My training schedule varies enormously depending on the time of year and my goals for the short and medium term. For example, I’ve spent the last three months living in Japan learning to alpine ski. This shift in focus has meant less time for yoga and climbing, and no surfing to speak of. Things are about to change again though as I’ve got about 10 days in Australia at the end of March before heading back to New Zealand for six months. Once I’ve settled into life in NZ, I’ll be back to yoga, climbing, and surfing in a big way with no skiing until the arrival of winter in the southern hemisphere. I’ve got a few strategies for maintaining baseline fitness and mobility. First and foremost, I always travel with a set of basic tools that I can use anywhere. My kit includes a hangboard (an absolute must to maintain finger strength), a travel suspension trainer, a portable pullup bar that fits into any door frame, a yoga mat, a yoga block, a portable foam roller, two squash balls, and a couple of resistance bands. With these tools, I can do a huge array of exercises, anywhere, anytime.
My next tool is a climbing-specific strength and conditioning coach who does my programming for me. I have good intentions but struggle to stay focused in the absence of a schedule. My coach and I meet up each month to discuss my upcoming work and travel schedule, my goals and upcoming events, and he puts together a programme for me. I find between work and all my various loves I have little interest in sitting down and putting in the effort required to put together a solid plan. I also don’t have the expertise to do it efficiently and to such a high quality, so it makes the most sense for me to pay someone to do it for me.
Finally, I need to remember to give myself sufficient time to rest and recover. With so many things I love to do, I have a tendency to overdo it. These last few months in Japan it’s been really difficult to take a break from my routine of near-daily early-morning two-hour yoga practice, but I’ve found learning to ski to be quite fatiguing neurologically. During the first month realised I wouldn’t be able to keep up with my yoga and learn to ski without wearing myself out. I’ve kept up with mobility work so that I’ll be able to get back to yoga with ease but have dialed back both the length and frequency of my yoga practice to allow myself time to learn to ski and keep up with hangboard training and a bit of indoor climbing. After all, the 2019 World Championships are in Tokyo during August and I intend to deliver a strong performance!