Many climbers struggle with finding the right balance between their stamina and speed. It is one of the hardest choices for climbers because if you are will try to speed up a bit, then you could finish the route faster and do some dyno moves, but then you will quickly run out of steam, on the other hand, if you will try to slowly approach the problem then you can have a hard time finding the right place to rest a bit, and climbing slower means that you will have to force yourself for a longer period of time, so if you ask yourself “Am I climbing too fast?” Then stay with us because we did the research for you.
For most beginner climbers it can be weird but climbing too fast can be very dangerous. There is a special schema in climbing that should guide climbers, especially the new ones, and if you can stick to all of those things from the schema then you should be safe and also improve your climbing speed. Climbing fast but still in an organized way is going to make you a better climber.
What are the basic climbing schemas?
Beginner climbers tend to not believe it but the basic climbing schema is based on your eyes’ movement. This is one of the most important climbing rules which is “before trying to move your foot or hand make sure to watch closely the next hold“.
You don’t want to move your hand before you make sure how you should place it on the next hold because if your hand will release the handhold you will have a hard time staying on the wall using only your feet and another hand.
Watch every hold that you are going to use next, even if you are going to put your foot then make sure that you will watch it closely because even if you think that move is very easy, you still don’t have a lot of experience and your intuition can misguide you.
What if you will rush to the next hold with your foot but end up with only half of your feet standing on hold, that will make you generate less friction with your shoe which can be the cause of your fall.
At first, you should do everything very slowly and follow your moves with your eyes to make sure what you will be holding onto and after some time as your experience will grow, you will start to do this automatically. Intermediate climbers are doing it so quickly that beginners won’t even notice when they are looking, because they need only a split of a second to know how to use the next hold and how to put a hand or foot on it.
3 limbs on the wall
The other important rule is the rule of three limbs always on the wall. As your experience will grow you will slowly start to break this rule but it is great for beginners to get the grasp of climbing.
If you have 3 limbs always placed on the wall that means that you have one spare to grab the next hold, and 3 limbs are most of the time enough to hold your whole body weight, but if you will leave only two limbs on the wall that could end up in a fall.
Most professional climbers and even intermediate climbers don’t need 3 limbs on the wall that’s why they can break the rules as often as they need to.
Can climbing too fast be dangerous?
Of course, it can be, most climbing injuries are due to climbers’ rush. Forgetting about basics and rushing towards your goal without thinking and looking at your next holds is the fastest way to get injured.
The fastest possible pace that you can get should always be connected to your experience. Your top speed should be limited by your eyes tracking next holds, so if you can keep up with every single movement then you should be safe.
There is a sport called speed climbing
If you have never heard previously of then speed climbing then here is a short description. Speed climbing is one form of indoor climbing (the other can be bouldering) where climbers compete in pairs for the fastest time to the top of the climbing wall.
The climbers have a standardized climbing wall, which isn’t hard, but professional speed climbers tend to finish 49 feet tall wall in under 7 seconds. So as you can imagine it looks like they are running on the wall.
Speed climbing for the first time ever was featured at the Olympics in Tokyo in 2021. The climbers use auto belays to keep them safe, which is also a great way to climb if you don’t have a climbing partner yet.
In summary – Am I climbing too fast?
Climbing speed is related directly to your experience, and to increase your speed you will need to learn how to track your next movement with your eyes, which will let you get a general idea of where and how good your limbs are placed on the wall.
If unfortunately due to your rush you did get injured, or you simply struggle from arms pain you should check out our new article “Sore Arms From Climbing? – Try Our Home Treatment Methods“.