Q: I will be doing a three-day, 55-mile walk in October to benefit breast cancer. I’m currently walking about an hour a day. Can you offer any suggestions for preparing to walk such a long distance?
It sounds like you’ll be walking about 18 miles each day. Depending on how fast you walk that comes out to about five to six hours of walking a day. Here’s a sample training schedule that should safely prepare you for the event. (I’m assuming that you’re walking at about three miles per hour. Therefore, you’re walking about 21 miles a week. I’ve designed the schedule to increase from there. If you’re doing more you can start at the appropriate week that matches your current mileage.)
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This schedule is designed to increase your workout by only 10% a week, which is a safe level that should protect you from injury. However, if you do begin to have any pain, ease up a bit. If it doesn’t go away, see your doctor before you continue training.
A few more important tips:
- Don’t walk the day before the event.
- Wear walking shoes that are in good shape. Since you’ll be logging lots of miles, it may be a good idea to use two pairs, alternating days that you wear each. Don’t wear a brand new pair of sneaks for the event, otherwise you could be in for blisters or other types of foot pain.
- Stretch after you walk.Good luck and let me know how you do!