Wednesday, August 8, 2012

First Lead World Cup: Chamonix 2012

Chamonix, France was the first stop of the year and just happened to be my first ever appearance at a World Cup event!  Despite it being such a short trip, it was a lot of fun and a great learning experience both in terms of climbing and traveling.  For results, check out the IFSC website.  In this blog, though, I’ll try and give a short recap of the event from a World Cup newbie standpoint.

I generally consider myself to be the kind of person that learns from the mistakes of others, but Chamonix proved me wrong.  I f***ed up quite a few things, but also observed what some others did right.  As a result I came up with two lists: what to do and what not to do.

What not to do for/at a World Cup event:

  • For training, do laps on 5.11s: it’ll help you with endurance training for the big event
  • Even if traveling from 6 time zones away, arrive to destination less than 20 hours before the qualifiers
  • Don’t sleep on the plane at night, because it’s already morning at your destination
  • Expect 3 cups of macchiato to help you climb well if you only had 7 hours of sleep in 2 nights
  • Warm up, then relax for a while before climbing; there’s no need to keep your hands warm
  • Expect all of the holds at a World Cup event to be similar to the ones you train on; after all, how different can these slopers, pinches, and crimps be?
  • Treat a World Cup as just another comp; there’s no need to try hard in the qualifiers to make it to the next round

What to do for/at a World Cup event:

  • Volume is important to endurance training, but nothing beats being able to climb something really hard even once.  Ramon Julian sent some 9a+/9b just the other week…
  • Make sure you are in the best shape of your life; top 10 climbers all have ~2% body fat
  • When traveling from afar, arrive at least a couple of days early to adjust to the time zone; it’s important to feel naturally energized… If possible, just move to Europe.
  • Warm up well, stay warm all the way until you begin climbing
  • Try your absolute best; even if you’re pumped, you can typically will-power yourself another few holds

Enjoy the pictures… and I’m off to Stuttgart for Adidas Rockstars!