Muscular strength and endurance is exercise specific. Walking is not the same as running; your feet hit the ground further back on your heel with your toe higher in the air and then you roll farther off the toes with each stride. Be prepare with this training tip.
Training for an endurance event like the 3-Day involves 3 things:
- Developing muscular strength and endurance.
- Building cardiovascular fitness.
- Experimenting with exercise gear, diet and fluids
Runners may never develop the arch support or mid foot strength needed by a walker. Your brain needs to learn which muscles to use and your body needs to develop the strength to walk. Not just for one mile but for 20 miles. Nothing trains you better functionally for walking than walking itself.
Cardiovascular activity can be developed with any aerobic activity. Cross training has been included to decrease injury while building muscular strength and cardiovascular fitness. This can include cycling, swimming, rollerblading, pilates or any whole body physical activity.
Experimenting with walking shoes vs. running shoes, socks, waist packs, backpacks, shorts vs. tights, etc. is an essential part of training to prevent blisters, chafing and injury. Walking while drinking sports drink, practicing pre-event, on-event and post- event routines for diet and especially fluid management is very individual and may require trial and error.
Your suggested training program allows for all 3 components of training. Cross training to build your fitness, many long walks to experiment with equipment and diet, and most importantly a graduated increase in walking mileage. Note the moderate intensity training days where you can add periods of increased speed or hills to increase your endurance.
As you train it is important to listen to your bodies. Often injuries, strains, or areas of inflammation may not show for 1-2 days after a training session. This program is only a guide, try to do as much as you can, but please do so safely. Happy Training!