Cragmama "Not all who wander are lost…" JRR Tolkien

Category Archives: Training

The Fort Bragg Spartan Race

The Fort Bragg Spartan Race

It all started earlier this summer with the new NBC TV show “Ultimate Spartan Challenge.”  My ninja warrior wanna-be son was all about it from the minute he saw it.  Add to that the fact that we actually knew a few of the competitors…and his mind just exploded week after week.  He began “training” everywhere – in our backyard, on the playground, at the crag, insisting that he was going to be a Spartan when he grew up (and that he was going to be on the Ninja team, because first he was going to be the next American Ninja Warrior.)…Read the rest of this entry →

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Climbing Gym Workouts for Improving Endurance

Climbing Gym Workouts for Improving Endurance

January is a pretty popular time to buy sarms and start a training program for many people, what with the combination of New Year’s resolutions and falling off the exercise/healthy eating wagon over the holidays.  And for climbers, this time of the year is the perfect time to start building a training foundation with which to get ready for spring season.  A year ago at this time, I was starting my first training cycle with the Rock Climber’s Training Manual.  I saw great results from the program not only during the spring, but throughout the year, and I’m optimistic for similar gains…Read the rest of this entry →

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How to Make Reachy Moves

How to Make Reachy Moves

Raise your hand if you’ve ever been shut down by a crux sequence because of a hold that is juuuuust out of reach.  Unless you are 7 feet tall, most of us should have our hands up at this point.  While it’s probably safe to say that a climber who is 5 feet tall probably deals with this more than one who is 6 feet tall, learning how to make long reaches is a skill that can benefit all climbers. Standing at 5’5″ tall, I’m certainly not short by female standards (average height for adult American female is 5’4″), although…Read the rest of this entry →

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Rock Climber’s Training Manual: Performance Phase (aka RESULTS!)

Rock Climber’s Training Manual: Performance Phase (aka RESULTS!)

I’m writing this climbing-related post from just about as far away from the mountains as I can possibly get.  Hubby’s out of town on business, so me and the kiddos are taking the opportunity to hang out at my in-laws beach house in Sunset Beach, NC.  It’s the perfect way to enjoy my week of rest after wrapping up my very first Rock Prodigy training cycle. To catch up any new readers, since January I’ve been using the program outlined in the Rock Climber’s Training Manual, written by my fellow Trango athletes Mark and Mike Anderson.  This periodized program took me through 4…Read the rest of this entry →

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Giveaway and Discounts from Medi-Dyne Brands!

Giveaway and Discounts from Medi-Dyne Brands!

Those of you that are keen observers perhaps may have noticed the latest graphic in the “Featured Partner” sidebar on this site. That’s because our family is psyched to have been chosen as ambassadors for Medi-Dyne Brands.  And that means great things for us AND you all! Medi-Dyne is a company that offers professional health care products aimed at improving performance and providing pain relief in both the long-term and short-term.  Their pre-hab products are designed to keep you outside enjoying the mountains, beach, lake, or wherever it is that you recreate most. So far we’ve had a chance to try 3…Read the rest of this entry →

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Performance Week 1: New River Gorge

Performance Week 1: New River Gorge

This past weekend marked the first trip of my “Performance Phase” in my first training cycle using the Rock Climber’s Training Manual.  There were a few ups and downs, but overall I am very pleased with how I climbed, and am optimistic about how the next few weeks will go.  I’ll start with the downs, so I can end on a good note! DOWNS On the routes I’d previously been on (and thus already worked out the moves for), I got shutdown.  I failed miserably on Techman (5.12c), which had been my primary goal for the weekend.  The crux went…Read the rest of this entry →

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Rock Climber’s Training Manual Part 2 – Power/Power Endurance

Rock Climber’s Training Manual Part 2 – Power/Power Endurance

A few weeks ago I posted about how things were going for me in first two phases (Base Fitness and Strength) of the Rock Prodigy Training Program.  Now that I’ve completed the latter two training phases (Power and Power Endurance), it seems appropriate to share another progress report. Power has never been my strong suit.  When I get shut down on a route/problem, it’s generally because I just cannot execute a particular move.  On the flip side, however, if I CAN do all the moves on a route, linking them together *usually* comes fairly quickly.  Bouldering at the gym has helped, as well…Read the rest of this entry →

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Rock Climber’s Training Manual Part 1 (Base Fitness and Strength)

Rock Climber’s Training Manual Part 1 (Base Fitness and Strength)

When I first started climbing, I didn’t bother with any sport-specific training of any sort. My formula for improving was to just climb.  However, once Cragbaby #1 came into the picture, our midweek climb time was greatly decreased, which meant the time we did have needed to be a little more efficient.  I started keying in on my weaknesses and choosing routes/problems/techniques that focused on those (for example, adding some off-set pull-ups and movement drills to increase lock-off strength.) Then I broke my ankle in February of 2012.  I knew I’d go nuts if I didn’t do SOMETHING, but I couldn’t…Read the rest of this entry →

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Backyard Workout Challenge

Backyard Workout Challenge

Recently I found myself stuck in a rut when it came to my mid-week cardio routine. (On the weekends, hubby and I can tag team with kid-duty, but during the week I’m usually left to my own devices.)  My available exercise window during the week is pretty darn small.  The most efficient way to squeeze in some exercise is to hop on the elliptical…but that gets pretty old.  So lately I’ve been putting myself through my own cross-training “boot camp” type workout in the backyard.  It’s a lot more fun than being cooped up inside, and it’s a great way…Read the rest of this entry →

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Climb Time for the Whole Family (What Works for Us!)

