Sunday, 19 January 2014

Shoes and Clothes

Last Sunday I headed out to Glen Mona again and walked to Lezayre church through Ramsey and back through Maughold, up Ballajora and back to Glen Mona. I heard the weather forecast before I left but decided that I still needed to go out. 
This is not me!
But a good representation of
how I must have looked!
The forecast stated rain in the afternoon and a gale force South Westerly wind. The forecast didn't lie. Going up towards Maughold church I must have been walking at a 45 degree angle to the road just to keep going forward. Despite gloves my hands were freezing. BUT.... the good news is I made it back to my car before I got hypothermia - probably a bit melodramatic, but once I got home it took my hands a good hour wrapped around a cup of coffee and in front of a heater before the feeling returned 100%.
Did I enjoy the walk? Yes, I enjoyed most of it but I was very happy to get back to the car, almost like getting to the war memorial after walking 85 miles!
Now to the title of the post - Shoes and Clothes - 
As I've mentioned before a gait analysis is a good idea before choosing shoes to walk 85 miles in. Shoes are possibly the most expensive part of the sport but definitely well worth the investment. A gait analysis will tell you if you have a neutral pronation (your foot rolls inward a small percentage and you push off evenly from the front of the foot), overpronation (your foot rolls inward a larger percentage and you push off mainly using the big toe and second toe) or underpronation (your foot rolls outward and you push off mainly using the smaller toes). Shoes can correct any over or under pronation that you may have.
When dressing for the Parish Walk remember that you're going to be walking in the same clothes for a long time so they need to be comfortable. Wearing brand new underwear isn't the best idea. A friend of mine was given new underwear for the "big day" - unfortunately this wasn't such a good present as they created a rash and an uncomfortable walk.

Be prepared for all types of weather. Layering is the best way to dress. The start could be a bit chilly or even wet but once you get going you should start to warm up. If you're planning to go to the end it will definitely get colder once the sun goes down so pack a warm jacket to wear later on. I always put a spare pair of socks and shoes in the car - just in case.

My Tip of the Day - If you plan to go any further than Peel make sure you have good support and talk to your support before the day, planning what you need when you need it.

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