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

Category Archives: Training

Rock Climbing and Pregnancy: What Changes to Expect

Rock Climbing and Pregnancy: What Changes to Expect

A lot of folks assume that rock climbing and pregnancy go together about as good as ants and a picnic.  However, with one pregnancy under my belt, and well on my way to completing a second, I can honestly say that climbing can be a healthy and enjoyable prenatal activity.  That being said, just as not all women should attempt to run/bike/yoga during pregnancy, climbing is not for everyone.  But if rock climbing is an activity that you engaged in on a regular basis before becoming pregnant, it’s an activity that is perfectly acceptable to continue for most women.  (Disclaimer:…Read the rest of this entry →

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Pregnancy Update: Weeks 19-26

Pregnancy Update: Weeks 19-26

Today marks 27 weeks of pregnancy, aka the 3rd (and final!) trimester.  Although I certainly hope she stays cooking in there for at least another 2 months or so, if my little girl were to be born now, she’d have a 90%  chance of survival – wild, huh?!?  Anyway, here’s a look back at the last 8 weeks of my 2nd trimester, from an activity/training perspective… Week 19 - I found myself partner-less at the gym this week, and since I’m past the stage where I feel comfortable bouldering, I had to get creative on the auto-belays in order to get…Read the rest of this entry →

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Keeping Elbow Tendonitis at Bay with Armaid (plus a GIVEAWAY!)

Keeping Elbow Tendonitis at Bay with Armaid (plus a GIVEAWAY!)

While there are any number of items you might expect to see passed around a campfire on a chilly spring evening in the middle of the Red River Gorge, a wacky-looking contraption designed to massage one’s forearms is probably not first on the list.  But that’s just what happened at our campsite on our most recent trip to the Red.  Why?  If you assumed it was due to overindulging in one of the many other items that are more commonly passed around a campfire, you’d be wrong again.   Let me back up.  Steve and I first discovered the Armaid…Read the rest of this entry →

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Operation Beefcake Gams: Squat, Bike….Playground?

Operation Beefcake Gams: Squat, Bike….Playground?

If you’ve been following the blog of late, you may remember that I sustained a weird knee injury back in early March.  Apparently the theory that climbers don’t need to do any sort of workout for their legs is FALSE, as I’ve been strongly advised to incorporate some leg-strengthening exercises into my workout routine.   Anyway, in addition to all of the weird little exercises that my PT has prescribed for me (most of which make me feel ridiculously uncoordinated), I’ve also added a few more conventional activities into the mix. For one thing, I’ve been replacing some of my weekly…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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Interview: The Tale of Two Streakers…

Interview:  The Tale of Two Streakers…

Throughout the 3 years or so that I’ve been writing on this blog, I’ve had a chance to interview some really cool people, most of whom have pretty inspiring stories.  The neatest part for me however, is that very few of these interviews are with people that I didn’t already know beforehand, at least in some capacity or another, whether they be close friends or just acquaintances.  Anne McLaughlin and tom Drewes are no exception.  I first met them (collectively they are referred to as “the McDrewes”), on a chilly winter day at a local bouldering field many years ago.  We found common ground immediately…Read the rest of this entry →

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V5.12 Hangboard from DRCC (aka the Best From Motor City Since Motown…)

V5.12 Hangboard from DRCC (aka the Best From Motor City Since Motown…)

If there were just as many rock climbers as there are automobile drivers, the city of Detroit would be back on the map thanks to DRCC (Detroit Rock Climbing Company).  On the other hand, that many rock climbers would surely create an access issue nightmare, so it’s probably just as well that climbers stay in the minority…I had actually never heard of this company until just recently, when my hubby and I decided that we needed a hangboard in our rec room.  After lots of comparison research with boards we had already used, boards friends had used, and the good ole…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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Running For Rock Climbers Series #1: Why It’s a Good Idea

Running For Rock Climbers Series #1: Why It’s a Good Idea

Just like not everyone who climbs is a “climber,” not every one who runs is a “runner,” and I’ll be the first to admit that I’m the  former, not the latter!  And while most people probably can guess that rock climbing is great exercise, it’s not all-inclusive, so for me running has always played a smaller but very  consistent role in filling in the “gaps” in my fitness regimen.  I run 3 or 4 days a week outside, year round, generally not on the same days that I climb.  I do not run far, nor do I run particularly fast – usually around 3.5 miles…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 – 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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Extracurricular Training Part 2: Shoulder Stabilizers

Extracurricular Training Part 2: Shoulder Stabilizers

Last week I posted about PUSH muscle training, and why its important.  Of equal importance is shoulder strength – all those tiny little stabilizer muscles that keep your shoulder in place while you latch a dyno, lay in hard on a gaston, or run laps on horizontal terrain.  Climb long enough and I guarantee you will either sustain a shoulder injury yourself or climb with someone who does.  Sometimes shoulder problems are chronic and creep up gradually as dull, nagging aches that never quite seem to go away.  Other times these injuries occur acutely, resulting from a specific motion or fall scenario.  Regardless of…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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Extracurricular Training Part 1 – The Antagonists

Extracurricular Training Part 1 – The Antagonists

In the literary world, the “antagonists” represent the bad guy – the person, place, or thing that causes conflict and opposition to the “protagonist,” or good guy.  Lord Voldemort, Sauron, and even Satan are classic examples of antagonists.  It’s no wonder that we as climbers tend to steer clear of training our antagonist muscles…But joking aside, however, this type of training should be a very important component to EVERY climber’s training regimen, from beginners to the elite.  Here’s why. Just like their literary counterparts, antagonist muscles in climbing are the muscles that act in opposition to the main muscles used…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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Tales of a Broken Talus – Update #1

Tales of a Broken Talus – Update #1

In light of my latest footwear trend, all trip reports to climbing destinations, exotic or otherwise, will be on hiatus for a quite some time.  However, since injuries are an unfortunate and inconvenient fact of life for everyone at one time or another, I thought it might be worthwhile to document how I’m getting through this without going crazy (more or less).  I’m certainly not the only one that’s been sidelined for a while, and since writing has always been a therapeutic outlet for me, I thought that weekly injury “trip reports” might be a healthy coping mechanism, as well…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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