With the countdown showing there is less than a month left until the annual 100 km walking event that is Oxfam Trailwalker, it is important to start finalising your preparations. Pinnacle Health Group is on hand to help you gear yourself up for the event, so you can cross that finish line well!
Our physiotherapists and podiatrists have extensive experience with the Trailwalker, both helping our clients prepare for the event and treating injuries. Here, we have compiled the key points that are most important to keep in mind during your training. These pointers can help keep you on the track and avoid being one of the approximately 19% of walkers who didn’t finish in 2014.
1 – A shoe addiction could save your feet – literally! When walking the event, you want to have at least two pairs of shoes that you can rotate between. Ideally, you should have one pair of running shoes, which you will spend the most time in throughout your journey, and a pair of walking or trail runners. Trail running shoes are fantastic, as they provide excellent lateral stability and firmness through the mid sole while also giving you high levels of cushioning. Importantly, these shoes should be well fitting and suitably worn in. If you have bought a new pair of trail running shoes for this year’s Trailwalker, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to wear the shoes in before the big event.
2 – There is nothing wrong with a little cushion for the tootsies. Your choice of socks is just as critical as your footwear. Choosing the wrong socks can have disastrous consequences for your feet, leading to hotspots and blistering. One checkpoint in the wrong socks is enough to see even the most prepared walker in a state of disrepair. In regards to choosing the perfect sock – look for a style that has moisture wicking capabilities (Coolmax), as this can help prevent the dreaded blister! A pair change at each checkpoint is never a bad idea.
3 – Blister pack of champions. It is far greater to be over than under prepared when it comes to this event. You want to ensure that you and your support crew are adequately stocked with supplies to get your through! Some not to be missed items include: foam or felt dressings to offload those painful blisters, antiseptic, hypo-allergenic adhesive tape, Rocktape® or other kinetic tape, Scissors, socks, socks, socks and more socks!
4 – Pre and Post walk check – Get the system checked over! You wouldn’t drive to Sydney from Melbourne without getting the car serviced first, so why should your feet be any different? I recommend booking a pre walk check with our Pinnacle Health Group’s Podiatrists before the event. This will ensure your feet are in tip top shape prior to hitting the starting line.
One final point – make sure, if you run into trouble during the event, that you call by the lovely volunteer podiatrists that are on hand at various checkpoints.