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Break goals down into manageable chunks

61 days to go and it’s unsafe to go on the high fells due to high winds and low windchill (-20) in places today.

There are many aspects to training for big goals and the best way to attack the whole is to break it down into many smaller parts. Not every day of training needs to be about climbing as many big hills as I can. Much of it is about recceing the route and finding good routes between places.

On account of the weather we decided to focus on a descent from one of the hills that I may well end up doing in the dark.  I’ve no problem with being out in the dark but the issue here is the lack of path in some difficult and rugged terrain.  Quite a lot of the route between the hills will be on obvious trails and paths but there are many places where I will take a more direct line between and which will be off piste with no obvious paths on the ground.  The route we looked at today is one such. I’m pretty rubbish at descending even when there is a path so an important part of training for me is to recce these areas. I’ve also been up here before and taken the wrong line to try and get down – all that achieves is frustration and a waste of time. Losing an hour doing this is not unheard of and I won’t have an hour to lose. Knowing I have a plan and have safely completed such a section removes anxiety and gives me some confidence for when I have to do it on the day.

The weather was wintry with multiple snow showers and icy winds and I was soon adding a layer and fleecy buff and hat.  We climbed as far as was sensible in the condition.  Stopping to take in the view and study our choice I was happy we now have a plan for this descent.  It’s important for me to take a photo of the view as on the way down the only place I’m looking is where I’m putting me feet.  Altogether a valuable day out with lots learned.

The end goal is a bonus - it's the journey that changes us