Nick K

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    Nick K on · in reply to: at-home solutions for climbing-specific training sessions #39731

    I think if you build the volume carefully, and modulate the intensity appropriately, you can hangboard with very high frequency without injuring yourself if you’re not also rock climbing.

    I say that having once (due to a strange set of life circumstances which made this seem reasonable) had a ~10 week period where I front squatted to an easy max (and did back off sets) and hangboarded every weekday morning (as every coach in here faints). There were some supplementary exercises involved, but that was the gist of the program. This was during the winter, so I was ice climbing one weekend day, and Sunday was off or easy short run and homework. Obviously I came out of that extremely strong. I built a huge amount of work capacity on that strength over the summer, and built to a crag day where I sent 9×5.12 a/b in a day. I’m not saying this was the most intelligent way to get there, but it certainly worked. I was early 30s at the time, working and in grad school, so it’s not like I had early 20s recovery either.

    It was, however, an obvious low point in my aerobic fitness.

    If you want to read more in-depth on my madness, here’s the training beta article I wrote afterwards:

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by  Nick K.

    Nick K on · in reply to: Recommendation for indoor training #39730

    My wife and I just got an NT incline trainer a couple months ago, the base model with the 11″ screen. We have not bothered with the subscription service that comes with it, and use it entirely in manual mode.

    We’re both super happy with it so far (and so are our dogs), and it is a pretty robust machine. I have noticed some belt slippage at high inclines (>25% with a human using it, the dogs don’t seem to see much slippage, or at least they haven’t complained about it) and I’m around 80kg these days. I honestly think that past 25%, box step ups are probably a better use of time and energy, but that may depend on your typical trail and approach situation.

    I also have a C2 Bikeerg, which I absolutely love for bonus Z1 and recovery sessions. The only downside to that machine that I’ve found is that the seat angle adjustment is ridiculously finicky, especially if you’re used to actual bikes. I do wonder if your past issues with bike sessions are related to improper fit? I have no idea your level of experience with bikes and fit, but it can make a huge difference.

    I wrecked my ankle skiing a couple years ago (dislocated in external rotation, destroyed the syndesmotic ligament, broke my fibula up high) skiing, and retained my sanity with bikeerg and hangboard sessions. I think the bike is a really good complement to load bearing activity for rehab, as it seemed to find some extra bits of ankle ROM that weren’t hit by running or walking. And of course you can give the poor ankle a break from load bearing and still gain aerobic fitness.

    Anyway, if you only get one, I think the question is what are the other resources available to you? We got the bike first, because it filled a good gap for me during a period of injury. We got the treadmill more recently to make up for the challenge of getting in vert during busy work weeks.

    Nick K on · in reply to: What are your energy bar choices for the hill? #30605

    I’m another fan of probars (if you’re an AAC member, we get a deal on them that’s pretty good). Specifically, the peanut butter chocolate chip bars are my go to for anything longer than 3 hours – that’s about the amount of time where I need to put something solid into my stomach to deal with feeling hungry.

    I’ve been really psyched on Spring Energy gels lately – totally unlike any other gel I’ve tried, and the non caffeinated version of their 250cal gel is an incredibly portable and speedy way to hammer in that quantity of calories.

    I find those two things to be way easier to deal with than real food when I’m moving. I also really don’t like to stop moving, so anything that doesn’t fit in pockets that I can access while moving doesn’t get eaten unless I have equipment transitions. Crag days I bring probars and fruit, and I’m good.

    Nick K on · in reply to: Breakfast Ideas? #28685

    Like the OP, I don’t find eggs particularly filling, but my solution has been to eat more of them.

    Daily breakfast is 6 eggs fried in olive oil, 3 medium potatoes and a bunch of salsa, at about 9am. I vary the salsa by week for variety, but otherwise that’s basically all weekdays, after my AM climbing or strength session and my run commute to work. I’m usually gnawing on my desk by about 11.

    Weekends I’ll usually eat 4 eggs and two potatoes before heading out the door for whatever the day’s activities are.

