Just Get Walking – How to get started training for a trek
If you’re not used to walking long distances, then it’s important that you build up to your final distance gradually and give yourself plenty of time.
If you’re not used to walking longer distances with your dog it’s important that you both work your way up to your target distance. You should only take on the challenge if you’re both fit and well enough but if you're ready to go, take a look at our advice for trekking with your dog:
Walking is something that a lot of us are able to do fairly easily, for free, and quite frequently. The key comes in building up the miles for the final trek distance and making sure you’re increasing your aerobic fitness at the same time.
Walk more as part of your day
- Get off the bus a few stops early and walk the rest of the way.
- If you can, why not try walking to and/or from work? It doesn’t have to be every day!
- If you work 9-5, use your lunchtimes to get out for a brisk walk.
- Try and go for your longer walks on your days off so you’re not rushing or pushing yourself too hard.
- Avoid the queue for the lift and take the stairs! If you’re just starting out, don’t go for all 12 floors at once. Taking the stairs is good for strengthening your calf muscles and quads.
Build up your aerobic fitness as well as your leg muscles
As well as walking, you should build up your general fitness. Bike rides and spin classes are good for building up leg muscles, but swimming, football, netball and squash are also great. Squats and lunges with proper form and increased weights will also help with this.
Make sure you’re walking correctly
When you’re walking, make sure you’re hitting the ground with your heel first, then rolling onto your toe. This action is what should move you forward onto your next step. Try to walk with your head up, eyes forward and keep your shoulders level.
Make sure you have the right equipment
If you’re buying new walking boots or shoes, it’s a good idea to have them fitted at a specialist shop. Your shoes will need to fit the shape of your foot without being too big or too small and be suitable for the type of terrain you will be walking on. Make sure you buy them early on in your training so that you have plenty of time to wear them in.
Be careful of blisters!
As you start to walk more often and for longer distances you might start to notice warm spots on your feet, or places where your shoes and socks are rubbing. The best way to treat blisters is prevention rather than cure. As soon as you feel the rubbing, stop, dry your feet off, and put on a blister plaster.
There’s no one right way to start training for a trek, the important thing is to get moving and give yourself plenty of time to build up your distance.
If you’re up for a challenge and want to help Battersea be there for every dog and cat why not sign up for one of our Muddy Dog Treks?
Already signed up for a Muddy Dog Trek? Make sure you’ve set up your JustGiving page to start collecting your donations. You can use your page to keep your supporters updated with your training progress right up to the trek (and after!) and it will also help keep track of your progress towards your fundraising goal. You can also use it to tell people why you’re supporting Battersea and exactly what their support means for the dogs and cats in our care.