technical elements of climbing performance encompasses everything from movement technique to the technical knowledge required for the efficient use of climbing equipment and systems.
This refers to the decision making processes we go through when climbing. An excellent way to improve your decision making is to increase the amount and accuracy of information you have to base them on.
Any high performing athlete will almost certainly have had input from a sports psychologist but climbers often confuse head-game with managing a fear of falling.
We can forget that the mind is a muscle, just like any other. If it isn't trained to perform then it doesn’t matter how strong or technically capable the rest of our body is...
Both of these are preparatory exercises to develop our mind’s abilities. The aim of these exercises is to become familiar with accessing flow-state, whether you're training, climbing or finding your zone while doing the dishes, becoming familiar with and able to complete these exercises prepares you to apply them in a climbing context in the future.
Daily exercise is so important - for the body, mind and soul.
Your life is probably completely different now compared to two months ago. You may find designing and implementing a new routine useful.
Be sensible and realistic about how much physical training you can do. If you are not used to running every week, don’t start off with a programme that has you running 4 times a week!
It would be a real shame for you to be carrying an injury from over-training when the restrictions are lifted!
We hope you found these exercises and tips interesting and educational.
They are just a snapshot of things you could be doing and are based on some of the tools, techniques and practices our coaches use every day to support climbers who are injured, don't have training facilities or simply have limited time.
If you have any questions about anything in this article, or would like more information about performance coaching now or for the future, please feel free to drop us a line.