Oxfam Trailwalker is the ultimate endurance challenge. It will test your physical and mental strength.
We want you to be well prepared for this challenge and will also keep helping you along the way.
After consultation with experts we have prepared some points for you to bring into your daily lifestyle. Follow them and you will be better prepared to take on this challenge.
1. PHYSICAL TRAINING
Make walking a daily habit. And start it now! You can start by walking 10,000 steps per day and 15,000 steps on weekends. You can gradually increase it to 15,000 steps per day and 20,000 steps on weekends. We hold regular training sessions for all interested and registered walkers. Click here to check schedule.
You should also possibly follow a running regime during weekends. Run at high speed for 2-3 minutes, then cool down by doing a one minute walk. Run again for 2-3 minutes, this time at a faster pace. Continue this regime for 30 minutes.
Stretch well at the end of each walk or run. You should also opt for treks, walking on slopes and taking stairs, so that your body gets accustomed to weary terrain.
Carry a bag sometimes while walking or running. Most importantly - train together as it is necessary to know the pace and physical capability of each team member. During these training sessions, you explore your team members’ inner strengths and weaknesses; and this helps you prepare an effective team strategy.
2. STRENGTH TRAINING
While you are walking and running, you should also do some strength training.
It can help prevent injuries and reduce effect of hard surfaces on your joints and ligaments. Other than that your core also needs strengthening as it maintains your stability, posture and balance, all of which is necessary to walk/run well and again, avoid injuries.
You can opt for strength training for about two to three weeks, possibly under someone’s guidance.
Nutrition plays a big role in performing well. The most important nutrient for an event like Oxfam Trailwalker is carbohydrates for glycogen storage (glucose in stored form). It should form 50-60% of your meal on normal days and 60-70% of your meal on the long run days.
Your protein intake should be about 10-20% of the meal. Add-on nutrients are always a good idea. These nutrients act as a fuel for your body to walk or run (carbohydrates & proteins) and recover well (all of them).
Electrolytes are necessary to avoid cramps, which are a reality in any endurance event. Best electrolyte source could be a sports drink like Gatorade. These can be used while running. You can also have bananas.
Hydrating well is a conspicuous aspect of long walks. If your body is dehydrated it will not work for you. You will be left with no energy to complete the walk. So keep yourself hydrated regularly before, during and after the walk.
Have water about 20-30 minutes prior the walk, during the walk you can just keep on sipping on water every 15-20 minutes depending upon individual requirement.
Hydrate well after retiring for the day. If need be, you can even opt for sports drinks for long runs, as that will provide your body hydration as well as some energy too.
It is important to recover well, as your body’s tissues and cells should be ready for the next day’s work (office and exercise).
Thus one should always avoid excessive training. You can alternate between walking and strength exercises.
One rest day in a week is necessary. It is also important to get the right nutrition during recovery, but do not indulge on the rest day - keep it moderate.
6. PROPER GEAR
Appropriate gear is an important aspect right from the time you train. Your walking shoes are your best friends. They should be broken-in and be fitting your feet comfortably. Do not walk in shoes that are too tight or too loose. It is also important to find the right pair of shoes during training because you should not wear new shoes for the main Trailwalker event.
Socks are as important as the shoes - get a right-sized pair of socks made out of sports material for better moisture management, and prevention on blisters.
Choice of walking clothes depends from person to person. Try to wear something which is not very baggy as it can slow you down or cause discomfort while walking or running (eg. loose track pants). This can also lead to chafing. Sweating can also make a thick cloth more heavy. So light wear should be opted.
Disclaimer: Please note that the products mentioned are to illustrate activities and the change that your donation can make to the lives of marginalized and vulnerable people. Oxfam India, based on the need on the ground, will allocate resources to areas that need funds the most.