Nearing the goal you’ve been training for, you’re going to ask yourself the question: Am I fit enough? If (like me) you’ve picked a project you can’t just go and try over the weekend, you have to rely on comparison. This can get a little tricky, but it can give you some valuable insights.
The first option you have is to try routes that you know the feeling of climbing on from a past season. It doesn’t really matter whether you’ve climbed them already or not. What’s more important is that you remember how the moves felt, and compare that with how they feel right now. A problem of course is, that conditions are always different…
Another option is the comparison with climbers you know and train with. Think of your regular training buddies. If all of the sudden they seem to be very weak (or the other way round), it’s seems like you must be doing something right! No big surprise: they aren’t constants either. If they’ve been training for a different goal, comparison isn’t going to help you much.
A last option can be standard exercises. These basically never change, so they come in real handy as a fitness test. If last season you could do a one arm pull up, and this season you can’t, you know what to work on. Other examples are campus exercises you know from the past, hangboarding, front lever etc.
In the end, comparison is not very reliable, but can help out a little. Knowing whether you’re fit is more like a gut feeling, and with a bit of training experience, you learn to recognize that moment when it clicks.
Since I got very close on Fight or Flight last year, I know the fitness that is necessary to climb it. I tried to compare my training and fitness with last year, but it didn’t really work. My training partners were al focussing on something else, there was too much snow to try routes around Innsbruck, so all I could compare on was the standard power exercises, where I didn’t see a change. But hey, I guess we’ll see how it goes soon!