Even if you prepare for the walk properly, you should still adhere to certain crucial advice while embarking on the challenge – it will definitely come in handy over the course of the coastline walk, as well as any other walk that you participate in.
You will find that the two most important things when walking long distances are endurance and maintaining a suitable walking speed. You do not have to train hard in order to improve your walking speed and endurance – in this case, interval training – 3-4 short periods of walking faster – is enough. Choose an object in the distance and try to maintain a faster, yet still light, walking speed until you reach it. You should walk faster for a period of time ranging from 30 seconds to a few minutes and slow down again once the object is reached. Later on, choose an object which is further away from you, increasing the period of walking faster from a few minutes to 10-15 minutes. If you perform 2-3 test walks a week and conquer 3-5 cycles of interval training during each and every one of these walks, you will definitely notice an improvement in your endurance and walking speed.
Another important aspect of the walk is good posture. You will spend a long time in an unusual position, you will carry a backpack, you will walk on a sloping terrain for the majority of the route, so it is important to keep your back straight and help out your core muscles. When walking, imagine that there is a hook in your hair – you are hanging on it and it is pulling you upwards.
Way of walking
You should learn to use your strongest muscles when walking, namely your buttocks and the muscles at the back of your thighs. Try and use your whole foot (especially the toes and the middle part of the foot) when taking a step, so that you can feel the muscles in your buttocks working. If you carry a backpack and feel pain in your back, try clenching your buttocks every time you step forward.
Try walking on tiptoe or heel-toe for short periods of time of about 30 seconds during the walk. If there is a clearing or a fallen log before you, try crossing these natural balance-improvers by putting one foot in front of the other.
Listen to your body
All limits are indeed located in your head, but that does not mean that you should disregard the signals that your body is sending you. If you feel tiredness in your muscles and body while walking, then the limit which you are about to reach is psychological. However, if you feel pain, you should pay attention to it and decide if you can continue walking or not in a rational fashion.
Most importantly, you should pay attention to the most frequent injuries that walkers face – that is, back or knee pain, which can signal the advent of serious problems. These often include back pain due to overloaded muscles or a herniated intervertebral disc; the so-called runner‘s/walker‘s knee, which is caused by leg muscles being too weak or too tense and thus resulting in an overloaded joint; and inflammation of the kneecap, brought on by injuries, bad shoes and muscles that are too weak or unable to stabilise the knee properly. If you experience this sort of pain consistently during your test walks, we recommend consulting your doctor.