Author Topic: Advice on distance to aim for  (Read 1974 times)

BuzyG

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Re: Advice on distance to aim for
« Reply #15 on: 00:40:58, 14/01/20 »
Hi Ken, feel free to join in your thread.   I can hopefully relate well to your situation and target.  Having surfed for 30 years I returned to walking at 54.  I thought I was reasonable fit.  I wasn't, now I look back and have shed 3 stone without even trying, just enjoying walking again.


You have your goal, that is important.  I started out power walking in my lunch hours to build up my speed over flat ground.  I also had 3 or 4 hilly local loops of 3 or 4 miles and alternated those on a weekly basis through the spring and summer.  The best thing I did though, was join the local waking group.  They were all fitter and mostly older than me at the time.  During that first year back walking we completed many walks in the 12-15 mile range plus one of just on 22 miles, all on Dartmoor. The long a short, put your mind to it. Get your body fit and enjoy every minute.  There will be moment s when you lay on your back exhausted at the top of a climb.  But it is all so worth it for the health and happiness that walking can bring to your life.  Enjoy!

watershed

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Re: Advice on distance to aim for
« Reply #16 on: 12:23:39, 14/01/20 »
Welcome to the forum, Ken.

As long as you have no underlying health issues, there is no reason why you could not achieve your 23.5 mile walk.

I don't have any specific advice other than to get out and walk! Gradually build up your distances as you get fitter.

Good luck :)

Hi Ken welcome to the forum from Shetland.
I agree with Richards post, quoted above.
You have given yourself a great target and a sensible timeline.
The key is to enjoy it at your own pace.

Where to start depends very much on where you are at the moment in terms of "walking Fitness"
I have been involved in coaching athletics since the seventies, and an active walker/hiker since 2015. If you want to contact me personally regarding your current level of fitness I would be happy to advise a training guide/program for you. In many ways it is like any training program, in that we would look at what you want to achieve and when you want to achieve it by. Then work out a training program/guide backwards from there, to wherever your start point in fitness is at currently.
It wouldn't need to be anywhere as heavy as a marathon runners programme, but the journey would be similar. First few months achieving a base fitness and just getting in the habit. last month or two keeping up a good mileage @90 mile a month, slowly extending your longest weekly walk.

Great to have you on board.
PS don't be concerned about speed people walk at. they all measure it differently. but that is another discussion.

WhitstableDave

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Re: Advice on distance to aim for
« Reply #17 on: 16:02:44, 14/01/20 »
...
PS don't be concerned about speed people walk at. they all measure it differently. but that is another discussion.

"They all measure it differently"..? That's a rather sweeping generalisation. I'd argue (and here will do nicely!) that speed is definitely something to be concerned about when planning this 23.5 mile walk. Some people might take 6 hours to do it and others might take 12 hours - knowing how fast you walk allows you to have a fair idea of how long the walk will take, which might well matter very much.

I'm not sure what are the many different ways walkers measure speed, but I know how I do it. I use a gps watch that measures the distance covered and then uses the time taken to calculate the average speed. Simple.

The question might then be... how do I know my watch measures the distance accurately? The answer is that I don't know for certain, but my watch is in agreement with several other things. For example, I plot a walk on OS Maps Online and the predicted distance is 20 miles. I do the walk and my watch gives the distance as 20 miles. My Satmap hand-held gps agrees that the walk is 20 miles and Google Earth agrees too. Therefore, I think it's reasonable to assume that my watch is recording distance accurately enough for me to believe the average speed it gives me - especially since this whole procedure has been repeated hundreds of times.

