Thirty was so strange for me. I've really had to come to terms with the fact that I am now a walking talking adult.
Sat here looking over a very misty Cow and Calf, wondering where May has gone and what the heck has been done. My memory eludes me! I've never really thought about how these blogs help me, instead, trying to use them as a means to help people open their minds and thoughts. What do I actually get from them though? I spend a significant amount of time pondering about what to write and how to write it (most of the time!)Wanting to say something more than "I did this, and I did that". Sure, I get some awesome things from Beyond Hope....however it has to be about more than that and it's only this morning that I have really thought about what impact these have on me and how it helps.
The conclusion is that it gives me the opportunity, every four weeks, to review the month and exactly what I've done. It provides a means to be able to think about if I have done everything I have aimed to do, has what I have done been a positive step in the right direction and if not why not? That's a pretty awesome opportunity to have. If I didn't have this, the months would tick by and merge into one big blur, without real focus on reviewing and resetting my goals.
We are all guilty of it, days merge into months, months merge into the year and by the time you know it, you are celebrating another New Year talking about what you aim to do this coming year which you have many reasons why you didn't do it the year before.
So, why not start your own "blog"? I don't mean publicly talking about your life, unless you wish to, but personally, at the end of each month, or couple of months, note down how it went, what made you happy, what was productive, what didn't make you happy and how you are going to change things for the following month, no matter how small.
|I was so happy with the progress...I wrote it down :)|
So, May, almost half way through the year. It has been a productive month in many ways, except in climbing :\. This month has mainly consisted of rain, searing heat (for a Northerner), bank holidays, weddings, birthdays and organising for this little one to come to the UK to have her forever home with us!
|Zahra keeping snug in the Lake District|
|Jackie at home ... or a wedding venue.|
It has also been a month of work, working long hours and committing time to "education" and traveling. I'd love to not have to work to live the life style I do, but I do, so might has well put some effort in. (For those that know me you can pick yourselves up off the floor now).
|Mary Jane in London!!!|
May has also been the start of my power phase, so I have taken some time to reflect on the strength phase and the training overall to date. My ultimate goal is to climb more physical blocs, rather than the finger ones I gravitate towards and if another result of the training is climbing "harder", opening up more lines to climb, then that's a bonus. I've been trying to put some structure to what I have learnt to share with you all, but it's been a bit difficult, I know what I want to say, just not sure how to, so I've broken it down into sections:
Absolutely key to repair and recover, also something which I have let slip, like a massive landslide! My initial thoughts when I started the plan, was that over the seven months I would drop the weight by focusing on it every day and cut down the intake / type of food I ate as well as the lovely summer ale's that are present in Ilkley! This, in hindsight, was not going to succeed. How can you increase your training, with two sessions a day sometimes and cut down the amount of energy going in? In my last blog, I described how I was totally exhausted and needed to take a few days out. I quickly took the decision not to worry about my weight during this cycle and to just focus on the training and if I wanted to eat, I would, the issue is it was utter cr*p!. I am going to change this for the next cycle and when we get closer to the grit season. A far more sensible and sustainable option. The strength phase has meant I have done little climbing, just campusing and weights. So yes - I'm a little bit of a chunky monkey right now! So what will I change next time around?
The first major change is going to be introducing the bullet proof coffee into the diet. The Lab have been experimenting with this for a few months now and only have positive things to say about it. I'm a coffee drinker, like most climbers, but I don't feel great after the "high" has gone. The aim of the bulletproof method is to provide me with enough fuel and brain function (using the Brain Octane Oil) for the whole day to improve my focus and training and to alleviate the craving to snack on rubbish! Once into the grit season I will be using this this as my crag diet, fueling me for the long and brutal grit days. I need to eat at the crag, but when I do, I crash. This should help.
More can be read on the blog here: http://www.optimalstate.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=44:upgrade-coffee&catid=18&Itemid=272
I will also be introducing some protein supplement to the diet. This will involve the B12 Vitamin. I'm border line anemic anyway and this is the one vitamin that I can't get into my diet. This should help with the energy levels. As well as this, I will also be introducing a protein supplement to help me recover . I'll be experimenting with this stuff: http://www.optimalstate.co.uk/index.php?option=com_virtuemart&view=category&virtuemart_category_id=21&Itemid=278
As well as a general overhaul of the quality of food I intake, I'll be making more use of the Rich Roll pre and post workout smoothies. I have used these before and found them really beneficial, both for recovery and getting that little boost before training. Once again, he's experimented with what works and doesn't, so it takes the hard work out of it for you.
I did a lot of muscle activation for this phase, rather than pure strength and for the first time in a very long time, I have managed to complete a full phase without getting injured and I have come out of it that little bit stronger. I did this phase for four weeks, however next time around I am going to extend it to five weeks, as I believe this is the most important phase, after the rest phase, in the cycle and needs more focus. I will introduce maximum weight pulls and hangs as well as a heck of a lot more core! When I designed the plan, I thought I would be able to do two sessions a day twice a week to put in the finger board sessions. With work being so unpredictable, this was not a success. So next time around I'm going to have to plan it a bit more realistically and probably commit to training on a weekend rather than leaving them clear.
During this cycle I am dedicating six weeks to this, however I feel this is too long. It's consisting many of dynamic climbing, dynamic campusing and some weights. I feel I am "OK" at power and that strength is really my weakness, so I shall be reducing the time of this phase during the next cycle.
So that's what I have learnt so far and I'd be keen to hear about everyone else's trial and errors and what they have learnt.
This month, I have managed to do some climbing in between some normal social commitments, with a trip to North Wales and the Lakes. As I am in the middle of training, I'm not tip top on a weekend, in fact I'm normally wiped out. So I've not done anything significant, however I have began to pull more and do bigger moves off slopers and pinch's, so the training must be working and is leaving me excited to really commit to the next few months.
|V5 in Carrock Fell|
|V6 in Carrock Fell I somehow managed not to grease off in the humidity that cut the weekend short!|
|Start of a one move V5 in Carrock Fell|
|Start of an awesome V5 in North Wales near Idwal Slabs area, worth the hike.|
Onwards and upwards to June, more training with a little more commitment than what I've had this month....and it's time to dust the rope off I think!