Monday, 8 June 2015

Training part 2 - George's Crack

Today I bit the bullet and trudged off to work someone elses boulder problem. Yes, I know, it is normal to try established classics, even to have a series of sessions to achieve that elusive goal...

George's Crack is quite hard, quite technical, and quite long. The old guide has it at V5, which on pressing Mr Panton, was an arbitrary offering and a bit of a wheeze. However, F7A does seem about right for the level of brainwork, burl, and fitness it requires, and it is rather specialist.
I've been on it twice before; the first time was mainly flailing, as the description was obviously written by the large of fist, and long of limb. It took a long time to realise I was better off innovating, as one persons fist was someone elses butterfly.
Next visit was with the Wide Boyz, being a good North Wales Wide host. Wide pony was the buzz word , and Pete did laps on it with a weight vest on. A quite heavy weight vest. It goes to show the fitness and bullheaded nature required to get Century Crack done (even dragging a weight vest up to George's crack in the first place) This trip I got nowhere as my ankle was a bit dodgy and didn't like being hung off.

Today I went up determined to get some training value out of it. I started by going through my physio routine, sprawled on a bouldering mat up in the mountains, my mobile's metronome measuring off a myriad of hamstring stretches. The routine takes about 10-15 minutes and is a twice a day affair at the moment; its hard to fix yourself when you're 40.

It was a good warm up though, and mixed in with some dishes, and arm waving, I moved onto taping up. The gloves I started on the last Tosheroon attempt were shaping up nicely, and fortunately didn't smell of barnacles. Camera phone wedged on a rock and rolling, the training commenced.

1st Attempt. 1 minute 20 sec. Tried to get into wide pony, but my ankle, hip flexors or the width of the crack meant it wasn't working.

Rest 5 minutes.

2nd Attempt. Time unknown (camera fell over) played with keeping both feet leading heel first and it seemed to work, but still struggling to make proper use of my hands.

Rest 15-20 minutes, looking for better rocks to prop my phone with.

3rd Attempt. 3 minutes. Pretty chuffed with staying on this long in invert. Discovered I could get a hand-hand stack in after the starting jugs, and I was away. A lot of struggle and experimenting got me to the end of the widening and above mat one, the stack after the widening remained elusive. I was also aware that if I got to this point, going further would be scary...

Rest 16 minutes.

4th Attempt:

So kick up and walk the heel toes (heel first), advancing them with some cheeky wide pinches, until a sit into a hand-hand stack is possible. Walk on the hooves until you have to leave the stack, where some sneaky cups against the knees keep things moving. Once past the widening its hand-fist stack time....

Only I didn't quite get there, firstly because I was trying to arrange the stack wrong, secondly because I need to work further on my hamstrings, and thirdly because I was knackered. Still I got to the same place as attempt 3 in 2/3's of the time.

The main goal of this training is to totally crush Tosheroon, the secondary goals are to complete George's crack, and give me more motivation to do my physio exercises. All I need is a bit more invert sit up practice, longer hamstrings, and a spotter, because that top out looks scary on your own!

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