by Lynn Hill
[Editor's note: Welcome to The Cleanest Lynn. Besides being one of the most accomplished climbers on the planet Lynn Hill is also one heck of a blogger. So we've updated the masthead and handed over the keys to Lynn for a week's worth of her insight. Enjoy.]
Many people ask me how I train for climbing. My first answer is, by climbing of course! When I'm interested in preparing for a particular climb, I choose the appropriate kind of climbing as training for my objective. On rare occasions I will do supplemental forms of training when climbing alone is not sufficient. For example, when I free climbed the Nose on El Capitan, I needed to train for a high level of endurance because the Nose route is nearly 3,000 feet long and the most difficult sections of the climb are located over 2,000 feet off the ground.
In order to train for this ascent, I not only climbed as many pitches per day as I could, but I ran at a relatively high level of intensity for at least an hour or an hour-and-a-half daily. I needed to have a lot of stamina, as well as a reasonably high degree of power to be able to free climb the most difficult sections of the climb. Consequently, I needed to combine endurance training with strength training, which can sometimes be a bit tricky since research shows that endurance training can get in the way of strength training. But above all, the most important element of endurance training for any sport or activity has to do with the mental aspect. For today's post, I will address the mental aspect of endurance training that I have learned throughout my years as an athlete. Tomorrow, I will address the physical elements.