Planning Your Trad Training: What Matters? By Tom Randall

Ok trad climbers, let’s get serious – training serious! When it comes to how you structure your training as a trad climber, there are some important factors that warrant a little more focus (typically) than others….

1. RESTING/PLACING GEAR – This one is important, as let’s face it, a lot of trad climbing actually involves quite a bit of intermittent resting/recovery or stopping for 15-60 seconds to place a bit of gear. How do you improve the ability for the forearm to recover though? The correct approaches to training will deal with both the capillarisation aspect and also the body’s ability to efficiently deal with metabolites produced by the muscle. It’s VERY trainable.

2. POWER ENDURANCE – Ok, this one is a subtle one, so pay attention! Remember that when we’re planning for our training, we’re really trying to dial into the demands of our sport and THEN building a program to make adaptations towards them. What are the power endurance demands of trad climbing? The answer is “not as middle-zone as you think” which means you typically need to address the further ends of the spectrum (short end or long end!).

3. BOULDERING ABILITY – Yes you read correctly, we’re talking about bouldering on a trad climbing post?! Because of the nature of a lot of trad climbing around the world, it’s often broken sections of difficulty (cruxes) with good rests. Look after your bouldering top-end execution and you will be in a MUCH better position. Way too many people plan for plodding, but forget that trad climbing is more like Fartlek!

Don’t forget that if you’re a sport climber or boulderer, check out those links for more info on your specialisation. 


~ Tom Randall

Main article 📸 Stefan Patrick Morris (@stefanpatrickmorris)