Saturday, July 11, 2009
Training-"Keep Walking Ambrose"
"Climb the mountains and get their tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves." John Muir
Even though we walk every day, it would be foolish to attempt a long distance trek without some kind of training program.
Whether it be running, swimming, biking, walking, or any sport for that matter, the best training for it is to do the specific thing you are training for. If your event is running, train by running, if it is swimming, train by swimming, etc.
My pilgrimage through Spain will be about 500 miles through 3 mountain chains with several peaks of nearly 5,000 feet. Most of the walking is off road, sometimes through rocks, shale, gravel and uneven terrain. I will be walking for more than 30 days on average of 5 to 8 hours each day.
So, I have been training by walking and hiking. Fortunately for me, I love to walk and live in a beautiful area for walking. I generally walk for an hour or more each day just for the love of a good walk. But now that I have been training for my long distance trek, I have found that it is a must to walk for longer periods.
I will be carrying a backpack every day, so I have been walking with a fully loaded backpack during my training walks. Trust me, it is a lot harder to walk carrying 15 pounds on your back than just taking an evening stroll.
There are several good trek training programs available. At Do It For Charity.com there is a 16 week trek training program and it is what I have been using as the basis for my training, with some modifications that work best for me.
Basically, I walk from 1 to 2 hours daily, sometimes I skip a day. Each week I increase one or two walks by 1 hour. My long walk is now up to 5 hours.
Walking has so many healthy benefits. it strengthens muscles, bones and joints. It can reduce the risk of many diseases from heart attack, stroke, hip fracture, breast cancer and type 2 diabetes. It helps with weight loss, boosts good cholesterol, and prevents depression.
The list goes on and on. If you want to read more about the benefits of walking read this good article at AARP.com
Less than 2 months before I start my pilgrimage. I can't wait!!