Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Failing to prepare...

Evening all! The modest increase in distance this week belies a fairly substantial achievement:

Distance (miles)
Time (hh:mm)
Energy (kcals)
Since last post (8 Apr 2013) 35.1 10:15 5467
Since records began (27 Dec 2012) 331.2 93:25 58143

My shorter walks were sporadic this week due to work-related distractions, but I managed to cover 26.5 miles during a single walk on Saturday: over 60% further than my previous longest training walk and slightly more than marathon distance. Here's the trace of my route from the city centre out to the tourist town of Karlstejn, from where I caught a train home.

Yellow line is my route, blue outline is city limit, green outline is district boundary
I followed the river down and out of the city to the south-west where I joined a network of cycle paths, which made for a rather pleasant journey mostly away from the main roads. However, the day was not without incident.

About 20 miles into the trip the balls of my feet started to burn and, in an example of excellent preparation, I had neither a change of socks nor blister pads with me. Not to be deterred, I hobbled on. Clearly the hobbling did nothing for good walking form and, about a mile from the railway station, my right knee seized up too! My problems over the last 5 miles brought my average pace down from nearly 4 mph to an overall average of just over 3.5 mph.

What have I learned?

  • It's difficult to predict how your equipment will perform or how your body will react over longer distances until you try it. Don't leave it until the Parish Walk to find out. I'll definitely be attempting a few more walks of the same length between now and early June (but probably no longer than that).
  • Being prepared is critical: I should have anticipated the possibility of blisters forming and brought some supplies with me that could have helped better control the situation: I had plenty of spare socks and Compeed plasters, but they weren't much use to me sitting in a drawer at home.

My feet were actually fine on Sunday, but my knee was still very painful. I kept it rested on Saturday evening and all day on Sunday, applying the recommended RICE principles (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). Thankfully it was much improved by this morning, and loosened up further during the day. I'm hoping to get back out for some short, gentle walks by midweek, but for a while I was pretty worried that I might have done myself some Parish-threatening damage.

Walk Talk 2013

I saw that Murray has posted some edited highlights of the Walk Talk on YouTube here. It includes a lot of good advice and interesting insights from some very experienced walkers and coaches, so it's well worth checking out.

Were you at the Walk Talk? What were the main points that you took from the event?

Thanks for reading and have a good week!

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