Saturday, 24 August 2013

August 2013 - Great Glen Way Training

Routes walked (most recent at the top) around Suffolk in preparation for walking Great Glen Way from Inverness to Fort William.
Gina Smith, Joss Johnson and myself will be doing the walk between 04 October 2013 and 10 October 2013.
Maximum days walk will now be 12.05 miles on the first day as we will be walking consecutive days rather than the originally three plus three with a rest day at Fort Augustus.

Sunday 23 September 2013
That's it - training complete and training objectives achieved.
Although nearly 2 weeks before we start the walk on Friday 04 October all of us have built up the miles over the last 5 weeks and are able to walk at least 3 consecutive days totaling 36 miles in all.
It is impossible to simulate the amount of ascent we will experience in Scotland by walking round flat old Suffolk. However by walking further during training than we are going to have to walk in Scotland we have at least replicated the amount of time we will be walking in Scotland and The Great Glen.
Only half of what we will have to manage on the walk but short of actually doing the walk in the terrain of the walk there is not a lot more we can do. Maybe another 10 miler to keep the miles in our legs before we leave for Inverness early next week and maybe a walk in Scotland a couple of days before the walk itself.

Saturday 22 September 2013
2nd day of the 3 consecutive days training walks , but only Gina's first after recovering from a stomach virus. Without time constraints it would have been ideal for Gina to have had an extra day off, but with only 1 week before we travel to Inverness with everything else could not spare 2 days out of next week. Furthermore it would have meant Gina's first walk tomorrow would be 16 miles which is a lot to ask.
As it was she did very well and although the pace was slower than the previous day could reasonably put down to our unscheduled diversion around Sutton Hoo as well as my heavy fall jarring my already stiff knee. In fact it was her that finished the stronger so well done to her.

Friday 20 September 2013
First of 3 now 4 consecutive days walking.
Poor old Gina has picked up a tummy virus earlier in the week and is not fit to start on the 3 consecutive days walking planned long ago.
So it was just Joss and I doing about 10 miles today.
Plan now is to do 10 miles tomorrow with Gina & Joss, 16 all of us again on Sunday to complete Joss's 3 walks. 10 miles on Monday will complete Gina's 3 walks on Monday. Will be 4 days for me but any excuse for me to walk an extra day.

Tuesday 03 September 2013
This was our last walk for a couple of weeks while I go off to Scotland around Loch Tay and Glen Dochart for 10 days on my first Munro climbing expedition with John Parkin. At least 6 walks in 8 days with over 1000m of ascent each day should complete my training ready for final weekend of training - walking about 36 miles in 3 consecutive days.
In the mean time Joss and Gina wanted to confirm the route of a short 5 or 6 mile circular walk that they can repeat 3 to 4 times and even do twice in 1 session to continue building the miles as part of their training.
5 or 6 miles they asked for - 5½ miles they got - around Hill Farm Martlesham Creek and behind the Red Lion below Beacon Hill and Dunnett's Hill Plantation. A familiar route they will manage without need of a map or fear of getting lost!

Saturday 31 August 2013
Plan was to walk 14 miles today which is further than we are going to need to walk in Scotland but an attempt to simulate having to walk all day which we may well be doing on The Great Glen Way due to the tougher terrain and increased ascent to be experience north of the border.
Not a convenient known 14 mile route due to limited time to plan, so chose a familiar route from Home to Copdock Park & Ride or Ipswich Rail Station via Claydon which is in excess of 16 miles.
We set off at 10:50 which was nearly an hour later than intended and although we reached Sproughton by 5pm the final leg of the of the Gipping Valley Path was closed due to Rail Track maintenance on their bridge at Boss Hall we decided to cut our losses and wait for the next bus from Sproughton to ensure we were home in time to go out at 8pm later that night.
We actually walked 14¼ miles (further than planned), was capable of walking the extra 2½  miles and therefore consider this next stage of our training a success. In fact should be considered an achievement and testament to base fitness of all concerned to be able to walk this distance without any ill effects either at the end of the walk or next day after only 6 practice walks within 2½  weeks.
Now all we have to do is keep fit, working on our endurance and get in the miles over the next 3 weeks leading to our final weekend before we go to Scotland when we intend to walk 3 consecutive days covering 10 miles on the Friday 20 September, 16 miles on the Saturday Saturday 22 September and 10 miles on the Sunday 23 September. Do not anticipate a problem and will consider ourselves prepared to walk the 76 miles over 7 consecutive days. Other than actually doing the walk it self, there is not a lot more preparation we can do in time available.
Another highlight of the walk was coming across (although vandalised or maybe eroded) trig point.
Slightly damaged 54m trig point near Westerfield Hall, Suffolk
SHEET1:- Due to being point to point walk, unable to plot route on one map at a readable scale
SHEET2:- Not quite a summit but a rare trig-point (54m) in Suffolk
Monday 26 August 2013
Bank Holiday weekend gave us the chance to schedule 2 training walks on consecutive days. None of us expect it to be a problem and see it as a natural and necessary progression to prepare us for the task in hand.
Not trying to over do things too soon only 7½ miles planned and actually walked.
Joss had been on the go all day, Gina  had done a tough session in the gym and I had had an intensive PT session making us all feel a little tired before we set off. Not a bad thing though, I am sure we will all feel a lot more tired on the walk and still have to get our bones moving, so this was just a taster to avoid the real thing being too much of a surprise.
We were joined by Joss's friend Fiona who is also training for a trekking holiday - two weeks in Nepal.

Sunday 25 August 2013
Joined by our friend Alison Wright today who had to be back for the Grand Prix so walked as far as Tuddenham St. Martin where we had left her car earlier on. Minor detour for us to wave her goodbye meant the planned 10½ miles became 11½ miles which will be pretty close to our maximums days walk and further than we will walk on 5 out of the 7 days.
Only 250m of ascent compared to the maximum 628m on the Great Glen Way but still a fairly good test though as we are doing it at all in one go and walking at a faster pace (approx 3mph) rather than the 1½mph pace planned to take account of more ascent, the tougher terrain, allow us to take in places of interest and to have a lunch stop whilst enjoying the Scottish scenery.
So after only 4 walks everyone is confident they can walk 12 miles all in one go without any ill effects. All we have to do now is prepare ourselves to be able to do it on 7 consecutive days.

Wednesday 21 August 2013
Hoped to do 9 miles tonight but unfortunately, sea bank at Martlesham Creek was closed for maintenance so impromptu detour via Red Lion and up Sandy Lane to get back on path to Kyson point meant and extra mile or so would need to be walked.
With the nights closing in we cut off the loop to Woodbridge at the Rowing Club but was a little too much resulting in the walk being only 8 miles.
Even so we all felt we all felt better than the previous work suggesting progress is being made. And with the maximum days walking now being only 12 miles means we will not have to build u to such a high mileage in training.

Sunday 18 August 2013
Nearly 8½ miles and in much better spirits. Good progress early on .
Expect to gradually increase walks to 12 miles then start adding consecutive days in to schedule.

Thursday 15 August 2013
First walk which we had all been putting off. But it is high time we started preparing our legs (& bodies) to walk on average 12 miles per day over 6 walking days in 1 week, with the first and longest days walk being nearly 17 miles.
Only 7.7 miles but long miles due to non of us being up to walking at all.
But at least we all pushed on in spite of being tired something we will inevitably have to do again some time during the walk

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