So, I use the average speed given by my watch and I believe it to be accurate enough to state the speed to within 0.1mph.
Does anyone else who's stated their average walking speed use an alternative means of measuring it?

ninthace

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Re: Advice on distance to aim for
« Reply #18 on: 16:36:25, 14/01/20 »
I know my average speed for a walk retrospectively.  Distance divided by time - simple.  I know my average speed up to any point on a walk from my gps.
This information is only of limited value for planning a walk though as that is a future event.  To do that, I look at the terrain, the weather, fitness, any companion and my motive for the walk.  I then use my experience of similar walks to work out how long my walk is likely to take taking account all of these factors.
Solvitur Ambulando

jimbob

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Re: Advice on distance to aim for
« Reply #19 on: 16:53:04, 14/01/20 »
I use VR which I never pause when I stop for a breather/cup of tea so my mph is actually not that accurate at all, even though the distance is. Since I also know the amount of time it took me to be out that day, I can easily compute future walks and know I will be able to have a sarnie or a cuppa en route within that planned time.
My calculated mph is therefore not as fast as someone who takes into account the time they are not walking during rest breaks. 
Too little, too late, too bad......

ninthace

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Re: Advice on distance to aim for
« Reply #20 on: 17:10:00, 14/01/20 »
Yes - mph is not the issue in planning.  The only bit that really matters is h.
Solvitur Ambulando

Rob Goes Walking

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Re: Advice on distance to aim for
« Reply #21 on: 17:17:26, 14/01/20 »
Just to confuse the issue further, I think mph might matter. If you leave at the crack of dawn in September you should be OK provided you're not a slower than average walker but if you don't think about it and leave later in the day you might need a (head) torch and know your average mph to try to plan your time of departure to keep your walking within the sunlit hours.

jimbob

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Re: Advice on distance to aim for
« Reply #22 on: 17:18:50, 14/01/20 »
Yes - mph is not the issue in planning.  The only bit that really matters is h.
O0 O0
Too little, too late, too bad......

tonyk

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Re: Advice on distance to aim for
« Reply #23 on: 21:18:04, 14/01/20 »



What I would like to aim for is to walk from Braunton to Ilfracombe on the South West Coastal Path, a distance of 23.5 miles.  The website describes that section as easy to moderate with a more strenuous section near Ilfracombe.


I would plan to do this in September so I have 8-9 months to prepare.


So, thoughts?


Many thanks

 Just walk every other day,say 3-5 miles,and then at the weekend do a longer walk starting at 7 miles and building up to 18-25 miles.Speed isn't really important unless you are training to race.The most important thing is time spent on your feet rather than getting from A to B in the possible fastest time.Its the reason a lot of walkers do better than runners in ultramarathons as the walkers are used to being on their feet for 8-10 hours whereas the most the runners do is 2-3 hours on their weekly long run.

BuzyG

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Re: Advice on distance to aim for
« Reply #24 on: 00:12:27, 15/01/20 »
"They all measure it differently"..? That's a rather sweeping generalisation. I'd argue (and here will do nicely!) that speed is definitely something to be concerned about when planning this 23.5 mile walk. Some people might take 6 hours to do it and others might take 12 hours - knowing how fast you walk allows you to have a fair idea of how long the walk will take, which might well matter very much.

I'm not sure what are the many different ways walkers measure speed, but I know how I do it. I use a gps watch that measures the distance covered and then uses the time taken to calculate the average speed. Simple.

The question might then be... how do I know my watch measures the distance accurately? The answer is that I don't know for certain, but my watch is in agreement with several other things. For example, I plot a walk on OS Maps Online and the predicted distance is 20 miles. I do the walk and my watch gives the distance as 20 miles. My Satmap hand-held gps agrees that the walk is 20 miles and Google Earth agrees too. Therefore, I think it's reasonable to assume that my watch is recording distance accurately enough for me to believe the average speed it gives me - especially since this whole procedure has been repeated hundreds of times.

So, I use the average speed given by my watch and I believe it to be accurate enough to state the speed to within 0.1mph.
Does anyone else who's stated their average walking speed use an alternative means of measuring it?

Dave

You really should start a new thread if you wish to pursue this discussion.   I would love to join in with it.

Rob Goes Walking

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Re: Advice on distance to aim for
« Reply #25 on: 01:49:27, 15/01/20 »
The most important thing is time spent on your feet rather than getting from A to B in the possible fastest time.Its the reason a lot of walkers do better than runners in ultramarathons as the walkers are used to being on their feet for 8-10 hours whereas the most the runners do is 2-3 hours on their weekly long run.

