Drew Ruana - Short and long time focused

Thursday, 14 January

Drew Ruana, finishing #13 in the Combined World Championship of 2019, had ascended one 8B+ when he stopped competing in last October. That meant he skipped the Continental Olympic qualifying event. Now, 15 months later, he has done 30 boulders 8B+ and harder including four 8C+, although starting full-time University Chemical engineering studies in September. The 21-year-old was awarded the title of 8a male boulderer of 2020. (c) Alton Richardson

How can you explain the extreme progress you made in 2020?
I didn’t really make progress I think, I was always that strong. It was just the first time I had time to invest on boulders. I’m just not that good at comp climbing compared to outdoors.

How important was the Olympic comp training?
I got physically stronger in a weight room but that was about it. Pressure training on sending a comp boulder in 5 minutes doesn’t translate to working a single move on a crux Boulder for weeks on end.

How did a normal week look like in 2020, including training?
Wake up, if I feel good I go outside to whatever I feel like. Usually, I’d just pick a project that looked cool and try it till I did it. I stopped training in general actually. I just liked being outside more than in a gym.

Which was your most memorable send in 2020?
Probably Sleepwalker (8C+) because I didn’t fully believe that I could send v16. Then I did it in 7 or 8 days and It didn’t feel all too hard so I knew that I could do way harder boulders.

How were you and your climbing affected by Covid-19?
I was lucky enough to not be too affected by Covid. I kept to myself and tried to stay isolated from other groups of people. Only went to boulders that I knew nobody else would be at.

What are your plans and ambition for 2021?
I’d like to just keep doing more new fun boulders, I just like being outside.

Any advice you can give to youngsters who want to progress?
Think long term. I switched my thinking habits from monthly progress to yearly progress. Also, nobody ever does enough. You can always push just a little bit harder.

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