Wednesday 13 February 2013

Competition Climbing....

Retiring Legend Markus Bendler

The last few months has been quite an eye opener, I've become increasingly focused on competition climbing. A bit of a departure from my usual Scottish winter fare, but in some ways quite a welcome one.
Training for Scottish winter has always been a bit of a dark art, it's very difficult to taper your training to an completely unspecified date. Conditions being what they are, my dream route options are rarely in condition and never when you want them to be which often leaves frustration. Being based down near Manchester compounds the problem as it's not as if I can just nip out on the off chance, and with petrol prices being so high it's almost cheaper to fly out to the Alps than it is to drive to Scotland!

So this winter has so far been a mixture of the World Cup events in Saas Fee, Rabenstein (Italy) and Busteni (Romania) and sneaking routes in between. Unfortunately this winter has also seen me come down with a proper good dose of not being able to breathe and mostly coughing my lungs out! So far the coughing has gone on for nearly 4 weeks, I'm on my second set of antibiotics (stronger ones this time apparently!) and the training regime has gone to pot! It's difficult to try hard when breathing is an effort. I'm also taking my own advice from past experience, training with a chest infection is only going to make it worse.

I've learned heaps over the last 3 rounds. I've learned about how to look after myself - Travel Kettle essential! I've learned about route reading.....the main problem being that I've almost always fallen off at the point where I stopped trying to work it out in the preview time. I think this is mostly due to my own lack of belief about how far I'm going to get, and maybe a little bit to do with my drawing skills not being quick enough! So on the shopping list is also some better binoculars to get a better view. (And no before anyone suggests a camera, they aren't allowed!)
Rabenstein Structure

Lucie Hrozova winning her first World Cup
It's been really inspiring to see the top competitors climb and again has given me a chance to pick up tips and techniques. Sadly Markus Bendler has called time on his competition career, but it was a real privilege to be there at his last event in Rabenstein - what a legend. Wonder if he wants a job as a coach??? Feel free to get in touch Markus....

Busteni last weekend was a real step forward in terms of performance, I actually felt like I climbed somewhere near my ability. The final round is in 3 weeks in Russia and I'm determined to have full lung capacity and do myself proud. 
Bring on Kirov and 2014.

Fingers crossed I'll get something done before Russia, come on drugs do your stuff!


rockmonkey1977 said...

Hey Andy,

I'm guessing you've got someone videoing your competition climbs to help you with the reviewing process - any chance of getting them uploaded to youtube or similar so we can all have a watch...?
Also i'd recommend looking into vit D supplements for your winter competition periods (and obviously a flu jab!). I normally suffer atleast 3 colds a winter but since taking vit D i've barely had one and the symptoms/duration were considerably less... (I think I only got that one coz i'd been boozing and was really hungover!)
Good luck if you head to Russia!

Andy Turner said...

Hi Danny,
I'm popping a little bit of film from Saas Fee onto Vimeo at the moment. Not had any of the others filmed, but even this bit has given me some good information and made me realise some of my mistakes.
I'll give the Vit. D a go!
Yes, definitely heading for Russia - well if they'll give me a Visa!

rockmonkey1977 said...

Thanks very much for replying.
All the best for Russia!