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Lessons from Blocfest Round 1


After a few years of not competing, it was very satisfying to see that I still had it in me to get into a final and do well!  I wasn’t the strongest or fittest competitor, but I was probably the most experienced and it paid off. Here’s a few tips:

  • Start early. I arrived at the event at 10am and was ready to climb at 12. This would give me maximum time to rest before the final and ensure that I would get around all the blocs.
  • It’s a good idea to try a few hard blocs early because a) you’re less tired b) it warms you up to climb better on medium blocs and c) you won’t find yourself queuing for them later.
  • Dress warm. I wore several years and kept them on throughout much of the competition so that I didn’t cool down as I was waiting for my turn.
  • Be polite but firm. Don’t waste time queuing unecessarily. If you see an opening, be assertive and get in there (making sure that no one else was ready to go first).

The final was 3+ format which means that after an observation period you’re allowed 3 minutes to start the problem. If you’re still climbing when the 3 minutes are up you can complete your attempt in as much time as you need.

  • Warm up specifically for what you’ll need to climb. In the observation period I saw that I would need to do some rockovers so I made sure to warm up my knees and hips.
  • Don’t keep trying the same move. If it doesn’t work try something else.
  • Rest properly between attempts. It’s better to have two good attempts than 4 or 5 attempts that don’t get you anywhere because you’re too tired.
  • Start your final attempt with at least 10 seconds on the clock. This way if you do slip off the first move you can jump back on straight away.