Well the nights are certainly starting to close in, and whilst the weather never really got into what might be described as a ‘summer’ mode this year. The temperature and weather appear to be turning all too rapidally to Autumn. For many climbers this is a double edged sword, as whilst days out on the real rock tend to subside, the number of evenings a week that you’ll find yourself locked in battle with indoor climbing will probably see an increasde in the average number of routes you climb a week.
I have always loved the winter, as it allows me to passionately follow my guilty pleasure of training indoors. With this in mind I have for the last year been developing a online Coach facility. This is a way to monitor performance and find your weaknesses to focus on what will help you become a better climber.
iCoachClimbing.com has many features the first and most interesting is a similar feature to the BMC training logbooks. However rather that £6-7 and a pen all you need is a internet enabled device and a your away. The actvity logbook function on icoach allows you to record every route you climb during your training, both during your warm up and main climbing session. More than this though after a few session iCoach displays your average grade and rate of exertion, and a whole load of other data relating to your performance. You can even get the whole of your last session as a readout so you can try and add more routes, harder routes or other overlaoding factors into your session.
This overlaoding is key when it comes to training, as you will never improve if you go to the wall and do the same thing over and over again. A simple arrow indicates whether you improve (green), hold steady (orange) or decline (red) in the training analysis. As such this should be great way to watch for smaller improvement than absolute grade, in particualr the rate of excertion for a given grade may well reduce before you break the next barrier.
If you pair that with the performance profiling facility that finds you five weakest climbing attributes. You can then focus your training on those five things over the coming four weeks. An intergrated coaching library finds articles related to your training needs and will help you find ways to train and improve those five attributes. After 4 weeks you re-assess your performance profile and can see if you have indeed improved.
The idea is simple improvement takes time and hard work, often it can be hard to detect any changes as the performance benefits are so small and difficiult to keep track of. What iCoach does is help highlight those imporvements for you. All you have to do is add the data.
I have made some videos to explain the site that can all be found on the video tutorials for icoach climbing.