coast to coast walk preparation – no pain no gain – my feet hurt 🙂
You may have read yesterday about my intention to do the Wainwright Coast to coast Sponsored to raise cash for Cancer Research UK. I am doing this in memory of my mother Eileen who died on may the 1st 2015, exactly one year from the date we start the walk. Mam had been Chairman of the Marown and District Branch of the IoM Anti Cancer Association. My father in law Keith succumbed to cancer in 2014. This post is the first that discusses my coast to coast walk preparation.
The Wainwright Coast to Coast walk is rated as the second best walk world (I read somewhere) and is 190 miles from St Bees in Cumbria on the West Coast to Robin Hood’s Bay in Yorkshire on the East. The walk takes in the Lake District, The Yorkshire Dales and the North Yorks Moors. It is a pretty gruelling 12 days of walking and there is no way I would have been able to take it on in January when we decided to go for it with friend Ajax (Mark Agius) and his son Luke.
May 1st however seemed to be suitably long way away giving me plenty of time to prepare. You have to remember that my idea of exercise was to walk to the pub half a mile away and I may even have cadged a lift back off my wife.
I took it as a challenge to get fit enough to complete the walk. It seemed to me that not only would I be fit if I managed to survive 12 days non stop walking 9am until 5ish on most days but I had to be reasonably fit before even setting off.
I bought a pair of walking boots.
My feet are wide and odd sizes (right foot is an 8 and left foot is a 9). Finding a suitable pair of boots I thought would be a challenge. I tried a load on in a couple of shops but always felt that they were either too big for one foot or too small for the other.
In the end I drove to Richmond in Yorkshire to the Alt Berg factory shop where they were happy to pair you up with odd sizes. However they didn’t make their boots wide enough for my feet (!!!) so I ended up buying a pair of Meindl boots off the shelf.
I’ve spent the last few weeks going on occasional walks using the Meindl boots. My feet are still sore after every walk but I am hoping this will gradually diminish the more I walk. Thirty years of sitting with my feet up on a desk will take more than a few walks to sort out.
In the last two or three weeks I have completed 6 walks of between 9 and 10 miles. I now need to start stepping up the pace and increasing the distance. The longest day on the coast to coast is 23 miles so 10 miles doesn’t even get me half way.
At Easter the family are off to Llanberis for some walking in Snowdonia. I figure if I can put some hills in that will help me when it comes to the Lake District where some of the days involve more than one ascent. If I can climb Snowdon then i can take on anything the Lake District can throw at me.
Two out of the following three weekends I will be walking in the peak district (Andy and Suddy and then with the Scouts) and then that leaves me with two more weeks until the beginning of May. Not far off really!