What To Bring for Training Walks

I know it’s only January, but I’m starting to think about walk training. The Jimmy Fund provides a training plan (it’ll be posted on the walk’s website in the spring), but trying to execute that plan on top of my usual workout routine just isn’t going to be a possibility. Last year, Chris, Jennie and I just tried to do longer walks on either Saturday or Sunday each weekend (and sometimes we actually succeeded and managed to walk consecutive weeks!).

Our shortest walk was one 3.2 mile loop around Lake Quannapowitt and our longest walk was almost 22 miles. We tried to keep a steady pace that we felt we could maintain on walk day, and I’m happy to say that we found each walk to be a great success. For those of you looking to train to walk a marathon, I’d recommend using a more official training plan since I’m no expert, but here are some other tools that I found very helpful during training AND the walk last year that I’ll be using again this year:

  • Spare cell phone
    • I set up a second phone, my old Android, to use MapMyWalk or RunKeeper to track our distance and pace. I used Wi-Fi at home to download the apps and all you have to do is turn on GPS when you’re ready to walk. I even used it on Walk Day to make sure we weren’t overdoing it!
  • Camelback
    • I have a kids’ sized Camelback that I use for walks that last longer than 3 hours. It holds my keys, a small wallet, a spare (full) water bottle, hydration tablets, sunscreen, pain relievers, and any snacks that I want (fuel is just as important as water!).
  • Sunglasses and a Hat
    • It gets sunny during the summer. Sometimes just a hat is enough, sometimes you need both.
  • Portable phone charger and USB cable
    • This went in the Camelback, too. When you’re walking for multiple hours by yourself and are texting or taking pictures during your walks, your phone could die. It’s important to have it charged (for safety’s sake!) so a portable charger is a must-have.
  • Band-aids
    • Band-aids are great for immediate treatment of blisters (I buy blister band-aids specifically) and for areas where your shoes could rub against your skin (the heel if you’re wearing short socks).
      • Pro tip for walk day: A friend of mine volunteers for the Red Cross and he says moleskin is really what should be used to treat blisters. Any medical tent along the walk route should have someone who’s able to help you out!
I over-pack on Walk Day, but most of what I listed is pictured here.
I over-packed last year on Walk Day, but this is most of what I carried with me or wore (hat, heart rate monitor). Hint: Leave the DSLR at home!

You can see Body Glide/Skin Glide pictured above. I haven’t used it before during any of my walks, but it’s been recommended to me by a number of people. I always have it on me, I just always forget to put any on before the walk starts. Having used it for other things, I can say that it’s helpful anywhere you’d chafe and having it is a great idea.

If you’ve walked a marathon before, or ran a marathon, what are your must-haves?

 

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