    Nick K on · in reply to: Footwear for high volume auto-belay ARC / base training #25197

    For what it’s worth, I go the opposite of David for my base volume: I wear the same shoes that I pull hard in to ARC in. The only exception to this is if I’m training specifically for an alpine trip where I expect to climb a bunch in boots, in which case, I ARC in boots. Basically, train as you fight, as some military friends of mine like to say.

    Also, building on what Scott was saying, in addition to practicing falling (which yes, you need to do intentionally, “eventually” is the right word to use when it comes to gradually getting over it just by climbing), I think a real safety check at the start of every line is a good practice as well. Aside from the obvious benefit of making sure that everything is properly setup so you won’t die, this is basically a moment to consciously affirm your trust in the systems, equipment and partner that you’re climbing with. This (and practicing falling every single time I went out) was something that helped a ton when I was rebuilding my mental game after a pretty gnarly ground fall a few years ago (some time was spent in the hospital).

    Intentionally building up your mental confidence is going to do a lot for your ability to stay relaxed and calm when you’re pulling hard.

    Also, one other thought, if the foot holds you can ARC on are that big, maybe change the wall angle you’re using so you can use smaller feet to have some footwork development while you’re ARCing.

    Nick K on · in reply to: Maintaining aerobic fitness during steep climbing phases #24437

    I totally get where you’re coming from, as I try to improve my ability to charge up mountains and retain and improve my ability to pull hard on rock moves over here…

    As you say, I think the key is to be totally clear what your priorities are at any given point in time, and abide by those. I’m currently focused heavily on rebuilding aerobic base, so I have a bunch of running, some supplementary cycling, and one big day in the mountains every week. I have found that I can mix that with building some climbing work capacity, probably because they’re both training facets of the same thing: the ability to keep moving all day.

    Finger strength for me is always on slow burn no matter what else is happening, since that rewards consistency above all else. I also find that max hang focused programs are enough for me to make progress, so I don’t do a huge volume of hangboard. I’d rather put that time into actual climbing that will improve my skills.

    So I probably have a very different view of how much energy I need for a hangboard session than what you need.

    Nick K on · in reply to: Maintaining aerobic fitness during steep climbing phases #24085

    I weekly do a work capacity focused sport climbing day (spent on all 12s) with an easy bike session in the afternoon. Then I’m ready to for an all day z1/2 effort the next day.

    Nick K on · in reply to: Maintaining aerobic fitness during steep climbing phases #24084

    When you’re feeling awful during the Z1/2 sessions the day after hangboard, do you still feel awful when you finish the aerobic session? Have you tried keeping it super easy (like low z1) and considering it a recovery session? That way, the goal is not any specific training effect, just feeling better when you’re done. Then over time you may start to feel more consistently good as your body learns to recover from the hangboard sessions.

    I’m mid-30s and really seeing benefit from recovery sessions, though I’m usually doing them on a bikeerg to give my body a break from running.

    Nick K on · in reply to: GPS watch #7492

    I broke a Forerunner 220 a year or so ago and upgraded to an Ambit3 Peak. I’ve been super happy with it, the battery life is excellent, and it’s easy to use. I find the Suunto software for uploading works far better than the Garmin, and the connection to Strava works better too. The GPS also finds it’s satellites wayyy faster than the Garmin.

    I’ve no idea about the HR chest strap, I stopped tracking HR long before I switched watches (just using nose-breathing as my metric). The watch does track steps, though I have no idea if you can have it bug you to move.

    The Suunto line is pretty bewildering, but if I remember my research correctly the Peak had the best battery life of all the options, in addition to the combo altimeter. It’s a little chunky at first glance, but in practice I have no complaints (and I wear it all the time, not just for training).

    Nick K on · in reply to: Leg fatigue #6588

    Step ups specifically would probably help: it sounds like it’s primarily the descents that are getting you, so you’re probably missing some eccentric strength, and step ups will have some more of that than just squats.

    If you really don’t want to do step ups, you could try tempo pistols or split squats with a 3111 tempo. Also, Mountain Athlete’s Leg Blasters and Quadzilla complexes work really well, but have a pretty big recovery hit.

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