*Post in collaboration with Scruffs
As I wrote in my 2016 goals on Friday, I want to complete the London to Brighton trek. We made a lot of mistakes last time and here’s how we’re going to fix them.
Get the correct equipment.
We weren’t exactly smart last time with our equipment. My boots were borrowed from my mum. They were leather and a size too big. That and we accidently left the baby powder in our hotel room before the trek. It’s no wonder I ended up with so many blisters. So now I’ve invested in my own pair. Bought from an outdoor shop in the sales that are fabric, waterproof and fit me. It’s the simple things.
Also, Scruffs have kindly gifted me the Classic Red Parka that will be ideal for training in the freezing upcoming months. It’s very important to have things like this to stop the excuses of its too cold or its raining that could prevent us from training.
It’s a size medium that allows me to wear a couple of layers underneath; a detachable hood, which is essential for the Manchester rain and plenty of pockets to store things in. Either the chest pocket or the upper arm pocket would be perfect for my phone as I plan on listening to podcasts while I train alone.
A waterproof jacket is something I didn’t have last time either – unless you count the thin rain jacket I got from Primark. Luckily living in London it barely rained while we trained but I will seriously need something more substantial now that we’re based in the north again.
I’ve only worn it once so far (so cozy!) but as this post goes out I’ll be wearing it for my first training session – walking into Manchester and back, which is about 16 miles in total. If you were looking for a good quality outdoor jacket, I would definitely recommend Scruffs.
So as well as having bad equipment, we made our first mistake in the first 10 miles. We got talking to a nice guy before the trek began and we walked with him. Good conversation but wow he was on a much more advanced level in terms of pace. We should have gone at our own pace because this burned me out very early on. Next time, I’m just going to walk how I want to. Don’t compare yourselves to other people!
Last time we began training in February, which gave us 5 months to train. Our first walk was about 10 miles. We went walking once a week but there were weekends that we skipped. The longest walk we did was about 24 miles at one time. Which is about a third of what the actual walk is.
This time I want to train every week and as many times as I can fit in two sessions. Our first training session is today and I want to get 16 miles done as mentioned earlier. I’ll let you know how we go!
Get a support driver
This was another big factor in our failure. You don’t need to have a support driver but it is advised. We did not have one last time. The main problem with this is that we had to carry all of our stuff, so not only the stuff for the trek but all of our things for the hotel at both ends. Since we took the train, we didn’t have a car to store anything in.
Having a support driver means that you only have to carry what you need for that portion of the trek. Your support driver waits for you at each checkpoint with all the important but non essential things. Extra food, water, clothing and your phone charger.
They are called a support driver for a reason. It’s quite impressive how much more motivated you would be if there was someone there waiting for you at each checkpoint to cheer for you and drive you to carry on. We are definitely having one this year.
Be prepared for any weather
We were all the more ready for rain last time, but we were completely unprepared for what was the clearest day I have ever seen. Not a cloud in the sky, which brought sunshine and dehydration. There is only so much water you can carry with you when you haven’t got a support driver and if you aren’t used to walking in heat then you’re pretty much doomed from the start. So fingers crossed we get a nice variety of weather to train in this year!
Have you ever attempted anything like this for charity? What advice would you give?