Preparing for your cycling or walking holiday in Ireland? The IrelandWays.com team has prepared this useful list of simple tips to help you get in shape:
In a nutshell:
–Walking in Ireland: Make sure you give your walking shoes a good test run before you go on your walking holiday to avoid uncomfortable and painful blisters. If you have a good fitness level, aim for 3 or 4-hour walks at least twice or three times before your trip.
–Cycling in Ireland: Dust off the old bike in your basement, ride up a hill or two, do a spinning class and cycle 20 miles at least once before heading on your trip.
It is important to follow some basic training before starting your cycling or walking holiday, particularly if you are following a long trail. Ideally, you should start your training one or two months before your trip. Of course the intensity of your training will depend on the route, duration of the trail you have chosen, as well as the terrain in that particular area. A basic training program will make a big difference and it will help reduce the risk of suffering common (and easily avoided!) injuries such as blisters, strained tendons, etc…
10 Things to do when training for your walking holiday in Ireland
- Assess your level of fitness. How can you get to where you want to go if you don’t know where you are? Don’t push your body too much. Just focus on building up your fitness level bit by bit. If you are used of climbing in mountainous terrain you know that you will get through the training programme faster.
- Start as soon as possible. Give yourself time to adapt to the amount of walking you will need to do each day. Don’t pack all your training in at the last minute.
- Train physically as much as you can, combining flat and mountainous ground.
- Set achievable goals. It is a good idea to give yourself a walking goal per week. Whether that is a 30 minute walk or a two hour hike, you will feel great once you tick your goal off your list.
- Increase the distance you walk gradually each week, reaching 15km two weeks before you travel.
- Walk with your gear and day backpack on so you get used to the weight and make changes accordingly (remember, if you travel with IrelandWays.com your big luggage will be transferred from hotel to hotel so you only need a day backpack for your liquids and other essentials).
- Try to combine running with walking to build stamina and resistance (ideally, middle of your first month training).
- Listen to your body, both during training and during your walking holiday. If you feel you should take a rest, you probably need one!
- If you are walking over two weeks we advise to factor in some rest days along the way. Choose the bigger towns to explore and book in an extra night to explore and allow your body to recover.
- Bring snacks along the way. Fruit and nuts are great energy boosters as you walk.
3 Months before
On the first week, walk for at least 30 minutes. For you second week, walk for 30 minutes without a break. At this point, the most important thing is to get your body used to walking, don’t worry about the distance. In your first month of training you should walk for 30-40 minutes twice a week.
2 Months before
You should increase the walking time to 1-2 hours once or twice a week, incorporating your basic walking gear on (bottle of water and shoes you intend to wear).
1 Month before
Walk the same time but with you gear on (food, water bottle and rain jacket).
3 weeks before
At this point distance becomes more important than the time you spend walking. Your target should be 10km. Add more gear to the pack (if you feel it’s needed).
2 Weeks before the Camino
Your target for this week should be 15km walk.
1 Week before your trip
The week before you start your walking holiday in Ireland, your target should be 15-20km. Walk with your full gear so that you know what it’s like on your trip. Review any changes you feel might be needed for your gear or purchase other accessories.
Invest in a good pair of walking shoes. Your feet are the most important part of your body for any walking holiday so be sure to look after them. Stock up on a few pairs of merino wool hiking socks before you start your journey. Stock up with water and food for a picnic on route. Food will give you a welcome boost of energy when you are out on the trails.
Walk with the IrelandWays.com/CaminoWays.com team
The IrelandWays.com team, part of the CaminoWays.com family, organises a free walk every month, if you are planning a walking holiday this year, why not join us? Check CaminoWays.com Facebook Page to find out about our next walk.