In climbing I do things that I enjoy and want to do not the ones that are currently in fashion.
Muriel Sarkany
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Training & Motivation

„I train mostly by climbing” – these are your words. Do you spend much time in the climbing gym?

It used to be like this until one or two years ago but I decided to add some campusing and some aerobic training on restdays once a week, which supports the recovery process. When I am at home, I usually train on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, the weekends are devoted exclusively to the rocks. In the mid-week, I train usually two times a day; morning session includes campus board at home before going to school (lasting not more than 50 minutes), in the afternoon I train at the climbing gym (ca. 2-2,5 hours). I’ve already reached a certain point after which further progression would be extremely difficult without special training of power. I didn't train power in the past particularly for one reason – the fear of getting injured in the young age and as it was not that important for me to climb on my possible limit, it was safer to avoid injuries. It is better to push myself to the limits when I’m already an adult.

Do you follow some kind of training plan, or you just arrive at the gym and do what you feel like doing?

I design my training plan before I start a long training period when I don't spend so much time on the rocks but it is rather for orientation only. I know how many days approximately there are left for me to get into the good shape, but I don't stick to it that much. In reality, I rather make a plan for 2 or 3 days ahead. What is more important for me is to remember that I should listen to my body in the first place and if I feel that there is some regress taking place while training hard, it might be the sign of overtraining. In that case, I slow down, but I want to feel my body beaten up, otherwise I don’t feel like I’ve been training at all. But it is not always the most efficient way of getting better.

Campus board, weight-lifting, running. Do you practise one of these things?

Campusing and during the restdays I do some running or cycling or swimming but just a little bit since I don’t want to get smashed so that I wouldn’t be able to climb on the following day. I do some compensation exercises to strengthen my back and stretching.

Diet, suplementation, creatine, protein nutrition, any of them?

I try to be careful of what I eat, to eat healthily and watch out if I eat enough proteins and vegetables. But in general I don't have problems with putting on weight, my metabolism is like a lighting during a thunderstorm. I use protein nutrition when it is not possible for me to have a piece of meat, BCAA (aminoacids, ed. note) occasionally after training and some energy gels before the most important moments like making an attempt or participating in a competition.

You compete a lot. Do you like competitions?

It is the only way one can be compared to other climbers. If you are ambitious, comps are your chance to prove who's the best. That is the beauty of challenge. But it lacks all the other aspects of rock climbing. It is all about the achievement and this is why I’m not going to dedicate myself to competitions only, actually I am not even sure if this year I’m going to attend any.

   Adam Ondra winning during the annual IMS in Brixen
(photo: Piotr Dro¿d¿)

You devote a lot of your time to rock climbing. Trying the routes of such grades of difficulty takes really strong will. Where does your motivation come from?

I don't have to ask myself to look for the source of motivation. It is naturally inside me. I climb because I enjoy it. Only if it takes really long time for me to send a particular route, it happens that it is hard for me to find the motivation to keep trying but in the end I’m always off climbing some other route immediately. In such cases, it is about tackling a challenge, it is a competition between me and a route, a piece of natural art.

You climb hard and very often. Have you ever suffered from any serious injury?

Not really. Except scratches, lumps, broken piece of tooth, I had a couple of problems with tendons but always after a week of rest I was able to climb again not feeling the pain.

Do you happen to lose your motivation for climbing or do you always climb a 100% with a smile on your face?

I do get frustrated while trying a route and experiencing failure again and again. At such moments I tend to lose my motivation for that route, but not for climbing as such. The only situation when I am not so much into climbing is when it is too hot or when I am too tired because of this exhausting lifestyle, but still it doesn't happen too often.

During last year's Arco Rock Master (photo: Piotr Dro¿d¿)

How do you cope with failures? When I see you after an unsuccesful attempt, no matter if it’s during a competition or at a crag, you always look really pissed off…

Climbing obviously means a lot to me and it is frustrating when something doesn't go 100% well. But the moments of anger last shortly and in a couple of minutes it disappears. However, I have to admit that at the very moment of failure it is impossible for me to control my emotions.

After an unsuccessful attempt on a final boulder during the last IMS in Brixen
(photo: Piotr Dro¿d¿)

Last time we met was on the IMS in Brixen and you were right after a boulder session in Val di Mello. On the following day you won the competition coming before Fischhuber and Woods among the others, and the day after you climbed a 9a in Frankenjura. It seems to me that you don’t have any troubles with the recovery process. How does your body deal with that?

Well, nowadays my body needs actually much more time to recover than in the past. It might be this way because of the fact that I’ve started to climb closer to my limit. I always try not to forget about a bit of stretching after each climbing session and it is not a bad idea to send at least one warm-up route, for me it is for example a 7a.
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