Tuesday, 19 February 2013

0 to 30 in 6 weeks

Evening all! This post is brought to you courtesy of the free WiFi at Prague and Warsaw airports and at Angelo Airporthotel Bucharest... and (in the fine tradition of Sesame Street) by the letters R and O and by the number 30 :) Here are the obligatory stats:

Distance (miles)
Time (hh:mm)
Energy (kcals)
Since last post (11 Feb 2013) 30.0 08:33 5394
Since records began (27 Dec 2012) 149.6 43:00 28118

I walked an improbably precise 30.00 miles this week: for consistency I'm only showing one decimal place in the table, but movescount actually shows it as 30.00 miles. It would have been just over 31 miles if I hadn't been called away during the day, thus missing out on my walk home this evening.

Excepting today, I've walked to and from work each day in the last week, including the extended morning route. We got quite a lot of snow last Tuesday and Wednesday, which has gradually been melting away in the days since, but even a pretty heavy snowfall on Wednesday morning wasn't enough to curb my enthusiasm. I think we can safely say that the walking habit has now been successfully ingrained!

I didn't do anything on Saturday, but covered just over 11 miles on Sunday, buoyed by some podcasts (following James Bassett's suggestion on a recent post, so thanks James!). Again, I forged a route through some parts of the city I'm not familiar with, setting myself a goal of reaching my original home in Prague, which is out on the edge of the city near the airport. In the absence of a walking partner (Mrs W was out shopping with a friend) I found that the combination of the podcasts and some unfamiliar territory made a fairly long walk (just over 3 hours) fly past.

Other training activities

I was interested to read in Tony McNally's latest post that he's including some running as part of his training. My dad also mentioned to me recently that he's considering doing some gym work this year as part of his preparation, having been convinced of the benefits by a past finisher. My current plan doesn't include anything except walks of varying lengths (and, hopefully, increasing pace), but, as Paul Callow mentions in his latest post, plans shouldn't be set in stone and can be revised as needed.

Clearly a mixed training plan isn't that uncommon, but my main concern in introducing jogging or running would be the higher impact (on joints and feet) and what I perceive as a greater chance of getting injured. I can certainly see that higher intensity exercise might help me to build my fitness faster, but I'm wary that the gain could be at the expense of potentially putting me out of commission for weeks or even months. Although I'm pretty ungainly I can just about avoid daft stuff like falling in ditches and tripping over paving stones at a walking pace, but I doubt I could do the same while jogging or running.

Am I being excessively paranoid and missing out on significant training benefits or should I trust my instincts?

Thanks for reading and have a good week!

P.S. Happy Birthday Ed! I hear from my spies that you got in an epic training walk at the weekend!


  1. Short fast walks, running, cycling, swimming will all help improve fitness and I'm sure you will have noticed from Richard Gerrard's blog last year that he incorporated a lot of running and a little football.

    On the other hand, Vinny Lynch did all walking, I just walk and do yoga these days though I've done all of the above at some stage, so as you can see there is more than one way to skin a cat.

    If you can introduce some exercises for your back, quads to keep the kneecaps in the right place, hamstrings, hip flexors and shoulders, hopefully you can prevent injuries rather than cure them. The correct footwear for your gait is also important as you increase mileage.

    Stay fit & healthy.

  2. Opinion is fairly divided on the benefits of cross-training. There is definitely an increased risk of injury when running because of the impact on the body - however, there also is a reduced risk of repetitive or over-use injuries compared to only walking as jogging will use different muscle groups. If you are concerned about the jarring caused by jogging you could always try cycling and/or swimming. These will also boost your aerobic fitness, build muscle, build endurance but are virtually zero impact.

    I'm a fan of mixing up the exercise. As well as the injury-protection benefits it can get mentally tiring if you are only ever walking and I find some aerobic exercise just helps me feel better. I do a hill-run on Thursday nights (less jarring because it is on grass) and a bit of cycling in the evenings. All exercise is going to be good and get you fitter but do keep in mind that, when it comes to the Parish, time on your feet and miles in the legs is what really counts.

  3. Cheers Dave, glad to hear the training's going well, you're certainly taking it seriously. Once you do something regularly for 28 days it becomes a habit!!

    Hmmmm, did a 21 miler on Saturday and unfortunately I found out that I was only ready to do 17 miles. Managed to recover well mind you and got out for another 9 yesterday morning, but somehow seem to have contracted my 3rd bout of man flu in 6 weeks so tonights circuits have gone down the pan.

    As the guys say, varying training is good as it not only gets you fit in more ways than just walking will, it also varies up the mental side of things and keeps you interested.

    See you both soon !!

  4. Michael - the point about muscular exercises as a form of prevention is a good one. I'll incorporate some in my routine.

    James and Ed - I think there's definitely something to be said for variety. As the weather improves and the days lengthen I'll try to introduce some other activities alongside walking.

    Ed - you won't be saying my training's going well after you read this week's post!