Coast to Coast training progress
The Coast to Coast sponsored walk is 27 days away so it’s time for an update on how the preparations are going.
Since I pushed the button in January and bought a pair of boots I’ve been gradually upping the level of intensity of the “training”. As well as my usual morning swim, which is a great calorie burner, I’ve been going on longer and longer walks.
These began as one hour three milers, increasing to five miles (the first of which ended at the Strugglers Inn in Lincoln). If you have a sedentary lifestyle you feel even these relatively short walks – sore back during the walk, very sore feet after the walk & stiffness the next day.
The first longish walk was an eight miler from Lincoln out to Scothern and then on to Nettleham. It was a freezing day and much of the walk was into the teeth of a wind so I didn’t make it the last three miles back into Lincoln but caught a convenient bus instead. The stop at the cafe in Nettleham put paid to the resolve.
After that walk I started to put together longer trips and did 7 or 8 10+ milers including a walk from Lincoln to Wragby along the very busy A158. This is when I concluded that walking along the road wasn’t a good idea, especially when the A158 ran out of footpath two thirds of the way along. I now try to keep to proper off road footpaths.
Pretty much all of these local walks have been along the flat. They culminated with an 18 mile stroll with my son and partner in crime on the C2C Tom from Lincoln to Woodhall Spa along the side of the river Witham. This took a good 7 hours and was the first walk that was similar in length to some of the days on the Coast to Coast where the average is around 16 miles a day.
it was after the Woodhall walk that I unfortunately had to conclude that I needed different sized boots. My left foot is one size bigger than my right and this foot needed a boot a half size bigger. This is an expensive situation as I ended up buying two top of the range pairs of Meindl boots at sizes 9 1/2 and 10. I need to find a boot buddy with matching but reversed shoe size requirements.
I bit the bullet on the boots because they are the most important bit of kit for a walker.
The new “odd” sized boots have now been road tested in Snowdonia and Derbyshire where in the space of 8 days I did 5 walks including climbs of 1,200 feet or more. The Snowdon climb was 2,200 feet and was a killer for someone who isn’t fit enough. Snowdon itself is 3,500 feet but fortunately (strange perspective perhaps) the advice from the ranger was not to go beyond the snow line so I didn’t 🙂
This week has been great prep for the Coast to Coast where the climbs are typically 1,500 feet although one of the days in the Lake District will have two of those. I feel as if the task – 12 days and 192 miles is doable. Survivable.
The sore back seems to have gone and the feet are certainly a lot less achey after a walk than they had been at the start of the training.
I now have most of the gear that I need, purchased largely from GoOutoors in Lincoln. This shop has been a pleasant surprise as they have staff there who really seem to know what they are talking about and they are willing to price match anything you can find cheaper elsewhere and knock a further ten percent off. This was a result when I bought my Deuter day bag which was £110 reduced to £100 instore. I found it at Millets online for £77 so GoOutdoors sold it to me at £70. Result.
I also have merino wool base layers, various fleeces and a Marmot hard shell outer, Montane walking trousers which are seriously good and Berghaus overtrousers. I sweat buckets on a walk but this kit is perfect and dries very quickly.
The one aspect of the walk that isn’t totally sorted yet is the tech. I have been using Runkeeper on my Oneplus 2 to track progress and take photos en route. However I discovered in Snowdonia that the Oneplus 2 is very definitely not waterproof. In fact it is now knackered and either needs fixing or replacing.
I have been using a Fitbit Surge that was very kindly sent to me by Fitbit for the walk. I don’t normally wear a watch but will need one for the C2C to keep abreast of time/progress. The Surge is good but I’m not sure will have a good enough battery life to last the whole day when using GPS. I’m still testing this.
It may be that I stick with Runkeeper for the tracking as there is a plugin that allows you to post live progress updates on the blog. I’ll update you on this as I get nearrer the off.
The next few weeks are going to be mixed from a training perspective. I have a weekend mountain walking in Derbyshire planned but also a few business trips which are absolutely no good from fitness perspective. Most readers of this blog are in the internet industry and will understand the”social” problem associated with conference going.
I’m likely to concentrate on swimming and aerobic sessions in the gym. Nothing replaces walking as exercise but improving my lung capacity will stand me in good stead up the hills in the Lake District and takes less time. I have also shed 10Kg since January and if I can do the same again in April that will also be a benefit.
That’s all for now folks. Remember I am doing this Coast to Coast training in preparation for the sponsored walk in aid of Cancer research UK. I have a JustGiving page if anyone feels as if they want to donate to the cause.
Image is of Me, Irina Trentea, Will Hargrave and Andy Davidson atop Winhill last Saturday.
Video shot by Andy Davidson