How to Break 2000

So, as previously mentioned, we are aiming to break 2000 points in a Rogaine. Preferably this season.

2000pts

The next Rogaine happens while we’re in Canada in August, so out next opportunity will be in September, but we can still be doing prep work while we’re away to lead up to the big event.

I actually think we could have done 2000 at this last event with a little better planning, but that wasn’t our objective then.

When we sat down with our map, we set a target distance (20-24km), figured that would be about 8 hours, and plotted a course to get as many points on that first day as possible. We also decided to play day two by ear.

Now, the plan, unto itself, was not unsound, but we did come unstuck in a few places:

  1. We didn’t have a day two plan (which was fine at the time, we weren’t aiming at 2000 points then, but it could have helped keep day one in perspective)
  2. We altered our plan late on day one, and on-the-fly, because we were feeling pretty darn good, failing to consider that the limits we set on ourselves were probably pretty realistic considering that we haven’t done anything remotely like this in a couple of years.

While it is important to be flexible, I think we would be better off if we had a fairly conservative plan and stuck with it to ensure our health and safety, which would keep us happier and moving quicker.

I am firmly convinced that 2000 points is readily achievable without making too many big changes or sacrifices.

Although Mat has other ideas, I’m convinced we could get 1000 points in day one in an 8 hour trek, get a good night’s sleep and do a second 1000 points in about the same period on day two. I don’t think we need to go longer or harder or sleep out in the bush for 2000 points.

If we were trying to break 3000, aiming for top spot, then yes, but let’s be realistic, there’s a HUGE difference between the people doing 2000 and 3000 points. Those doing 3000 are freakin’ serious athletes who run the whole time, who sleep for 15 minutes every few hours under an emergency space blanket and keep on going. They’re marathoners and into ultra-events. We aren’t quite like that.

Yet 😉

Okay, so as mentioned, I think we need to aim for two days of 8 hours walking with a good nights’ sleep in the middle.

So, to get there, we really need to be prepared to walk for 8 hours without injury. As previously discussed, this means getting the right gear and being a bit better with our breaks and body, so we will need to:

  • get good shoes!!!
  • prepare a good first aid kit, bring along nurofen (Advil or similar) and
  • prepare the feet for blisters (pre-wrapping if necessary, stopping and bandaging as soon as you feel a hot-spot)
  • learn to strap knees and ankles if they get sore or weak
  • be prepared to stop for a break before we get too tired or broken. (I know I am particularly guilty of just ‘pushing through’: “No no, I’ll be fine, it’s nothing” when a 5 minute break to adjust or rest would be all it takes to set things back to right.)

Some bigger points to consider:

Walking

Truly, the only way to really get good at something is by doing it.

So taking long walks, bush walks, hikes up mountains, doing sections of the Bibbulmun Track or the Cape-to-Cape walk, or whatever lovely walks we find in Canada while we’re there! Even if we only did one long walk a fortnight we would be much better prepared than we were for this last one, and consider how far we went!

Better Food Preparation

By the end of the first day we were all sick of chocolate and sugary lollies.

Yes, it’s true! We were aching for fruit or carrot sticks!

Our food choices lacked variety and didn’t provide a sustained energy source – just a hard sugar hit!

I think we will need to explore and consider our food choices quite carefully and do a bit of experimentation. What tastes good, what feels good, what lasts best, and what is least likely to upset the stomach.

Course Planning

Setting our course for both days in advance so we know we can hit the target will make a big difference.

Once we choose the course, we should get in the habit of setting our bearings while still at the table, and not on the fly. Then we don’t have to stop for as long at each control to take a bearing, set our compasses and get going. Of course, this might mean saving only 5 minutes per control, but that will add up over the weekend. It will also mean we are less likely to make mistakes when we are tired, cold, shivering, and in the dark.

We can practice setting our courses with old maps to become more proficient with seeing good courses. I expect that there will be a knack to it.

Considering the Moon

Although you can’t control the weather, if you are lucky and have a good moon to walk by you can get moving so much better at night.

We will try to remember to look up moon set times so we know just how much moonlight we could potentially have. They provide sun set, moon rise, and sun rise on the maps, but moon set would also be very handy so we can take moonlight availability into account when planning our walk times. A good bright moon is AWESOME at night! If you’re as lucky as we were last time, you don’t need a torch or headlamp except to read your map, which definitely helps with being more aware of the surrounding landscape. When you’ve got a headlamp on, you tend to be blind to everything outside of the small patch of ground lit up by the beam.

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There you have it: how to get 2000 points in a rogaine.

Not much too it really ;P

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