Looking back on September…

September has just finished and before starting a new month it is good to look back on how did the previous go. During summer holidays I didn’t manage to climb that often, there was quite some travelling which didn’t help to keep up regular practices. Obviously, it does not help to improve, get stronger or get to the next level.

After the holiday season was over, I managed to go back to once a week climbing again and in some weeks even twice (mostly second time being bouldering). That helped to improve my strength and get back to climbing 6a’s again. I still feel I am not on top of 6a’s yet, and there are still routes for which I need more than one stop to finish. But after starting to climb every week again, I managed to do more and heavier routes, even 2 new 6b’s, which I was very proud of.

I have been quite stuck lately on 6a’s, not being able to push myself to next level, but this month few practices have been really amazing, where not only worked on 6a’s but even tried some 6b’s. That gives a lot of energy and motivation to continue. So far I have done maybe only on one hand countable 6b’s so trying 2 new ones this month has been quite rewarding.

For October, I would like to keep working on 6a’s but also put more effort to 6b’s. I have 2 nice 6b’s I started so it would be nice to manage to do them in one go and try few new ones. With 6b’s I see they require a bit more strength than a 6a and also some new technical approach, therefore it would be good to do some extra training like pull ups and shoulder strength training to get more resistance and avoid injuries. So far I didn not really do such exercises (not specially for climbing) and with one 6b I did injure my shoulder, so I think is good to start doing some extra training for arms/shoulders to keep climbing in a healthy way.

For the next month I will try to log the routes I am doing and how many block do I need in order to finish a route. I was wondering on how to measure my progress and a friend of mine suggested to write all routes down and count how many I do without a block, how many with 1-2 blocks and how many with more. In this way I can see by end of the month if I manage to reduce blocks needed per route.

So my September in nutshell

Level How many Performance
5a 8 This is now my warm up level together with 5b
5b 4 Warm up level, unless is a long 15 – 18m route with tilted sections. Then I get my arms pumped. In the last practice, I so much pumped my arms that none of the routes later I could do in a proper way. One of the points to work on.
5c 8 Mostly are ok, but if I have not warmed up yet, then I get quite anxious and pumped arms very easily.
6a 8 Takes effort to finish, still to work on, some routes can finish in one go.
6b 3 Cherry on the cake routes for end of the evening to try.  Have not finish in one go yet. Best result was finishing a route with 2-3 blocks.

When I look back, I am very satisfied with September, knowing that before I did not climb that regularly, it showed me that I can push myself again and I can succeed. Sounds quite logical, but when I have to deal also with my mindset in every training, then it becomes more challenging.

Let’s see what October brings!

What are your goals for October, what are you working on? Please share in comments below.

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