How our PM tackles the National 3 Peaks Challenge

J4’s Rob is about to start out on his latest challenge. In this post he shares insights into his preparations and training. We know how much effort and dedication he has put into this already – we’re rooting for you Rob!!!

“After a year’s delay, I finally look set to be taking on the National 3 Peaks Challenge as part of a team of 5 over this coming weekend, July 31st and 1st August.

Very simply the challenge involves climbing Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike, and Snowdon, plus driving between them in under 24 hours. In total around 37km walking, 3,000m of ascent, and 460 miles of travel (or at least that’s what the guide document says). 

As a Project Manager it’s literally my job to be prepared and plan ahead, and as I’ve approached this challenge, I’ve realised just how helpful those skills and mindset are.

Physically I’ve been feeling in reasonably good shape, so my baseline fitness is OK – I run (a lot), with a couple of weekly strength sessions and yoga too. However, for this specific challenge I’ve changed my running to incorporate mostly hill climb repeats over the past 6 weeks. Tapering off for the last couple. I also added some hikes (hadn’t worn a hiking rucksack in a couple of years!), and dropped the long runs (nothing longer than 12km) to save my legs.

I’ve been searching for the best kit combination for some time now (not just related to the Three Peaks). Not totally settled yet, but close enough and this has meant taking a lot more equipment than I would normally like to. My conclusion was may as well take all the kit I want to cover the inevitable range in weather, than try and second guess what I’ll end up using.

The physical side is only part of the battle though. The mental can so often be the failing. To help prepare I’ve been reading other people’s blogs on their experiences, and watching YouTube videos. Although, this has led to a bit of ‘well if they can do it…’. Where I do fear coming unstuck is sleep. I’m not a great sleeper at the best of times, and the prospect of trying to get some sleep on a minibus holds no appeal for me. Plus, as others will attest to, I’m not great on too little sleep! To help with this I’ve got a pillow, a blanket and dedicated comfortable clothes to try and make this part of the trip better. I feel getting over this part is going to come down to determination though. Such is the timing of our challenge, I’ll be taking inspiration from our TeamGB athletes for sure!

Hopefully we’ll get lucky with traffic, and it will be in our control to hit the target times for the mountains. I’ll post a follow up on how it went, and how prepared I really was!”