Climb Time for the Whole Family (What Works for Us!)

It’s my theory that eavesdropping on a family’s Sunday night dinner conversation is one of the quickest ways to figure out what’s most important to that family.  The weekend is over and everyone is setting their sights onto a new week, planning out the logistics of who’s doing what, when and how.  Which activities/events are the first up for discussion?  You know, those things that you want to MAKE time for, despite how busy you are?  Each family’s discussion will be different of course, but the logistical conversations are often the same – how to make sure ______ gets to…Read the rest of this entry →

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Bouldering Circuits: A Quickie Power Endurance Workout

Bouldering Circuits: A Quickie Power Endurance Workout

Thanks to a loving husband and a (for the most part) cooperative baby, I’ve been able to consistently get to the gym 2-3 times per week starting around 2 weeks postpartum.  But when I go and how much time I have is always up in the air.  Sometimes I know up front that I only have 45 minutes to acquire a good pump…other times I go in thinking I have an hour and a half, only to have my workout cut short by a screaming baby.  If efficiency was an important component to my climbing workouts with just one kiddo,…Read the rest of this entry →

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Postpartum Weight Loss and the Weight Gurus SMART Scale

Postpartum Weight Loss and the Weight Gurus SMART Scale

Our family ordinarily doesn’t keep a scale in the house.  Honestly for me personally, having a scale available 24/7 is a slippery slope that can easily lead to obsession, and I’ve learned the hard way that I’m much happier when I’m not tempted to be a slave to the number on the scale.  Besides (pregnancy aside of course), I’m active enough and eat healthy enough that my weight doesn’t really fluctuate that much anyway. That being said, when the folks at Weight Gurus contacted me just a few weeks before Baby Z was born and offered to send me their…Read the rest of this entry →

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Pregnancy Workouts for Rock Climbers

Pregnancy Workouts for Rock Climbers

Although many women are capable of climbing all the way through their pregnancy, I’ll give a million dollars to the one who didn’t have to change her routine in at least some way (that was an exaggeration by the way…there’s not a giveaway widget at the end of this post 😉 ).   Climbing while pregnant takes on a totally different mindset and end goal than pre-preggo crushing.  The following is a list of workout ideas geared toward climbers that will hopefully keep not just a mama-to-be strong, happy, and healthy, but also increase the likelihood that the bun in…Read the rest of this entry →

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How Parents (and Other Busy People) Can Still Find Time to Train in the Climbing Gym

How Parents (and Other Busy People) Can Still Find Time to Train in the Climbing Gym

I often get questions from other families regarding time management and climbing.  How do you find time to train?  How do you balance climbing time and family time?  What are some quick and easy ways to squeeze in a climbing workout?  While the answer obviously varies from family to family, the common theme usually involves a lot of efficiency and a little bit of creativity.  Gone are the days when my hubby and I can meet each other at the gym after work and climb for hours on end until our fingers feel like their going to fall off.  Nowadays…Read the rest of this entry →

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Running for Rock Climbers: Interval Training

Running for Rock Climbers:  Interval Training

I’ve said numerous times that I am a climber, not a runner.  Admittedly, I enjoy that predictable rhythm that comes from pounding the pavement on a crisp, sunny day.  However, running simply gives me something healthy to do for my physical and mental health on days that I’m not climbing.  So while I’m not one of those obligatory anti-runners looking at their watch every other step until they can cross “cardio” off of their daily to-do list, I do occasionally find myself in the doldrums of monotony somewhere around mile 2 (especially on beautiful spring days where I’d rather be climbing!)  What helps me through these trips down Boredom…Read the rest of this entry →

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Running for Rock Climbers Series #2: Finding the Motivation

Running for Rock Climbers Series #2: Finding the Motivation

Part 1 of this series focused on the climber-specific benefits that can be attained by adding some weekly running into your fitness regimen.  Todays post will focus on finding motivation to do it – whether you’re new to running and wondering how to get started, an established runner who needs a pick-me-up, or a New Year’s Resolution drop-out looking to get back on the wagon.  It’s amazing how much you can accomplish with just a little dose of motivation!  Here’s a few ideas… 1.  SMARTPHONE APPS- The MapMyFitness App for my iPhone is awesome.  It records my distance, so I can run…Read the rest of this entry →

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3 Ways to TRY HARDER So You Can CLIMB HARDER!

