Rest days: difficult but necessary for progress

Since beginning training with Mack, I’ve been taking rest days in between training days, as not to risk finger injuries, and have found that my climbing ability and especially my ability to grip smaller and less positive holds has increased.  Part of it is due to the training itself, and part of it is due to the rest days that I’m taking to ensure that proper rest and recovery have time to occur, building muscle and connective tissue strength instead of arresting their development by climbing again too soon.  I realized the difference first on my own, then further through reading a book about alpine training by Steve House and Scott Johnston (foreword by Mark Twight) titled Training for the New Alpinism, copyright 2014.  This book talks about how climbers can get themselves into an awful state of poor fitness by overtraining or just not resting enough.  It sounds strange to think that one could wreck themselves by not resting enough and training too much, but it’s true.  More is not always better, especially if you’re not resting enough!  I would highly recommend this book if you’re looking into your power endurance climbing game because it deals with a lot of technical training issues based on the percentage of your individual maximum heart rate that you train at (divided into zones) over a period of time.  As it states on the cover of the book, it treats the climber as an athlete, and seems to do a good job of it so far as I’ve read.  Though I haven’t finished the book yet, I find myself engrossed in the strategies and stories throughout the pages of this well-written manual for alpinists in the making.  It’s both inspiring and informative – informative enough to derive a personal training plan for yourself from.  Though rest days are excruciatingly painful for me to take because I want to climb so badly, I now understand why they are necessary if I want to continue progressing in my climbing abilities so that I can become a true alpinist!  It also gives me time to save up the money for all the gear that I’ll need!!! 😜

Speaking of alpinists, I want to wish my mentor and good friend Lou Renner a Happy Birthday today!

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