Here are some top tips that can help make your day a little more enjoyable…
Training – Train with walking poles as this will help build up your arm muscles and upper body which will help relieve the joints in your lower limbs. Ensure that your training involves walking up and down hills. Reduce your training the week before the challenge to some light jogging/walking and quality sleep to rest in preparation!
Medication – Carry any required medication on you that you may need on the day.
Footwear – Wear sturdy 2 to 3 season walking boots or waterproof (Goretex) trail shoes, making sure that they are a good fit and are well broken in. Be aware that the route is pretty boggy and wet in places from the outset and its essential to keep your feet dry, Wear Gaiters if you have them.
Midges – Have a midge head net and midge repellent stood by for dawn and dusk.
Mobile phone – Ensure you mobile phone is 100% waterproof by having it within a good waterproof case and fully charged.
Foot powder – Using foot powder can go a long way to preventing blisters. We recommend you carry spare socks to change with and powder your feet at least half way through your day.
Feet – Ensure you have trimmed your toenails.
Clothing – Avoid cotton clothing such as jeans and tee shirts as these take forever to dry out when damp, cause chaffing and once wet get heavy opt for high wicking sports fabric or your GGC tech T shirt to transport moisture away from the skin (charity tee shirts can be worn on top of these if need be).
Drink and hydration – You MUST drink regularly & ensure you eat salty food to absorb water. Use a Camelback/Platypus water container. Mix energy drinks containing sodium with water (trial these prior to your trek to make sure they agree with you) and ensure you set off with a minimum of 2 litres of water and top up regularly at the water stops along the way.
Checkpoints – At checkpoints keep time spent there to a maximum of 15 minutes to prevent muscles seizing up.
Dehydration symptoms – Feeling thirsty, not going to the loo, dark coloured pee and minor headaches, cramp, low performance.
Overhydration symptoms – If you have not eaten enough salty food with too much water, feel drowsy and have pale coloured pee.
Waterproof – Jackets must have an attachable hood. Waterproof your dry clothing and essentials within your rucksack – a thick bin bag is better than nothing (rain is possible!).
Blisters – If you feel a potential blister forming (rubbing or a hotspot), stop and deal with it there and then. Do NOT try to ignore it and do NOT hope it will go away on its own.
Temperature – use a layering system of clothing to help maintain a constant body temperature and prevent your body from sweating excessively. Add and remove layers accordingly.
Kit – Adhere to the kit list you have been provided.
Food – Keep food and snacks to hand (in pockets etc.) and get used to eating on the go, a little and often throughout the day THIS IS ESSENTIAL. Your food intake should include salty foods (look on the back labels of foods and sports drinks for sodium) in order to absorb water. Eat foods with nutritional value.
Bevvy – Lay off alcohol the night before the trek, if you are going to the bar at your accommodation, order a soft drink or have water (You will have plenty opportunity to have a drink when its all over).
Distance – Don’t let the distance intimidate you. Yes its long but don’t look too far ahead, just break it into sizeable chunks and tick them off as you go. It’s well within everyone’s capabilities!