If you’re planning for long distance walking, it’s necessary to train yourself for it. Since it’s not something you do every day, your body is not prepared for it. As a result, you need to train your legs and your mind for long distance walking.
7 tips and techniques to prepare for long distance walking
It’s not easy training for long distance walks or hikes. You need to be committed and focused throughout the training period.
1) Set the goals
The first step to everything is knowing what you want to achieve from it. Once you know your aim, it’ll be much easier for you to motivate yourself to begin the training. The reason could be to support a cause or challenge yourself or even for fun.
2) Focus on nutrition
If you want to walk long distances, you need to be well-nutritioned. As a result, you must cut down junk food from your diet and replace it with a proper diet that supports your goal.
To improve endurance and prepare your body, train using water and sports drinks. This will allow you to do the long distance walking using the same. Moreover, training your body to accept high forms of hydration is going to be essential during the walk. In fact, you could carry nutritious snacks for the long distance walk. It’ll help in providing the boost of energy you need every time you feel like slowing down.
3) Find the right shoes
When you train for a long distance walking, your feet are your best friend. Therefore, it’s essential that you find the correct shoes that will support the walk without making your feet sore. Ideally, it should be a sports shoe but with a medium-hard sole. Too soft or too hard a sole could exhaust your feet faster.
4) Train your legs
When you plan for long distance walking, you need strong legs. It’s not easy walking for a long stretch without the muscles supporting you throughout. Hence, it’s suggested that you train your legs at the gym. The stronger your muscles are, the better you’ll be able to sustain long distance walking.
5) Plan for breaks
Regardless of how hard you train, your body will demand for some amount of rest. Therefore, it’s important that you plan your rest breaks in advance. In th is way, you’ll be able to push through from one resting point to another, instead of making an on-the-go choice. You will be urged to make it to your planned rest breaks and not take early or late breaks.
6) Train for the hills
The most difficult path you can choose for a long distance walk are hills or mountains. It’s much easier walking on flat-land than on an inclined land. You need to plan in advance to know what route to take.
As for training, it’s always beneficial to train for the hills. That way, your legs and feet are better prepared for what’s coming their way. Moreover, hill training will help when you walk on flat-land but it doesn’t work the safe way the other way around.
7) Build a schedule that focuses on your goal
Every type of training has a purpose. So, you need to build a training schedule that helps with that. For example, if you’re planning for a long distance walk for fun, you can choose to walk for 5 miles or so every day for a week.
On the other hand, if you want to train for competition, you’ll need to level it up and walk some more distance. Keep pushing the number of miles walked every day until you reach the desired miles.
Other things to do before a long distance walking
While walking isn’t as intense as working out at the gym, it’s still a workout. Therefore, you must warm up your legs before you start walking. There are chances of massive leg cramps if you start walking without warming up.
If you’re walking long distances, your heart rate will go up. When you finish the walk or when you take a break, ensure to cool down with a few stretches. This brings down your heart rate slowly and steadily instead of a sudden drop. This helps in protecting heart health as well.
If you want to go for a long distance walk, it’s absolutely crucial to train yourself. Otherwise, you will find yourself with leg cramps and extreme fatigue. Additionally, without training, you can end up not finishing the entire walk and giving up midway.
Make sure to carry water and sports drinks for long distance walking.