ruth with cider

Training for Walking: is it necessary?

have rucksack, will travel, walking feet
Do you have to train to walk?
No. That’s the short answer. You just slip on a pair of comfy shoes, grab your rucksack, and head out the door.

For years I have simply gone out and walked, and walked the next day, and the day after. And, when I’ve finished my walking sessions, I come home and put my feet up.

Of course, we all walk every day. And so, in a sense, we are always walking and constantly in-training for walking.

So why talk about training for walking?

Here are some reasons you might want to undertake a training program.

  • To improve your fitness levels.
  • To reduce your weight and improve your health.
  • To increase the distance you walk before feeling fatigued.
  • To improve your speed and reduce the time you spend walking a set distance.
  • Or to improve your speed and increase the distance you can travel in a set time.
  • To work up towards a walking challenge.
  • To prepare for a walking trek or a walking holiday.

If, like me, you are interested in long-distance walking, perhaps undertaking several long and consecutive days of walking to complete a trail, then it certainly helps if you start out with your walking muscles toned and honed.

So, what kind of training are we talking about?

There are two main things to focus on: distance and speed.
And these require two different approaches.

With distance training you walk, and walk, and walk some more. You don’t have to walk long distances every day, but you need to get some regular mileage in, and undertake at least one lengthy walk every week. There are no short cuts to this.

But if you want to improve your speed, you can undertake shorter walks and focus on making rapid progress, rather than covering long distances. Speed training is, therefore, easier to fit into your working week.

One way of organising your training routine is to undertake one or two brisk walks during the week, and enjoy a long walk at the weekend. In between you can choose to go for shorter walks and just enjoy the rambles.

But remember this…

… if you turn each walk into a hard slog, it is unlikely you will persevere. So, first and foremost, relax and enjoy yourself.


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