We asked new Lite Plan client, Kate Dean, to document her climbing training journey as she aspires to climb her first 7c this year. In her second blog, Kate tells us about how she’s getting on after her fourth week on the training plan; managing time, which sessions she likes and dislikes, and getting on the training hype! Follow Kate’s journey for the full three months of her Lite Plan.

Hi, I’m back again! I initially wrote about my process of following a Lattice Lite plan after week one of my journey. I’m now on my fourth week of training, and will be reflecting on what I have learned on the Lite Training Plan.

How far am I into the plan?

I’m supposed to be on my sixth week of training this week, however due to long work hours and getting ill, I decided to pause the plan for a week. So now I’m just finishing week four (my rest week) and am about to get stuck into one of the busiest weeks on the plan.

I’m enjoying having a training plan to follow and the structure it has introduced to my climbing sessions. However, I have to confess that sometimes I’ve found it hard to fit everything in with my busy schedule! I wish I could say that I’m getting up at 6am, fitting in my training before work, managing to finish each week easily, and still managing to climb outdoors, but that hasn’t quite been the case! To anyone thinking of starting a training plan, I’d recommend having some training equipment in your home – maybe a lattice rung or fingerboard so you can train before or after work. Saying that, I’m trying to get as involved with all the training hype as possible, and have even brought a protein shake to the wall once or twice.

How is the time management?

Time management is definitely something I’ve had to work on, and still need to improve. When I’ve whinged about my schedule to a friend, he promised me that the feeling of sending a project makes the time spent being a training gremlin worth it, so I’m going to have to trust him. A lot of people at the wall have been interested in my new training psyche, and many of them have been encouraging and also keen to try it themselves to boost their own climbing. My outdoor climbing has been limited recently, and I’ve mostly been trad climbing to make the most of the last weeks of grit season. At my level, this doesn’t require much strength! I think having a project to focus on will really help my motivation and now that the Peak limestone is dry, I’ll have to scout one out.

Are all training sessions equal?

There are some sessions in the plan that I prefer more than others; some I find fun and look forward to, and others I definitely don’t! A particularly tough moment was struggling to complete my final set of ‘on the minute’ pull-ups (five pull-ups every minute) and shouting ‘I hate training’ at my friend who was trying to encourage me. Even though I don’t always enjoy completing these sessions, or giving up an hour to do them, I can definitely notice how they improve the efficiency of the time I spend at the wall. For example, the ‘Strength Intervals’ session forces me to do six problems at my maximum three times with limited rest, which takes the same amount of time as trying a project and resting but is far more productive for building power endurance. I have also been using the time I spend doing auto-belay laps to catch up with my favourite podcasts, making those long workouts much more fun.

What about strength and conditioning?

Quite a lot of the workouts I’ve been given are for conditioning. I’ve found these have been helpful in highlighting weaknesses and imbalances in my body. For example, the forearm conditioning session taught me that my right forearm gets tired much quicker than my left. Similarly, my left shoulder is a lot weaker when I’m fatigued from doing lots of pull ups with little rest. These are all useful to know so I can balance the strength out and hopefully avoid getting injured in the future (one of my goals for starting this plan).

Overall, despite finding it hard to fit the training in, I think I’m getting better at managing my time – even if that involves sacrificing a bit of time on rock. My goal for the next couple of weeks is to find an outdoor sport project to help boost my motivation. Hopefully next time I check in I’ll have my teeth stuck into a fun route!

Keep following Kate’s journey on the Lite Plan over the coming weeks to see how she gets on. You can also follow her Instagram for more frequent updates!