Monday, 23 April 2012

Sara Killey Fireman's Walk

Some good craic along the Sara Killey way on this longish haul. Personally I find it one of the hardest. Congratulations to Michael and fellow blogger Richard on a good tussle at the front, probably had no time to chat those two, but further down the field there were some pretty good stints being put in by us also-rans. I dont include RobbieC in that description but it was fun to be ahead of him up to entering Bride parish. Trouble is he was sort of dawdling along! It seemed at that point to be down to who was having the longest tee-breaks as we (he and Phillip Vermulen)or me passed and repassed each other! Sadly the wheels came off a bit at that point - probably demoralised at failing to stay ahead - but after a really bad patch when I felt as if I really didn't need to be doing it, the energy levels kicked in again and I retook a number of people who had left me 400 metres behind. It does happen on these long walks. I learned from it though. At that distance in the PW you have to have back up and this does means this is less likely to happen. However you feel, make sure you dont ignore the importance of the supplements. Also on the walk yesterday, I was along time with a guy whom I recognised as a good long distance walker. I made the mistake of asking him if he was entering the PW again this. "No way" he replied, "once you've done it no need to repeat the experience." Half way round the Fireman's, I knew what he meant, so I didn't dare tell him I had done it more than once, he'd have thought me a complete idiot! Perhaps I am - along with all the other repeat finishers. One thing I would say though, you never forget the feeling of finishing that first time or the next!

Sunday, 1 April 2012

How to do the Parish Walk (1)

The Armchair method.

There are many different ways to do the Parish Walk and maybe you didn't think this might be one of them.  The armchair  method.  Stick with this a bit longer if you're not just sure where this is going.

It's otherwise the approach of those people who know it all.  Who can live without doing it or anything physical and tell you endurance really is all in the mind.   We all know them.  Do 'they' know it all? Maybe.  They certainly have the advantage over the other guy, the one who doesn't believe the PW is all in the mind, who maybe recognises the sheer physical effort and time required even to do the training necessary just to reach an intermediate finish point.

I have learned one thing.  It isn't all a mind game.  If you can convince yourself it is, all well and good to you, you will save yourself a lot of anguish, pain, time and effort and maybe even grief at home and from friends whose friendship is truly tested if they agree to do the back up drive (through the night) (at four miles an hour) (or less!) for hours eh hm, non-stop, (actually probably the only thing that really is worse than the walking!)

For Mr Mind Guy and you if the armchair method works for you, dear reader look not further at this blog, it isn't going to help.   On the other hand, if you believe there really is no gain without pain and you're prepared for slight agonies, then come back soon for How to do the Parish Walk (2)...Well it is All fools Day...1st April.

Start training now and some almost serious tips to come.


Thursday, 22 March 2012

Walking can be a pain

A hard learning curve for the Manxies coming off the Winter Walking Leagues having to step up to the higher standards  of 'serious' walking srequired in the recent Welbeck weekend enforcing standards that don't apply to 99% of those who enter the Parish Walk.  Congratulations are heartily due to those who finished

Never mind a week off afterwards in readiness to start out on the serious effort and training for the Big Day not now so many days away.  I was informed that the TT starts in 64 days time, not sure if that is exactly right but it is the time by which most peoples' training should be winding down.  Put like that, not many days and weekends to go.
It means the big effort now commencing.  What did I do in the few days off? Why go and enter a squash competition!  It can be a good idea to obtain fitness and stamina from another discipline which requires fitness of different muscle sets so it seemed like a good idea at the time.  Well was it?  I picked up the fitness and the training break was fun but at the expense of all things of a slight foot injury!  Such is life, just about over it now and managed to do 3 hours at the weekend following so not so bad as feared,  It is vital to expect to pick up the odd niggling injury and to allow for it within your training schedule.  Walking is virtually injury free hence its wide appeal but accidents will happen.

Next time some tips under the heading how to do the Parish Walk and get through the training...without losing your sanity! Get out there training...

Monday, 27 February 2012

How did they do that!

Blog no sooner posted than the adverts start bombarding my netbook to plug Asics.  They'll probably do it again when this is posted!

New shoes on the block

Kept to the plan and got along to Up & Running (no, this is not a plug for them but they were really helpful!) in order to get new shoes organised in readiness for the long walk.  High Street chains? Forget them, this was service with necessary skills and a ready smile.  And it took a while!  We've all been customers of high street sports emporiums where it feels as if the assistant doesn't know one end of the shoe from the other (I suppose they do mostly sell nothing but England (sorry!) kit), or the difference between a cross trainer and a cross-dresser.  Try U&R, immense knowledge and interesting assistance with the latest video evidence of what your feet are actually doing when you walk.  I came away with some shiny new Asics in my case.  All I've to do now is the training, no excuses, just get stuck in.  Modest to start with and then longer sessions so that come the day they will look well worn in and from any angle no longer new.    Are they the right boots for my my pads?  Chris Cale certainly thinks so and he's a man who should know - he's going for his 10th finish, pretty cool that.  So far all they have done is trek round the house (well he said I could change them if they still looked new!)

Next outing of note is the 20k this Saturday.  Too soon to test them in anger me thinks but after that they'll be hitting the roads for sure.  Must remember no long trousers on Saturday!
Thanks Chris for your help from another Parish Walker sorted hopefully to travel and to arrive.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Next Up

The Winter Walking Leagues have ended!  Some liked them, some I met hated them but for anyone wishing to get that easy introduction into Race Walking I would strongly recommend them.  And they provide a good reason to get up early on some chilly Sunday mornings to give it a go.  They have been very enjoyable with great camaraderie and sportsmanship.  Me? I gave them a go to see if I could maintain fitness over the winter months and get a headstart with my training for the Parish Walk into the bargain.  Has it worked?  Obviously only one day in June will really tell me that but here's hoping.

I wanted to see the final results of the leagues before posting this to see if they gave me any pointers for next steps on the path to fitness but I wrote this post over a week ago, whether or not it's me or the MH website I can't access them so need to get this out before it's completely irrelevant  sorry for the delay but not my fault - honest!!

Next step - the shops

It's about the time now for anyone hoping to do all or much of the Parish Walk to think about the training necessary - if they haven't already started -  I'm off to buy new trainers nextweek to get them ready for the long walk in June and one tip I can pass on is that the last thing anyone should do is start the event in shoes that are brand new or put on for the first time on the day.
I actually know someone who did this.  They shall remain nameless, they know who they are and I sincerely hope they don't read this.  Trust me, after 19 miles these feet were some of the worst damaged I have ever seen and there have been some pretty gruesome outcomes in that department, just look at Dermott O's book of the Parish Walk to see what can happen!  You need all the help going to get it right on the day and starting early with good shoes looking well worn on the day,  gives you at least a chance of avoiding this schoolboy/girl error.  I'll let you know how it goes and the recommendations and then start talking about doing some mileage not too much!  Till next week.