Your shoes are your chief walking tool. They must fit well but have enough room so your feet can expand while walking.
Here are a couple of things to consider to ensure you have the right shoes;
Good footwear should be flexible so that your foot can roll through each step.
Outdoor trekking footwear has more emphasis on grip, for traction on wet and slippery terrain e.g. bridle and footpaths whereas boots and cross trainers have firmer lateral support for uneven ground which is encountered on the Ridgeway.
Many cross trainers and lightweight walking boots have a vibram rubber sole and a waterproof but breathable gortex lining for all weather use perhaps giving an edge on endurance with comfort.
Whatever you decide it is imperative that you train wearing the shoes you will walk in on the day to give you time to overcome any problems.
They should be comfortable and able to keep the feet dry such as those made from coolmax or other high tech fibres. One option is a double-layer sock, which can help to reduce friction thereby reducing the risk of blisters.
As well as the right socks and shoes it is good to look after your actual feet too! Keep toenails neat and short to avoid compression plus it really helps to massage vaseline into your feet before the longer training walks as this helps reduce friction.
On the training walks it is important to bring water with you. As the walks increase in length you might also consider bringing a light snack such as a trail mix with seeds and dried fruit, mixed nuts or a cereal bar. In between walks try to eat a well blalanced diet, but especially include protein to help with stamina and muscle repair.
On the day of the event itself there will be plenty of drink and food stations at intervals along the route, but you may want to consider the following:
Have a pasta supper and a good night's sleep the night before
Avoid alcohol the day and night before
Have a good breakfast, porridge or eggs would be ideal
Keep hydrated, drink water little and often
Take the following with you - glucose tablets or energy shots, fresh fruit, bananas especially; malt loaf; cereal bars and KitKats.
Depending on the weather, dress in layers so you may remove a layer as you warm up and put it back on when you feel cool. If you do not plan to walk up a sweat, a system can be as simple as a t-shirt, a light sweatshirt and a windproof/waterproof lightweight jacket.
If you sweat while walking you should invest in a coolmax or polyprene running top to draw sweat away from the body and wear it as your base layer. You can then add a middle-insulating layer of soft shell or polar fleece.
Chafe not! Be careful in your choice of trousers and avoid any obvious seams! Running trousers/shorts are ideal or looser hiking trousers or shorts if you prefer. Both are lightweight and smooth in their finish.
Hats and shades - let's hope so! A hat is essential to prevent sun exposure or to keep you from losing heat. Sunglasses prevent UV exposure to your eyes. Always wear sunscreen and use lipsalve.
Other items to consider are:
Use a bum-bag for your essentials rather than a rucksack.
Spare toilet paper or tissues!
Emergency cash just in case
Camera - so that you can take pictures of yourself or your team out training
Nibbles if you need to eat on the way round! Jelly babies are a favourite.
The committee really wants you to enjoy taking part in WalkWithMe 2018. We look forward to having fun, getting fit and Walking With YOU to make a difference to other people's lives through the funds we will raise.
BUT please remember that it is up to you to look after yourself. The advice is here but it is up to you to take it and be responsibile for doing the training miles, eating and drinking well and looking after your feet.
FOOD AND WATER
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Walking section of the website
"But it's only a walk"! We hear this many times, but 26 miles is a long way and your body needs to be ready for it. Any exercise in the build up to 13th May will benefit you. We are happy to recommend two fantastic local fitness classes that will help you to reach your goals - Nixercise and Samstix Nordic Walking. Click on the logos for more information.