Tracking for a Deload Week by Madeleine Cope

One really useful change that comes from tracking, is to be able to match up a deload week with the phase of your cycle where you may experience symptoms that impact your climbing/training. Deload weeks are an important element of training – menstrual cycle or not – so all we should be looking to make the most of those training weeks.

I (@madeleine_cope) have found tracking really useful for maintaining the quality of my sessions and keeping my training consistent (prior to this, I would miss some sessions due to feeling too tired or not hitting the intensity). Now I have fewer frustrating sessions where my coordination and power haven’t turned up, so feel much more positive!¬†

I think a common misconception when it comes to scheduling deload weeks in line with the menstrual cycle (or ever!) is that it is complete rest. This isn’t true, it is about choosing what sessions are right for you to keep up, whilst ensuring you still feel recovered by the end of the week.

  • Personally my late luteal phase (week before my period) is when I feel slower to recover, more bloated, less coordinated and have disturbed sleep. This is when I schedule my deload.
  • I find it easy to motivate myself for strength-based conditioning, so I tend to keep in a conditioning session but at a reduced volume. I don’t use this week to push for PBs or testing. sures that I am flexible and will always look to adjust if needed.
  • My current training focus is strength, so I drop the volume but maintain some high-intensity sessions. I schedule my week so that I don’t do any long sessions that feel harder to recover from.
  • I like to use a Strength Interval style session where I repeat problems I have already done, that I know well and don’t have any low percentage moves.
  • I find it easy to motivate myself for strength-based conditioning, so I tend to keep in a conditioning session but at a reduced volume. I don’t use this week to push for PBs or testing.
  • Fingerboard training is my nemesis, so I don’t tend to do any weighted sessions in my deload week, but I do use a short bodyweight session to warm up for my climbing.

~ Maddy Cope