Katherine @lovetoclimb facebook page

New training articles

20 Nov 2015

I've written a load of training articles and week by week leading up to Christmas I'll put them up on the site.

The first one is about 'what is training': training with a purpose and goal.

The second one is about a vital but often neglected or forgotten stage in training: body stability, core and flexibility. You can never get fully strong if your body is unstable (and you'll be more prone to injury). If your core isn't strong, you will never be as strong as you could be - there's a glaring weak link in the chain (and you'll over compensate with other muscles. And finally flexibility - it's obvious - you might be fit and strong, but if you can't get your leg into position... well, you know the outcome.

The remaining articles are about the different kind of energy systems, which help you train your endurance and power endurance and finally strength. The last one will help you put it all together. Keep posted!

I would love to hear what you think!

Winter Workshops 2016

13 Nov 2015

I’m really excited to tell you about some new workshops I will be running early 2016.  These day long workshops, spread over 3 months will, on their own right, give you lots of tips and training exercises to help you progress your climbing.  But I will, in addition, be offering a 3 month climbing plan.  The idea is that the two things will work together.  In my experience, completing a training plan of any kind is quite daunting and much more effective when you do it with a friend.  It’s even more effective when you are checking in with someone (in this case me!) that you are doing things in the right way.

If you take part in the workshops you’ll also join an exclusive facebook group, which I will manage, giving you regular updates and useful links – it will also be an opportunity for everyone on the workshops to be able to communicate and chat through how things are going.  This is a unique concept, mainly in the 3 elements going together and I’m sure that you will get some great results in your climbing.  

Love to Climb winter training workshops 2016


  1. 31st January 2016 Climbing Works
  2. 5th March 2016 Awesome Walls
  3. 9th April 2016 Foundry

As you can see, the dates move into the better weather months.  I am keen that the workshops and plan will help you bridge that gap from indoors to out.  If you are an outdoor climber (but it doesn’t matter if you aren’t) this transition will be made easier with specific tactics such as route reading and managing anxiety.  However are still important for indoor climbers too.

Click here to find out more about the workshops and what they involve. Please get in touch if you have any questions!

The price is £240 (with a 10% discount if you book before 20th December)

I will also be sharing some training articles I have written over the next few weeks leading up to Christmas on the following topics:

  • Building strength
  • Body stability and core
  • Endurance
  • Power endurance

The first one that I’ve written is about ‘what is training’.  Here I talk about the importance of setting goals – something we will tackle on the workshops.  I will be sharing the articles on facebook but will post updates on this blog to let you know when they are ready.

Women's Climbing Symposium

04 Nov 2015

Women's Climbing Symposium 2015

Me and Suz working together on our Foot Tricks workshop

This was the Symposium’s 5th year.  I’ve worked at all of them apart from one and I really felt this was the best year yet.  Because I work on the coaching workshops I don’t get to see the whole thing, but I do get to listen to the 3 main speakers and soak in the atmosphere.  So my experience is slightly skewed, but I don’t think my feelings were no different to others’.

When I read the programme months before the event, noticing that Catherine Destivelle was the opening speaker, I knew this event would promise more than previous years.  This year too, I was running a ‘foot tricks’ workshop with Suzan Dudink and I was looking forward to working with her.  Before the event we chatted, emailed and designed an idea for what we would do.  The night before the big day we worked on our workshop more, but still we felt we needed more time for planning the morning of the event.  When Suzan and I arrived early on the day, on a mission to get organised, I had to make a double take seeing Catherine Destivelle right there next to where I had plonked my bags. The next thing I knew I was shaking her hand and tripping over my words saying ‘welcome to Sheffield’.

Her opening talk was really interesting and I was fascinated to hear her slightly adapted talk for a woman’s audience (I saw her at Kendal Film Festival a few years ago).  She talked about the challenges of being a woman in a man’s world, pioneering climbing standards and knocking out ground breaking first ascents, at a time when I was reading Smash Hits, trying to pass my GCSEs and stumbling around on the Lacrosse pitch.

Our first couple of workshops went well, people were enjoying the climbing and Suz and I were winding down for lunch.  Sometimes it’s all the more powerful hearing something amazing when you weren’t expecting it.  I have to confess I knew nothing about mountain biking and was hopelessly unaware of the whirlwind that is Rachel Atherton.  At age 27 she has won 26 downhill World Cup races and is currently the reigning World Champion.  Her link with climbing is that she has used it as a way to strengthen up her body to recover following her many accidents, injuries and operations.

I felt so lucky to be in the presence of a World Champion being candid enough to be able to share her struggles and successes with us.  This year alone she confessed to terrible attacks of the nerves, causing her to be physically sick before races and she sought help from a sports psychologist.  It’s too easy to read articles and watch videos where climbers tell us how it pushed them to their limits and they had to dig deep, but it often feels distant and not in the slightest bit relatable to ourselves.

She shared one of most useful tools: the 3 Es.  Evidence (good performances have happened before, so they can happen again), energy (direct your energy onto everything necessary for comp day and don’t waste it on anything superfluous) and emotion (put negative emotions away). A top tip from a world champion, it’s not often you get one of those!

Invigorated it was time to get back to work.  It was only after about half an hour that I noticed that Rachel herself was in our foot tricks workshop and she's asking me for tips!  It’s not often you see how someone so exceptional in one sport copes with being a relative beginner in another.  She wasn’t super human, she was like one of us – we are all capable of learning new things.  I didn’t see a hint of frustration or ego, she just wanted to learn as much as she could to apply to her own climbing.  We can’t all be world champion, but we can all choose to approach our learning and climbing in a calm, thoughtful way, above all with fun and enjoyment being the number 1 priority.

Suz and I had one more workshop to do and then the day finished off with a funny and entertaining talk from Caroline Ciavaldini, who talked through her transition from comp to trad climber.

Suz and I really enjoyed our workshop we hope that everyone who came on it did too.  This year I really felt that I experienced something really special.  How can this year be beaten?  It will be a tall order!