Friday, 3 December 2010

December 3rd 2010.

Well, it's finally started snowing here, had half an inch last week but it's mainly been icy with the glass falling below zero for the last few days. Not good weather for walking to say the least as any slip on an icy patch could bring an instant groin strain, hamstring, or worse, going right over and breaking something. This does mean that I can't go back home to Hull this weekend, don't want to risk spending a couple of days in a snowdrift on the M62.
        Walking is more productive in this weather though, the minus temperatures make the body burn more calories just to maintain temperature, and walking on ice makes you walked tensed up as if your feet are clinging on to the floor. Good for tightening the leg muscles...
     Anyway, went up the hills last week and didn't get far before slipping, no damage, but had to turn back. Take no risks. Walked to work a couple of days ago along the A590 and through the towns which were relatively clear. Today, with the proper snow, gave me a chance to get out and burn some calories off. Over the top of the Furness peninsula, a total climb of about 1000 feet and round the undulating hills back to Ulverston. No cars could get up there so had the hills to myself. 8.5 miles altogether in 2hrs 25, not a bad speed for the conditions, and had that muffled silence that comes with snowfall, making it eerily distracting. Started on the plans, in my mind at least.
      Other years I've not planned any training or preparation, just gone out when I could, and walked. Whether distance, just to the shops, or up hills, whichever was available. Now that I'm entered and committed to the race there is no excuse for not being ready.
1. Cardio. The heart is the most important muscle in the body, as it transports the oxygen to the muscles, and transports all the waste away. The higher the lactose tolerance levels, the more power is available.
2. Distance. The muscles have to be used to walking long distance non-stop. This is only achieved by walking regularly for long distances, non-stop. Can't skimp on this...
3  Diet. This breaks down into what I'm eating all the time, which is basically healthy and varied, what I need for training, and what preparation and food for the race itself. I burnt over 14,000 calories in the 2010 race, all had to be taken in, or found somewhere.
4 Core. Gym work to help the muscles, especially upper body, back and stomach, which are all important in race walking and posture. Got a set up at home, just need to start using it.
5, Equipment. I have a chance now to do all this properly having learned a great deal last year. I made some mistakes, which is good, as they then become "Learning opportunities!" (Spent too much time talking to management at work I think...) This includes clothing and shoes, and also the bootful of junk which gets carried around the 85 miles with me.
6 Coaching. This I can do now as I've been put in touch with a good coach by Yorkshire Race Walking Club. I've started to learn how to race walk properly, which should improve on my quick stomp style of walking which was fast, but wasted energy and caused damage. It can only help.
7. Winner's speech..... Haha, only kidding. Got a feeling a lot of good walkers are going to be in this one. I only hope I make a decent effort and can wake up sunday morning after the race satisfied with my days work.

I'd like to say thanks for the encouraging comments so far about the blog, If I can help anyone then all well and good. I was overweight, had a back problem since my early thirties, was developing high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and was a medium to high risk of heart trouble. These things I thought were normal for my age, yet have all since gone. The back problems were caused by weak muscles, and vanished after 3 months training. Everything else cleared up, and I now have a standing heart rate of 55 to 60. My life has changed so much for the better, and best of all I've discovered a new sense of adventure that has me not only walking in stunning surroundings like the photo above, but enjoying it. Walk briskly enough and it's not even cold.
Anyone can do it, middle age infirmity is far from inevitable, easily preventable. And Jimmy Bullard plays top class football even though his knees were so bad they had to replace them with somebody elses!

Happy training.


  1. Anonymous #2

    One thing that I'd be interested in reading is what food you eat when you're walking.

    Shame we won't be at the KC tomorrow I had a good feeling about that, where do you sit ?

  2. Hello there! I will be going over that. And in plenty of time for everyone else to laugh and tell me where I'm going wrong. made a couple of discoveries this year... It is a learning process!
    I'm in E6, on the halfway line and near the middle. Not had much chance to go this year, working here in Barrow, but back in new year. Hopefully QPR match will be after transfer window when Allams money will have us two new top strikers.