On the 24 and 25 September 2016, I will taking part in the Shine Night Cancer Research Walk, or otherwise known as walking a full marathon in aid Cancer Research. To give you an idea of how far this is, it’s 41km (26.2miles), or roughly the same as walking around a football pitch 121 times. The Shine Night Cancer Research Walk will take place across the streets of London during the night time to raise vital funds and awareness for Cancer Research. Along with thousands of other people, and my team of 20 other bloggers and journalists, we will set off at Southwark Park and end up at Old Billingsgate exhausted, but proud of our achievements.
A marathon is something that I have always wanted to be able to do; to combine my love for healthy and active living with helping to raise money for charity, but have never had the nerve or stamina to sign myself up for it. So I like to think of this one as a practise (with purpose) and providing me with the stepping stones I need in order to sign up and do a proper hard core one.
I have never done anything like this before but I am confident with the training programme I have written that I can do so, and in an amazing time.
People keep asking me, “how can you train, to walk?” Well, really it’s just like anything else you train for, but just because walking is an easier, low-impact exercise when you combine that with the length you are walking it can get pretty intense, quickly. If you are a Power Walker, you should be able to complete it within 9 hours, but if you are a strider or a stroller you are looking at around 11-14 hours of straight, non-stop walking. It isn’t about being the first across the line in this case, but its about coming together to raise money for this incredible charity and in order to do that, and to be comfortable and well-enough to walk for a prolonged time and distance, the training is pretty important.
Whilst I’ve created a plan for myself in preparation for an event like this, I think there’s a lot to be said for adding walking into our weekly exercise routines. We always hear people talking about running and cycling, but walking is an awesome way to destress as well as lose weight and increase cardiovascular health. So feel free to use my training plan as an example to create your own in order to build up strength, ability and stamina for your general health. After all, walking is a free exercise that reaps endless benefits!
Wish me all the best, and I will see you on the other side
If you feel like donating- that would be greatly appreciated even just £2 can help find a cancer cell. My fundraising page can be found at justgiving.com/amandabootes
6 weeks to go
Monday: Core Exercises – such as the plank, press-ups and lunges for 30seconds and repeat for 4 reps. (Increase every week). Plus light swimming/yoga for 30 minutes.
Tuesday: 40-60 minutes of brisk walking (increase the interval speeds each week)
Wednesday: Rest Day. Making sure to get enough sleep and rest on this day to help the body recover, but still include light activity such as house-work/walking the dog/ light swimming or yoga.
Thursday: Cross training session for half hour or a gentle walk for an hour. With core exercises and stretching to finish (increase every week).
Friday: Rest Day. Even with the event impending, it’s important to take advantage of these rest days because your body needs the chance to repair and recover.
Saturday: 45 minute x-training session or 1.5 hour walk with speed interval and uphill (increase each week).
Sunday: 2 hour walk – to increase each week to cover as much time/ground as possible to see how far you can go.
Other tips & tricks…
Wear the right footwear
You need to make sure that your shoes are made to be walked/run in and offer you the support you need in order to save any blisters or ankle, knee or back pain!
If you are walking for long periods of time you need to make sure that your outfit is comfortable and easily changeable in-case you get hot or cold.
Train with friends
Grab a bunch of your friends and train together, not only will this give you a lot of added support in case you need that motivation or advice, but it can also make the whole experience fun and feel less like a chore.
Make sure you are warming up and cooling down properly in order to really stretch out those muscles in preparation and to help save any soreness afterwards.
VARY YOUR ROUTES, ROUTINES & TIMES
Make sure you are training at different times of the day- especially night- as this is when your tiredness and the conditions you are walking in will be different. This can help you be prepared for the event as it will be done at night-time.
HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE
This is one of the most important pieces of advice for any exercise. Make sure to drink water, before during and after exercise to re-hydrate your body. Don’t wait until you’re thirsty!