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muttblood


Aug 10, 2007, 7:52 AM
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working on climbing pace.
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As I was studying the self-coached climber and the eric horst podcasts, I realized that one (if not the) of the biggest energy leaks I have is that I climb often too slowly. I even do this on easy routes.

I believe a big part of my climbing slowly was in the attempt to be precise in my movements and technique, which is USUALLY pretty good. The slow climbing became habit.

BUT, when I get on certain types of routes, I don't last very long. I think part of this has to do with slow climbing.

Does anyone have any effective tips, drills or training schemes to break the habit of climbing unnecessarily too slowly, or gaining a better feel for 'how quickly' (i use this term a bit loosely) I should be climbing a particular route? Has anyone had to work through this type of issue?

I know the obvious answer is "just climb more quickly". But that's like telling someone who wants to quit smoking to "just stop smoking". I don't want to forsake technique in the name of speed. I want the two to mesh.

Any nonasshole suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!


dvd


Aug 10, 2007, 8:01 AM
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Re: [muttblood] working on climbing pace. [In reply to]
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when/if you are doing endurance laps, familiar routes or not, pick the pace up. make your belayer work


sactownclimber


Aug 10, 2007, 8:03 AM
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Re: [muttblood] working on climbing pace. [In reply to]
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I tend to be intentional about climbing slowly, especially while I warm up. As the difficulty increases, my pace tends to quicken.

I tend to climb my best when I can get a nice cadence going, and I have found that this is something that you can train for. Start off by warming up on something easy, and be intentional about 'getting into a groove,' but focus on good technique. Establish a cadence. Lower off, and then do the same route, this time at a faster cadence. You can slowly increase your pace until you find that your technique starts to go to crap, and then slow up just a bit until you regain good technique.


overlord


Aug 10, 2007, 8:23 AM
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Re: [sactownclimber] working on climbing pace. [In reply to]
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theres no 'ideal' pace for all climbers. some like to climb fast, others slow.

the key is finding the pace that suits you best and to be able to vary it when circumstances require it.

also try to work on your economy of movent; eg, placing the feet right where you want them, hitting the handholds right the first time and not shuffling too much etc.


mturner


Aug 10, 2007, 8:54 AM
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Re: [muttblood] working on climbing pace. [In reply to]
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As mentioned, slow isn't bad but if you do want to improve your speed then simply make a point to speed up.

What hasn't been mentioned yet is mental visualization before climbing. This way not be what you are doing, but often times I see beginners (and advanced climbers alike) start climbing without looking past the first couple of holds. They then get to a point where they are unsure of where the route goes or how to do the move and waste a lof of energy on the wall figuring it out. I used to do this too until a friend mentioned it to me. Now I always make a point of looking at all the holds and picturing all the moves. On the harder stuff I make a point to close my eyes and visualize every move in my head. You'd be surprised how many times you are unable to visualize and have to look again at the route to figure out what you are going to do. Makes for more efficient climing all around. As for the speed aspect, visualize yourself moving faster.


Azure


Aug 10, 2007, 9:02 AM
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Re: [mturner] working on climbing pace. [In reply to]
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mturner wrote:
As mentioned, slow isn't bad but if you do want to improve your speed then simply make a point to speed up.

What hasn't been mentioned yet is mental visualization before climbing. This way not be what you are doing, but often times I see beginners (and advanced climbers alike) start climbing without looking past the first couple of holds. They then get to a point where they are unsure of where the route goes or how to do the move and waste a lof of energy on the wall figuring it out. I used to do this too until a friend mentioned it to me. Now I always make a point of looking at all the holds and picturing all the moves. On the harder stuff I make a point to close my eyes and visualize every move in my head. You'd be surprised how many times you are unable to visualize and have to look again at the route to figure out what you are going to do. Makes for more efficient climing all around. As for the speed aspect, visualize yourself moving faster.

