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Andy Kirkpatrick


training diary

Daily updated training info + stuff #AKtraining

24 January 2017

Got a nice message yesterday from my old climbing partner Ian Parnell that included: ‘Not wanting to teach you to suck eggs or what ever the phrase is but be careful and don't dissmiss rest days, I'm just back from the physio getting fixed again from a running injury.’ It’s a good point, and I’ve stressed quite a bit the importance of backing off when training, or switching from one type of training to another (the best way to get injured is to do the same exercise everyday, but that running, rowing or hitting the same muscles with weights).

I think that a very formative experience for me was working in a climbing shop (Outside in Hathersage) in the 90’s, a shop filled with very good climbers (average grade was probably about E5, but many had climbed up to E8). What this told me was that about 50% of the time the best climbers where injured and that they never really recovered, jumping back into hard climbing way before they’d healed. This in itself was not good, either in the short or long term, but worse was the psychological effect it has on them, putting people into a functioning depression. I’ve seen this low and slow burn mental effect of climbing injuries end up as deep and life changing depression, even suicide, a terrible way for something so amazing a gift as climbing to end. I think the same can be said about anyone pushing their physical boundaries to the limit, that for everyone who can do it without physical, psychological and social damage, there are nine suffering from some aspect of this to some degree or another. This takes places in all sports but can be utterly destructive, and ways big and small (I’ve seen couples fighting over who’d have the kids on a family holiday so one can go climbing, the same with man and wife who were both triathletes and both wanted to train, life seemingly an accommodation between looking after a child and getting there training in for the day). I think these experiences helped me be very, very cautious about getting injured, and I tend to be the first one to back off and listen to my body, not wreck myself just because ‘I’ve got one more set to do’. This of course requires the ability to know what’s a real approaching injury, a snap or a tear, and just a stressed muscle (how you get stronger). Often stretching or using a roller can help settle soreness, maybe just slack of for a while (I’m probably only running 15km a week which isn’t very much, but the combined other exercises have allowed me to knock 5 minutes of my time in two weeks), but ultimately you need to just play it safe. Today for example I was just about done but thought I’d throw in some kettle bell swings, as I had time before my 10am cut off. I did 3 sets fine, then half way through my last set I felt I was asking too much of my body, having just done squats and rowing, so I just stopped dead.

I guess again this kind of daily training is not about the training it itself but about the discipline, of spending two hours day (including walking to the gym), not so much what’s done there. It’s easy to say “I’ve not time” or “I’m busy” but deep down we know it’s bullshit, sat getting only weaker as we watch two episodes of Fortitude* on Skye. The discipline to get there, and know that you did, and will tomorrow (because you did today and the day before) is really the game you’re playing.

*I also watched two episodes of Fortitude

The Day's Training

  • 10km Row 42min
  • Bench 5x5x70kg = 1750kg
  • Bench wide 5x5x50kg = 1250kg
  • Bench narrow 5x5x30kg = 750kg
  • Low Squat 5x5x70kg = 1750kg
  • Kettle Bell Swing 20x3x16kg = 960kg

Note:These numbers don't include warm up, which tend to be done at 25%, 50% and 75% of final weigh.

Notes


As with all rowing days I had an extra 20 minutes to do more weights and so ended up lifting 6460kg, and I guess the aim for post ‘pre training’ would be to be lifting 1000kg along with 10km of distance, but both carried out within the same time (pre 10am). This way you’d be really hitting the whole system, moving fast and moving weights fast (so improving strength and power and stamina). We shall see.

I weighted myself today and weight was around 101kg, which isn’t much of a difference, but this isn’t about losing weight it’s about changing what weight is there into something better (weight loss always comes, but it’s never really about calories in, but calories out).

Day's Training

  • 10km Row 42min
  • Bench 5x5x70kg = 1750kg
  • Bench wide 5x5x50kg = 1250kg
  • Bench narrow 5x5x30kg = 750kg
  • Low Squat 5x5x70kg = 1750kg
  • Kettle Bell Swing 20x3x16kg = 960kg

Note:These numbers don't include warm up, which tend to be done at 25%, 50% and 75% of final weigh.