Interesting. I assumed the endurance benefits of long running would translate into long(er) walking. You're not comparing like for like, the runners are trying to run the ultra with the resulting increased fatigue while the walkers are trying to walk it. I know personally a 9 mile run with 250 metres of ascent at 7 mph knackers my legs more than an 8 mile walk with 800 metres of ascent at under 3 mph.

Doesn't make you wrong though.

GinAndPlatonic

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Re: Advice on distance to aim for
« Reply #26 on: 09:53:27, 15/01/20 »
I have been doing more walking on pavement during this winter.

Yesterday after reading this thread, I took my e trex gps to check my average speed. My gps gives an average moving speed which omits the time actually not walking. It came up at 3.7 mph. This being with a couple of steep ascents.
I have always looked upon my self as a fast walker on pavement, but I could never keep this average up over ploughed fields or open countryside with stiles etc. I`m impressed with some of the figures quoted here.

I always reckon between 2.5 & 3 mph is my average across open countryside. This being a speed where I can enjoy views, look out for wildlife and listen to birdsong.

And for sure, its everyone to their own of course.

To the OP, to find out what you are fit for, you just have to start walking anywhere. Close to home or drive out into the countryside. Maybe start with a few mile, see how you feel next day. If all good then crank it up some on the next walk. If you ache and feel drained then just keep to a few mile at least two three times a week for a few weeks. If walks are local it doesn`t mean it has to eat into any busy life style and if committed, then time can usually be found to do it.
Hello Methuselah :)

Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: Advice on distance to aim for
« Reply #27 on: 10:33:37, 15/01/20 »
That sort of distance is certainly achievable in a day, depending on your fitness. When younger I have managed more than that with a 20+kg pack and lots of ascent / descent over rough terrain. It takes a while to build up the required fitness level and it canít be rushed. Pay attention to aches and pains (other than post exercise muscle ache). These may be signs that you are overdoing the training and need to rest joints and ligaments / tendons. I have learnt this the hard way and been out of action for months at a time. Also take note of any discomfort caused by your gear that could become much worse on a longer, more strenuous walk.

Rob Goes Walking

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Re: Advice on distance to aim for
« Reply #28 on: 13:45:13, 15/01/20 »
That sort of distance is certainly achievable in a day, depending on your fitness. When younger I have managed more than that with a 20+kg pack and lots of ascent / descent over rough terrain. It takes a while to build up the required fitness level and it canít be rushed.

You're a turbo monster though BFM :)

Pay attention to aches and pains (other than post exercise muscle ache). These may be signs that you are overdoing the training and need to rest joints and ligaments / tendons. I have learnt this the hard way and been out of action for months at a time. Also take note of any discomfort caused by your gear that could become much worse on a longer, more strenuous walk.

Maybe you could benefit from resistance training for the core, hip flexors and such? I recall you had achilles issues. I've just started looking after mine as don't want injuries!

Measured my walking speed around town out of curiosity today after this thread at what I'd call "easy quick" pace. It was faster than my standard amble but an easy pace to maintain. Any faster would have required a bit of effort. That was 3.9 mph. Dave must be pretty speedy :)

tonyk

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Re: Advice on distance to aim for
« Reply #29 on: 14:58:17, 15/01/20 »
Interesting. I assumed the endurance benefits of long running would translate into long(er) walking.
Not really.Running and walking use different muscle groups.See:Ultramarathoning:Osler and Dodds,1978.How many runners do you know who run non-stop for 8 hours in training? Walkers do it every week.Where running fitness will give you an advantage over walkers is on steep climbs.


 
Quote
You're not comparing like for like, the runners are trying to run the ultra with the resulting increased fatigue while the walkers are trying to walk it. I know personally a 9 mile run with 250 metres of ascent at 7 mph knackers my legs more than an 8 mile walk with 800 metres of ascent at under 3 mph.
Hence the reason why an average runner would have difficult completing a 100 mile ultramarathon if they tried to run all the way.By mixing running with walking its not that difficult provided you train enough and have a solid baseline.