Janathon Day 8: Bouldering at the Foundry

I was supposed to do a 45 min bike ride in my training program today. Instead, I worked rather hard and then went to the Foundry on not much food. Surprisingly, I did actually achieve some pretty good climbing!

I didn’t eat very much today (breakfast was yoghurt/seeds/sultanas and a coffee; lunch bag of chopped veg and 4 rice cakes with cream cheese), so when I got to the foundry I was famished. I had a massive piece of flapjack (oh my god it was good) and that guilted me in to climbing. Otherwise, I probably would’ve taken my laptop out and started to work some more.

I warmed up quite slowly as the OH still hadn’t finished work and he was the only one with keys to the car and my stuff was locked away. I borrowed a pair of rental shoes and did quite a few L1s. I felt weak and heavy. I had no pop, no zing and no panache. I felt tired.

Eventually the OH turned up and I got to wear my own shoes. I started on an elite problem in the bomb bay area of the Wave and could not get anywhere on it! My arms were so tired, and my core has disappeared to nothingness.

Diane was super helpful and after about 7-8 goes I managed actually do the 2nd move. It was a very core-dependent move, especially for the short, and I had to think about doing it in 2 parts. The first part involved taking my left hand off a fairly positive hold and taking my weight on my right hand (holding a sloper/kidney shaped hold). Because my feet are so far away at this point, it requires a lot of core to keep my feet on and stop me from falling down. The second part of the move involved moving my left hand outwards to get a hold under the roof. Because I am so stretched out at this point it requires a lot of core. After a good couple of goes I can do this. Occasionally one or the other of my feet slide off, but I can feel the sequence, and where my body needs to be.

The second really hard (for me) move that happens straight after is trying to match the hold under the roof. For tall people it’s very straightforward as they leave their feet pretty much in the middle of the features to the bottom of the rear of the cave. For me, it’s a little bit harder. I am shorter and guess what? I need to use my core more! This move is a lot harder, and I am still a bit iffy on it. I have to move my feet leftward and flag my left foot. Once again it’s a two part move. The first part means getting in position, getting settled on my feet; the second part involves flicking my hips upwards while letting go of the sloper/kidney hold with my right hand and then trying to match the hold under the roof. Eventually I match the hold, but I can’t keep enough tension not to sink down to the ground.

Diane reminds me that at the beginning of the session I couldn’t even hold the move to the sloper/kidney without falling off. I actually have done quite well! The funny thing is, I don’t feel like I have exerted any effort – but I guess that’s the thing with hard, sequency problems that require body positioning and tension to hold to the move rather than all out power. I tried a couple more problems, including a L2 across the Wave and it became clear that I had worked very hard!

On reflection, I am going to start focusing more on bouldering after I return from Rome next week. Doing some lead climbing helped my bouldering immensely. I’m much more efficient in my movements, my footwork has improved, and I have more endurance. After Font in March, I will probably go back to doing routes again for a month or so, as a break from bouldering and to ‘top up’ the skills that I gain from it. However, I definitely have lost some strength and core – both of which I need to improve for Font (only 12 weeks away!). So, it’s back to core workout after each session and building up the bouldering volume for the next couple of weeks before moving on to strength endurance and power. Who knows? Maybe with a lot of work, I’ll be able to climb like Rannveig Aamodt:

Source: Squadraholds.com

Or Lisa Rands:

Source: freakclimbing.com

Some Stats:

  • Warmed up slowly on 7 L1s
  • Worked 2 moves on an elite in the low roof
  • Worked a L2 on the Wave – easy moves but I was tired!