I recently completed an 8 week training cycle of Treadwalling, Fingerboarding and Circuit training and I was looking for a short-term goal to determine my fitness level. I choose a route that included an hour hike, higher temperatures and a very techy style. I wanted to see how my crimp training on the treadwall and fingerboard had paid off. It turned out that I was unable to replicate the tiny crimps on the route. This meant that I had the ability to hang on and use them effectively, but that I did not have the skin to try to use them too many times. This was a problem as I gave myself 1-2 days to complete the route.
My first burn took quite a while after I fell at the low crux while attempting to onsight the route. After that I slowly and methodically worked out each sequence finding the most efficient manner to move up the wall to the anchor. After a rest and my partners burn on the route, I gave it a top rope burn to solidify my efforts. I was excited to see that it had paid off and I fell just two moves from the finish of the route. The problem was my skin. I was through the layers and knew that with one more attempt on the route that I would be bleeding through. Even though I still gave it one more try shortly after and realized that I was more fatigued than I expected.
The next day (one week later) I was pleased with my efforts. The route came together and I was able to onsight the rest of the pitches of the climb. I did fall on my first attempt of the day due to not getting warmed up properly after the pitch but that is ok.
What does all this mean and how does it relate to goal setting? Well, due to a busy schedule and having to plan out climbing days months in advance, I have created a hit list of short and challenging but attainable goals for me to work towards over the next few months. Any of the climbs are doable over a long period of time, but that is a luxury that I do not have nor do I want to spend weeks and months on one single route. I have added the deadline of time to my projects and new routes. This is a bit more fun and will help train me to climbing harder climbs more quickly.
What I have learned through my training is that any route is achievable over time. For me, spending years on a climb to complete it is noble yet a waste. At some point you know that you physically fit enough and it’s just a matter of time and at that point why not move on? Also, in all that time that you have spent, think about the long list of other climbs that you could have accomplished. It is a double-edged sword that I feel it only worthy on a first ascent.
Anyway, choose goals that meet your schedule half way. Make sure that you love the route that you choose because you may be spending a lot of time on it, thinking about it and training for it. Choose routes that are assessable for you and your partners and that are not temperature dependant. finally, choose lines that are important to you and only you. If you are climbing it for anyone else, your heart won’t be in it and it will feel like a job more than your passion.
Get outside and have an adventure!
piz : )