30 miles of training on the South Downs!

On Sunday myself and Pete walked the stage of the Trailwalker course we’ll be walking at night, from checkpoint 5 to 8 and back again. This was the first time we’d seen the course, and was our furthest training walk yet!

We started at 9am on a gloriously sunny day at checkpoint 5, which which we’ll probably hit at between 8pm and 9pm on the day.  From there we had an estimated 2.5 hr walk to checkpoint 6, which we managed even after a few stops for geocaching and a 1 mile detour after following the wrong trail.

At the checkpoint it was time for a sock change and application of the blister prevention techniques we’ve learned from previous walks!

A little way into the next stage, we passed a very inviting pub, and stopped for a sit down and a drink in the shade. Then it was onwards with a long climb back onto the hills with a very undulating but pleasant walk to checkpoint 7. Our timings were still good, we’d shaved around 50 mins from our target timings which would have us completing the course in 24 hours.

From here we had another descent and climb towards checkpoint 8, but a couple kilometres short of checkpoint 8 it was 3:30pm which meant we had to turn back in order to reach the cars before sunset – we had a 2 hour drive back home ahead of us too.

The walk back was fairly speedy over the now familiar terrain, but the final 5 miles was a challenge. Energy levels were high, legs weren’t too bad, but both us found our feet beginning to get painful.

The car was a welcome sight.

Overall though, a very successful days training. The care and attention we paid our feet paid off, with few serious blisters. The climbs were fine, but some of the longer descents were hard on the feet.

Only 3 weeks to go, but I think we’re ready!