Or Why do they always have such bad years?
Adrian asked for some hints for a winter training schedule to help those who are
unable to get away over the winter months. In this article we will focus on the
four main areas: strength, stamina, flexibility and coordination.
Losing strength gained over the summer is always a worry. However, this is the
easiest of all to correct. Here we present some progressive exercises. They will
take a couple of hours most nights, but the effort is well worth it. Unlike many
other training regimes there is no real reason for building in rest days. Start
with a glass of wine. If right handed, hold it in your left hand, raise to the
lips and drink. You are strengthening both arms and fingers. Repeat with a fresh
glass in your right hand. After this comes comfortably, move onto half pints
(beer, cider or wine). Finally, make the big push to pints. At this point, wine
should be moved out of the training schedule. Success in this training regime
will be seen in the development of that all-important “one-pack”.
When you are comfortable with this level of exercise, you can move onto the more
demanding exercise which combines strength and stamina. This exercise is
commonly known as Christmas shopping. Start easy, perhaps simply walking around
town on a Saturday afternoon. This will help with developing the infamous
Mountaineering plod. Imagine that instead of walking through town at everyone’s
snail pace you are actually staggering under the weight of all that ice-climbing
paraphernalia through thigh depth snow. Build to buying a few presents for …..
before finally building to presents for me…
Flexibility then comes with the fixing of Christmas decorations; although flexing
the plastic in the pre-Christmas shopping frenzy is a good start. Do not shirk
if your mother or small son asks for a decoration to be placed in an awkward
spot – use this opportunity to balance with one leg on the curtain rail and the
other smeared on a nearby wall.
Christmas day itself is a good time to start the co-ordination part of your
training. After dinner, don’t slump in front of the Queen’s speech, but put on
that Slade CD and start dancing. Get a woman to show you how to start. Stomp
first with the left foot and then with the right. Repeat. As you get confident
with these first steps, attempt to do them in time with the music whilst belting
out “Mama weer all crazee now” at the same time (assuming that is the song
Finally, climbing requires a partner and it is at this time of year that you can
build up the social skills to ensure that you are never short of a partner. A
good way to achieve this is to head to the local climbing walls on a Sunday
afternoon for a chance to gossip and make new friends. It can be worthwhile
taking a pair of rock boots and even a climbing harness to such events so that
you are clearly identifying with the climbing community.
As a postscript, perhaps someone can write a return article that explains why
people stop going away camping over the winter season.