Training for TCS 2016 with Nick Bradley

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With the time management struggles of starting college, I found it too difficult to go through with national-level youth and adult competitions. However, I’ve always loved competition and the rigorous training required to push myself to perform the best that I can, which is where the Touchstone Climbing Series comes into play. TCS2016 is a competition series that I take seriously, but at the same time it is more community-based and focused on having a good time climbing, so I can still apply my competitive personality without having the stresses of national competition. With this series, my plan is to go to all three comps of 2016 so I can come into finals fresh, and only have to worry about one thing: the single final route itself.
Slowly I have been getting back into my training routine after dealing with a minor finger injury and a very busy work/class schedule, however, with this upcoming quarter, I will have plenty of time to get into the shape that I need to be in so I can crush at finals. What a lot of competition climbers forget is that it’s important to not only train endurance, but to also practice on-sighting. This is where the Touchstone Climbing Series competitions come into play.

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The first competition of the 2016 season was at Diablo Rock in Concord. I was very out of shape, felt like I was getting shut down on everything, and even though my placement results turned out well, my actual performance did not meet my personal requirements. This is a pretty common cycle for me. If I ever don’t do as well as I would like at a comp, it just motivates me more to train harder and more often, and often times I absolutely need this push, so it’s good that this happened at the first competition.

After a month of forcing training sessions into my schedule, I took a small journey down to MetalMark Climbing + Fitness in Fresno. It took almost a full tank of gas and a lot of caffeine, but it was all worth it.

I had never been to MetalMark before, and I was immediately impressed by the lead wall as soon as I walked in, and all of the routes looked a lot more competition-style, fun, and tricky than the Diablo Rock competition. In short, I got there a couple hours early to relax and warm-up, I climbed well, and I felt strong despite a couple route-reading issues. Again, my actual placement went well but I’m still not quite where I need to be for finals. However, this is expected and I feel that I am right on track, especially with one more competition coming up. With almost two months left to use for training, I’m psyched and motivated to crush.

Nick was born in 1997 in the quiet city of Livermore where he was eventually introduced to climbing at the local gym. He immediately threw himself into competitions. Since then, Nick has made podium at SCS Youth Nationals for the past 5 years, including two 1st place finishes, and has competed internationally in Austria and Canada. Outside, his proudest achievements are on-sighting Whole Shot 5.13d in Maple Canyon, redpointing a couple 14a’s including Omaha Beach in the Red River Gorge, and bouldering v12, such as Maze of Death in Bishop. Other than climbing, he enjoys running as cross-training, and a bit of photography.

Your next chance to climb at a TCS competition is April 22nd at The Studio Climbing in San Jose. Come out to cheer Nick on and challenge your on-sighting skills!