I agree, I notice that when I take the time to visualize a plan of attack I am able to get up routes faster, easier, and with less burnout. Even if your plan doesn't work out while your up on the wall, at least you have already got your mind thinking about ways to solve the problem.


markc


Aug 10, 2007, 9:21 AM
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Re: [mturner] working on climbing pace. [In reply to]
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mturner wrote:
What hasn't been mentioned yet is mental visualization before climbing.

Good suggestion to examine and visualize the route before you get off the ground. Consider your path, body position, key holds, and spots to rest. The better you can visualize, the less hesitant you'll be on route.

A lot of climbers (myself included) can spend a lot of time and energy psyching up for a move or certain section. You move up, don't like something, move back, etc. The sooner you can commit, the better. Once you commit, commit fully. There's something to be said for placing gear by the crux, moving to a rest, then resuming the climb. It's another matter when you're just dancing back and forth due to fear and hesitation.

Don't chalk unless you need to. I have a friend that chalks when he's nervous. It's a means of delaying commitment, and he'll chalk when it's really unnecessary. If you're to a spot where you want to rest, just rest. Don't needlessly fiddle.

As far as specific techniques for speeding up, I'd say pick routes that are a couple grades below your level. Rig them on toprope and try speed climbing. Pay attention to your technique, but make moving quickly the larger priority. If you're in a part of three, time each other and see if your idea of how long you were on route is accurate. As your pace increases, step up the difficulty.

I've never tried this, but you could try traversing problems in the gym. Have a friend give you a small head start, with the idea of catching up and tagging you. Switch roles.

If you're climbing traditional routes, try to balance adequate protection with moving quickly. Learn to quickly calculate the consequences of a fall, and get comfortable spacing out gear if you can do so safely. The more you place, the slower you and your partner will be. Whether you're leading sport or trad, minimize fumbling and wasted energy when clipping (and especially placing pro).

If we're also talking about multipitch climbing, efficiency at change-overs is as important as your pace while climbing. Both partners should always be doing something to push the clock.

Lastly, climb uber-popular routes on busy weekends. If the eyes burning holes in your back don't speed you up, I don't know what will. There are people out there that climb a lot faster than I do, but there are those that climb a lot slower, as well.


fluxus


Aug 10, 2007, 12:20 PM
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Re: [mturner] working on climbing pace. [In reply to]
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mturner wrote:
As mentioned, slow isn't bad but if you do want to improve your speed then simply make a point to speed up.

Well, slow certainly can be bad, and its common for climbers to place a value on moving slowly because it gives the appearance of control, this despite the fact that in many cases slow is very inefficient.

Pacing matters, and there is something of an ideal pace for a specific climber in a specific context.


shockabuku


Aug 10, 2007, 12:35 PM
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Re: [fluxus] working on climbing pace. [In reply to]
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FWIW: don't sacrifice overall speed on a route for resting in appropriate places. I've slowed down considerably overall and climb a lot better. Gotta know when to quickly move through the taxing parts and when to work a rest.


mturner


Aug 10, 2007, 12:38 PM
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Re: [fluxus] working on climbing pace. [In reply to]
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fluxus wrote:
mturner wrote:
As mentioned, slow isn't bad but if you do want to improve your speed then simply make a point to speed up.

Well, slow certainly can be bad, and its common for climbers to place a value on moving slowly because it gives the appearance of control, this despite the fact that in many cases slow is very inefficient.

Very true, I should have said slow climbing doesn't have to be bad. I guess I was thinking about those times when I rush too much and my technique falters.


borntorocku


Aug 11, 2007, 8:30 AM
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Re: [mturner] working on climbing pace. [In reply to]
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When I climb I have 10 "speeds" 1 - snail pass, e.g. on Run out slab to 10 - full out, i.e. Hans Florine on crack. I will try different speeds and find the one that works best.

When I was trying to redpoint a hard climb for me, 13a (Not spraying just context), there was difficult intro section to a really hard crux. Moving through the intro section was critical for the crux. It took several sessions to find the right speed after I knew the moves. It was balance between slow and very precise and faster with less time spent on the section.

Another suggestion is find a jug haul and go all out. Time your self and try improve the time. It helps break through the mindset of "always in control."


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