Does Running Make You A Better Climber

Does Running Make You A Better Climber?

Perhaps you are an avid runner who absolutely loves to go out for long, endurance-filled runs that leave you exhausted, but feeling good at the same time. Not only that, but also you have participated in several 5K, 10K, even marathon races to keep that passion for running constantly fueled and going. Really, you could not have it any other way.

That said, you also probably like doing other recreational activities, such as swimming, basketball, soccer, and so forth. Recently, you have been considering rock climbing as an option to do, and you might wonder if your running conditioning can help you scale those walls easily.

If you have been wondering about that, we are here to give you the answer! Read on to learn more in this article on whether can running make you a better climber. We will be answering your most frequently-asked questions concerning this topic, and perhaps you can learn more about rock climbing, perhaps even get interested in it.

Without further ado, let us get right down to it!


What does running do for your health?

Many studies have cited running as one of the most effective ways of getting in shape: not only does it work out your body’s essence (core, legs), but also boosts cardiovascular health by making your heart stronger; it does so each time you run, for oxygen requires the pumping of more blood to and from the heart, which then makes you stronger.

Again, as mentioned, running also works out your core (in order to retain good posture) and legs, from the quadriceps to calves and everywhere else. It also slims you up, if you were thinking about losing weight or otherwise getting a “runner’s body.”

Finally, running makes you stronger in mind, more likely to persevere and make you feel good in doing so. Running releases endorphins (aka “the feel-good hormones”), which gives you that elated feeling of accomplishment. Running can also make you more tenacious and determined when going about your daily life, telling yourself not to give up and push on when the going gets tough.

For more running health benefits, check out this video here: 

What does rock climbing do for your health?

Rock climbing offers a lot of health benefits, both physically and mentally:

For the former, it can help you tone your muscles, considering that it is actually a combination of cardio and strength exercises. Rock climbing requires endurance, of staying on the ledge for long periods of time while also using both upper and lower bodies to pull yourself up and keep yourself balanced, respectively. In a way, the sport can also increase flexibility, since you will have to put yourself in different positions just to scale the rock.

Mentally speaking, rock climbing is just as cerebral of an exercise as it is a physical one. In other words, it requires you to be strategic, as well as good hand-eye coordination in order to find the best rocks and crevices to grip onto while slowly making your way up to the top. In essence, it requires problem-solving skills, which in turn builds up a mental toughness that can be applied to your daily life, in terms of work, school, relationships, and so forth.

Finally, rock climbing can help you destress, especially after a long work day. It lowers your high blood pressure and you might experience a sense of uttermost calm afterwards.

Can running make you a better climber?

In short, running does not necessarily make you a better climber. You might wonder why, but in essence, it comes down to the fact that runner, while excellent for cardiovascular health, does not provide enough strengthening exercises to be able to scale a wall a few feet above the ground. In other words, running does not train you to gain upper body strength, which is an important criterion in order to succeed on your climbing endeavors.

However, at the same time, running does have some benefits when it comes to doing well in climbing: one aspect is that it helps you become mentally tough for facing any challenges coming your way. While some might opt to give up after a while, being a runner gives you that “extra-mile” mentality to continue trying (and trying again)! Not only that, but also it can help you with endurance, at least in the cardiovascular sense while you are trying to hold on to the rocks and figuring out your next step in action.

Generally speaking, running can help you rock climb mentally, but not necessarily physically.

What are some ways to get started on climbing?

Although it does require a bit more equipment than running, rock climbing can be an excellent sport to get started on, especially if you would like to strengthen your body to get into the best physical shape possible. Here are just a few simple things to consider:

1. Get a guide.

Especially if you are a novice to rock climbing, it is essential to have a guide to explain to you what you need to do, as well as keep you safe by spotting you on the ground. Whether you choose to do indoor or outdoor climbing, or even bouldering, having someone with you is important.

2. Obtain equipment.

In order to ensure that you can rock climb safely, you will need to get a substantial amount of gear to help you out. From helmets to crash pads, there is a lot to consider for your upcoming rock-climbing lessons.

The most important item, however, is the climbing harness, which is to help you scale that edge. Finding the best climbing harness can be tricky, but getting the right one in the end will be worth it.

3. Choose your route.

From 5.0 to 5.10, there are many ratings for the difficulty level of the rock-climbing route. It is a matter of knowing where you are physically, but a rule of thumb is to find those with 5.1 to 5.5 ratings as beginner courses.

For a video explaining the different grades of rock climbing, check it out here: 


Overall, running can help with climbing through the mental sense, but not necessarily physically. However, by conditioning yourself and not giving up, you can learn to love rock climbing and all its physical and mental health benefits to follow!


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