Welcome to The Body Mechanic’s training program for the Can4Cancer Walk.
The aim of this program is to help you prepare for the 21km walk in October 2017. Throughout the weeks we will introduce a number of stretches and exercises which will help you keep on top of the tight muscles and achey joints you might experience as your training increases. We will also discuss other aspects of your preparation such as nutrition, hydration, correct footwear and more.
The key to successfully building up to, and completing this walk is consistency. If you start training now, and build up gradually over the next four months, your body will have time to adapt to the increased stress you are putting on it, and you are much less likely to suffer any issues or injuries. If you leave your training until only 6 weeks to go, you will have to build up the volume very quickly and you will be much more likely to suffer calf muscles strains, shin splints, plantar fasciitis (foot pain) and a host of other overuse conditions.
The structure of this training program will be to build up the volume for 3 consecutive weeks, then have an easy 4th week to recover and recuperate so that you are rearing to go again at the start of the 5th week. We will repeat this cycle 4 times, building you up to be able accomplish and enjoy the 21km walk.
Let’s start with some good basic habits you should try and incorporate into your daily lives. Habits take about 3 months to become ingrained, and feel like they are “normal”. Initially they may feel like quite a challenge, but if you are persistent, they will get easier.
Start these daily habits
- Buy a fitness tracker (like a Fitbit or a Garmin) to track your daily steps. Aim for at least 10,000 steps /day, even on days when you are not doing training walks.
- Download the Strava app on your phone and use it to track your training walks.
- Strava is a GPS app which will track your time, distance and elevation and also map your walk.
- Take the stairs, not the lift. If you are on escalators walk up and down them rather than standing still.
- Set an alarm/warning on your computer desktop every 30 minutes to stand up and walk around. Even 30 seconds makes a difference to your health and your body.
- Try to cut down up any junk food -snack on fruit or nuts between meals rather than biscuits or chocolate.
The “Little and Often” training philosophy
- Our bodies adapt to exercise gradually. If you do too much, too soon, that is when things usually go wrong. In our training program we will adopt the “little and often” approach, because our body will adapt better to regular short walks, than to long infrequent ones.
- For example – If you were to walk 3km every day it would be a lot less stressful on your body than walking 21km on one day, and having the next 6 days off to recover. The chances of straining a calf muscle, or making all of your muscles feel tight and sore would be much more significant with the one day /week approach.
- By training frequently, we will be able to gradually increase the distance of the walks letting your legs and your cardiovascular fitness improve and adapt.
Stretches and Exercises
The most likely areas to get tight in the first few weeks of training are your calf muscles, gluteal muscles and your hips. Watch this video for some pointers on exactly what stretches to do and when to do them.