If there is one thing I've learned in the past couple of seasons, it's that despite the fact that the climbing I most often do is steeped in endurance, I can never have too much power. I made the statement after my first successful season of power training that, "I may never train on a rope again," and while a bit premature, that statement holds mostly true. Roped "training" is now almost exclusively just to foster a smooth transition into route season, rather than an attempt to get better at route climbing.
In the past while constructing my training plans, I've stuck to 6-12 week plans, always leading up to the next trip or outdoor season. For this current plan, I've gone out 19 weeks, and included my next trip as a part of the training cycle. After all, unless you plan to never try that hard again, every climb we do is training for something bigger, badder, or harder.
This past season in the Red I learned quite a bit about training for a very specific route or style. I've utilized this in my current training plan. The first 6 week cycle is to prepare for a trip to Wild Iris, Wyoming, where I'll be spending 16 days getting beat up by short routes with a severe Napoleon Complex. I've focused my training for that trip on bouldery movement, and small pockets and edges. Many of the hard routes at the Iris are less than 20 moves, so roping up to train for those seems like nothing but a time waster.
I start the first 6 week cycle focusing on rebuilding my power, aiming for a new high, then by stretching that new power into an anaerobic machine. My anaerobic (power endurance) phase will be intense... over preparation, I hope. Wild Iris sits at 9,000 feet elevation, and when I climb there I always feel a slight loss in what I perceived my power endurance to be. I finish with a week of easy-moderate roped climbing, simply to get readjusted to climbing on routes. I've upped my goals to include a 13c for this trip, which will be my first 13c on the road.
A week of rest after the trip, and then it's back into the fire. I'm going to try something new this summer... a session of strictly strength. Weights, heavy hangboarding, and a weighted core routine, with no climbing for two weeks, will hopefully serve as a good foundation to push my power to higher levels. Again I'll be focusing on pockets and edges, as I know the lines I intend to lay siege to are protected by small hold cruxes ("Swingline", "God's Own Stone", "Black Gold", "Last of the Mohicans"). The big difference in this second half of my plan is the anaerobic phase. You'll notice that I'll be on a rope for 5 routes... two 35 foot pitches and three 110 foot pitches, followed by an intense 4x6. Those 3 weeks will have me fully ready for the rigors demanded by long Red River marathons.
And so it begins again. Time to get my mind into the shape required to be in full on battle mode the moment I step onto that polished, bone-white dolomite.