How do you train for a 1200 mile walk on stilts?
Quality advise seemed to be the first thing and Greens Health and Fitness in Sheffield have very kindly offered me three months free training and consultation in preparation. Most of my time spent there has been in building up my core strength the best class I've found for which is called Body Pump.
Wow what a class. I don't think there was a single piece of my body that didn't hate me the day after my first class. Apart from the embarrasment of seeing girls half my size lifting twice the weight I could I had a whale of a time. I have never really got on with weight training as I find it so boring and I'ts easy to concentrate on the machines you like and miss out the ones you don't.
This is fine if you like half of your body being bigger than the rest but I tend to lean towards toned all over. Body Pump does this and so much more. For each of your major muscle groups there is a groovy five minute track to exercise to. Most of the exercises use a bar or bells and change the tempo of resistance in time to the music. Fantastic.
Realistically the best way to train for a mammoth stilt walk is to walk about on stilts. The only problem is everyone wants to know what you are doing. This will be great when I set off but when you have a limited time to train you just can't stop and say hello to everyone. Most of my long distance walks therefore have been outside of Sheffield in the Peak District National Park.
This is one of my favorite places on earth and I'ts great to have an excuse to go there as much as I can. I'm finding that 10 miles on the flat is taking about three and a half hours and cross country about four and a half. When I'm crosing the country I'm looking at doing sixteen miles a day so I'm happy with the speed I'm doing.
As I'm getting into one month before I go I'm finding less and less time to spend on training. From converting the van to the huge organisation of the trip ( never ming working to get enough money) there just isn't enough time in the day. What I've started doing is waking up in the morning and strapping a two kilo weight around each ankle. This makes me walk so similarly to stilt walking and I can be doing it all day.
After getting as much advise as I can the main rule of thumb seems to be eat and then eat some more. Money allowing I'm trying to eat five meals a day to change my metabolism and to gain as much weight as I can before I leave. Walking is one of the most calorie burning exercises you can do and I will be walking sixteen miles a day for up to four months. I am going to loose so much weight so I have some excess to begin with. I've been trying to gain up to a stone but apart from a rounding belly not a lot seems to be happening so far.
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