3 Ways to TRY HARDER So You Can CLIMB HARDER!

This just in: If you try harder, you can climb harder!  At first glance, this might seem glaringly obvious, but it was rather eye-opening for me a few weeks ago after my hubby (tactfully) pointed out that it looked like I “gave up before I even tried” on a route that was giving me trouble at the New River Gorge.  That statement prompted a very reflective and enlightening discussion on the drive home that caused me to develop a new mantra for pushing my limits on the rock.  And though simple, I’ve already seen improvements from it, so it seemed worth sharing!  Basically it all boils down to the mantra of…Read the rest of this entry →

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H.I.T Hard, Crank Harder…

H.I.T Hard, Crank Harder…

I’ve had a number of requests recently for some more posts about training, especially from fellow female climbers.  So it seemed fitting to share about my somewhat recent experiences with HIT Strips.  A little late, but better late than never!  HIT Strips, aka Hypergravity Isolation Training, are a training protocol developed nearly a decade ago by guru Eric Horst, author of numerous training for climbing books.  What prompted me to hop on the strips?  Summer in the Southeast, as you are probably aware, is not known for it’s sending conditions.  Heat and humidity is at an all-time high, causing both…Read the rest of this entry →

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Indoor Training Tips: Triple Intervals

Indoor Training Tips:  Triple Intervals

I’ll be the first to admit, it’s hard to get in a good (and efficient) workout at the climbing gym with Cragbaby flitting around like the social butterfly that he is.  The days when we could time our gym time with a nap in a stroller are long gone, as are the days when we could barricade C with crash pads under an overhang.  To be honest, I’ve been pretty indifferent towards the climbing gym for the past year or so.  Yeah it’s a fun place to go, but out of the 4-6 hours that I spend there every week, how…Read the rest of this entry →

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Tales of a Broken Talus – 7 Lessons Learned.

Tales of a Broken Talus – 7 Lessons Learned.

So it’s been 75 days since my ankle went snap, crackle, pop on an otherwise delightful winter afternoon at the crag.  Since then I have been on a rather emotional roller coaster ride of thoughts, feelings, and mental processing.  Thankfully for me however (as well as everyone who has to put up with me on a daily basis…), that roller coaster has slowed down substantially in the last few weeks as my life has slowly but surely crept back to “normal.”  Looking back throughout the recovery process, Ive realized that this whole ordeal has been quite a learning experience for me, so I…Read the rest of this entry →

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Tales of a Broken Talus – Update #4

Tales of a Broken Talus – Update #4

For those of you that want the quick version, here’s the skinny – I’m finally out of the boot! Yay! For those that want the nitty gritty, here’s the play by play… Day 31-32:  Feeling strong on the hangboard, as I’m back up to 7-10 seconds again, despite the added weight.  Today I also added weight to my offset hangs on the large  edge.  My plan is to stick with this for another week, then next week toss in another weighted bean bag.  The warm spring weather has me frustrated because I’m afraid by the time I’m back up to par it’ll be…Read the rest of this entry →

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Tales of a Broken Talus – Update #3

Tales of a Broken Talus – Update #3

  I’m hoping that this will be the last update that ends with a boot… Days 18- 20 – After the good news at my doctor’s appointment, I spent the latter part of the week exploring my newfound freedom to attempt some cardio.  Although me boot-legging my way around the neighborhood could hardly be described as heart-pumping, it at least felt good to get out.  It took me 27 minutes to walk the .85 loop, but I had zero pain, and even got stopped by a little old lady who informed me that I was “doing the right thing” by trying…Read the rest of this entry →

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Tales of a Broken Talus – Update #2

Tales of a Broken Talus – Update #2

It’s been an interesting week, less emotional than the first one, and with an end goal in sight that I can live with. Day 10:  Being that it was President’s Day, Steve had the day off.  Being that it was a clear, gorgeous day without a cloud in sight, the big boys all went climbing.  Of course Cragbaby incorrectly assumed that meant him too – he got really excited when he saw all the backpacks and climbing gear come out, and enthusiastically helped his Daddy load the car.  But when everyone said good bye and hopped in the car without…Read the rest of this entry →

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Choosing an Off-season – aka The Importance of Rest

Choosing an Off-season – aka The Importance of Rest

What’s the best part about being a climber in the Southeast?  Climbing is a year round sport!  What’s the worst part about being a climber in the Southeast?  There’s no off-season… I grew up in a family that followed multiple sports – baseball, basketball, volleyball…pretty much everything but football.  (And thankfully my hubby never got into football either – which works out well since football season also brings some of the best weather weekends of the year!)  I remember that my “favorite” sport would always be whatever sport was currently in season at the time.  I remember anxiously awaiting the…Read the rest of this entry →

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