What are Walking challenges?
A great relaxing way to raise funds for your favorite charity is by participating in a walking challenge. Walking challenges are fun, fulfilling and enable you to fully enjoy and engage with the route you take. You can find walking events that take you through parks, cities, countryside or even to the top of mountains. Varying in length and difficuilty they are a great way to keep fit and healthy whilst raising money for a great cause
Anyone can take part in a walking challenge, despite their level of fitness, which makes them ideal for anyone wanting to take part as a way to raise money for charity. There is less rigorous training or preparation needed compared to a run, but you’ll still want to get yourself ready as you need endurance more than anything. If you do decide to do a walk for charity then this can provide great motivation to keep up your training regime and propel you to the finish line.
Walking challenges can vary from a few miles up to large challenges that may even span a few days. You will need a good amount of endurance as many challenges incorporate uphill and downhill sections that will tire you out quickly if you are not used to long distance walking. It is critical for you to exercise regularly in order to improve your endurance and begin to build up stronger leg muscles that can withstand hours and hours of use.
Ideally, you should begin training by walking three times a week – use a mix of leg exercises combined with core strengthening techniques to build and improve muscle. And walk, a lot. You can easily incorporate walking in to your lifestyle – a trip to the shop, visiting family or friends etc can all be done of foot rather than taking the car.
You’ll want to try and give yourself some routes that you can practice on and try to extend the length of these walks. Start off with just a few miles and slowly try to build up to longer distances.
Mix it up
Once you’ve got accustomed to walking longer distances, you can then start to take your activity on to different types of surfaces. These should ideally include grass, hill and pavement, and in different weather conditions.
Your training program should never be all work and no play – you can reward yourself with treats or goals at the end of walks. Instead of taking the car to the movies, walk instead and use that as your motivation.
Food for thought
People mostly worry about what to eat or drink during training and at the walking event. There are no hard and fast rules to this – jut make sure to drink lots of water or sports drinks to keep yourself hydrated and energised. You need to have a healthy daily intake of proteins and carbs to maintain your energy levels and ensure you don’t burn out. During the walk you can eat carbs and energy containing foods to keep you going to fight the fatigue.
Apart from nutrition, invest in some good clothing and walking shoes or boots. Although walking boots or shoes can be a bit costly, they are durable and won’t give you blisters. Similarly, you want to buy high-quality socks that won’t rub your feet too much and allow your feet to breath. Also it’s worth having a second pair spare just in case they get wet during the walk.
A majority of walkers prefer to wear lightweight trousers and a sports top for the main event. Whilst not essential, like socks, they will allow your skin to breath and keep sweat away whilst keeping you warm. Furthermore, carry a pair of gloves to keep if you will be walking in cold areas.
You may also consider carrying a small emergency kit with things such as plasters or creams should you get stung by the wildlife. There are also a variety of gadgets you can take with you too. If you are walking an unfamiliar route then a mapping or GPS system will come in very handy in case you get lost. If the route will be over a few days, then a battery pack for your mobile phone will help in case of emergencies.
Taking part in a challenging walk can be exhilarating and rewarding, but don’t forget to take adequate rest during the training period. Do not push yourself beyond your limit and most of all, enjoy the experience!
We have picked out the best walking challenges taking place in 2017. We have lots more listings availbale, just click on the 'Walking Events' tab at the top of this page to find them.
Yorkshire 3 Peaks Weekend
Spend a weekend out in the Yorkshire countryside in September. Scaling 3 peaks in two days this is a difficuilt but very rewarding event. With some fantastic scenery including the limestone outcrops and unusual rock formations.