This time last week I was gearing up to walk a marathon. It was a bit of a last minute decision, my sister wasn’t able to make it so I (some would say stupidly) offered to walk in her place to complete the team. Now I knew it wasn’t going to be easy, especially with nil training under my belt, but I have youth and fitness on my side. It’s not something that I would advise however people have done crazier things and it turned out to be a fantastic experience. So why a marathon?
Walk the Walk is a grant making charity that raises money for vital breast cancer causes. This year saw the 20th anniversary of the power walking marathon, the first was held in New York with just 13 women taking part. Last week in London over 15,000 people gathered at Clapham Common to take part in what was a gruelling yet rewarding event, walking through the night to complete a half or full marathon. The unique trademark of the moonwalk is to walk in your bra, decorated in line with the event theme, to raise awareness of the campaign – men included! As you can imagine this definitely made an impact on the streets. Some of the designs were fantastic and teams went all out with the 1920s theme dressing as flapper girls, gangsters and even peacocks.
We heard from some really inspiring people who were open to sharing their stories with us all. We were asked to raise our hand if we ourselves have had or knew of someone who has had breast cancer. It was astounding, everyone raised their hand. This truly demonstrates how important this cause. To date the event has raised over £100m and is growing by the day, helping so many people with treatments and support so a special thank you to everyone who has sponsored.
Why take part?
There are so many reasons why this is such a brilliant event to get involved in, most importantly helping to change lives. The buzz and energy from all taking part and the volunteers who cheered us on along the way just gave you the determination to make it across the finish line. Taking part as a group means that you can enjoy the experience together, providing encouragement when your feet start to blister or you don’t think your legs can take much more. There is absolutely no pressure to finish the walk in a certain time, it is all about the cause and enjoying yourself along the way.
The route took us past the best of London’s landmarks at night which was a real treat. There is definitely enough to keep your eye and mind occupied whilst walking. Tower Bridge is my favourite and when lit up it’s just stunning. The same went for Buckingham Palace which we passed at 5am, the sun on the rise.
On top of all of this, Walk the Walk is achieving its goal of encouraging women and men to become more aware of their own potential for healing and for maintaining good health and wellbeing. This is the perfect opportunity to increase your fitness levels and achieve something which you may have thought you would never be able to do.
My top tips
Now I can’t provide any tips on the training side of things but there is plenty of advice and support on the Walk the Walk website to help you get started. I spent the week loading up on carbs (lots of pasta) to give me the energy I needed to complete the walk but eating a good balanced diet in the run up is helpful. Below I’ve written out 5 tips for the walk itself.
- I woke up at 8am on Saturday and didn’t get to lie down until 2pm on Sunday so I would suggest sleeping as much as possible during the day before you head to the start line.
- Eat and drink plenty before the walk to keep you fuelled up.
- Pack plenty of snacks for the walk, especially if you get hungry like me! Try chocolate or flapjacks and protein bars.
- Ensure your bumbag is filled with essentials such as blister plasters, tissues and wipes and a power pack for your phone.
- Don’t underestimate the weather – I got the chills and had to layer up with my mums jumper so make sure you take something warm for when you need to stop or queue for the toilets.
I think the best thing though was having a bath to soak my muscles afterwards and then getting out for a walk on Sunday evening so that my legs didn’t seize up. I surprised myself on Monday morning when I was able to get out of bed and into work ok!
Register for 2018!
Anyone can take on the challenge. Register today to take part in London Moonwalk 2018 and help make a difference!