We want your walking tour to be as fun as possible! Our experience is that the fitter you are, the more enjoyable and safer your walking tour will be. Plus, training for a walk is half the fun.
We recommend you see your doctor before starting any training plan, just to give you peace of mind that your body is ready for the challenge ahead.
Fitness covers three areas:
Endurance – you’ll be walking for long periods of time over consecutive days.
Strength – since you’ll be walking at elevation with a daypack, you’ll need to build up strength and conditioning in your legs
Flexibility – this helps with endurance, preventing injury and recovering after each day of walking.
Regular training is a great way to prepare yourself for a multi-day hike and to build up your fitness level.
The best training plan differs from person to person, so create a training plan that’s right for you. We’ve included some suggestions to help you get started.
If you’re just starting out, start with easy, daily walks building to at least 30 minutes at one time and with one longer walk during the week. Take at least one rest day each week, more if you need it. If you feel any injuries coming on or niggles, stop. See a healthcare professional to make sure you’re not doing any long-term damage.
Once you feel you’re ready, gradually build up to where you can comfortably walk for 2 hours at one time.
Once you can walk comfortably for 2 hours, try an 8km hike one week, then a 10km hike the next time, building up to 12km and 14km hikes. Gradually increasing the length of your longer walks will help build your fitness levels and stamina and give your body time to adjust to the increased walking.
When you feel you’re ready, do a back-to-back hike where you walk at least 10km on two successive days. This will help you get used to walking with tired legs.
When to start training
The best time to start training for your walking tour is about three months before your walk, but this also depends on your current fitness level.
Think about your current fitness level and what areas you need to improve. You might already have endurance but need to build more strength in your legs and practice hiking up and down hills. Or you might have the strength but need to work on increasing your stamina and going for longer walks or hikes.
If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll need to spend more time building up your base fitness. If you’re already a regular walker, you might only need to hike a few times before your walking tour.
Train your hiking boots, too
Your feet are the most important part of your body to care for. Walking in new shoes can be uncomfortable at first until you break them in.
If you’re wearing new hiking boots on your multi-day walking tour, make sure you wear them in before your walk. It’s a good idea to wear your boots during your training hikes.
Training in your hiking boots will help you get used to the feel of the boots while walking. You’ll also discover if you need to pack special socks, bandages, or creams to help prevent blisters, chafing and sweating.
If you plan to use hiking poles, train using them
If you plan to use hiking poles during your walk, make sure you practice using them while you are training.
Becoming familiar with using hiking poles will make your walk more enjoyable and the poles will really help on steep and rocky terrain.
Train with your day pack
To get used to walking with extra weight on your back, go for a hike wearing the daypack you will use on your multi-day tour. This is a great way to help you build more strength, or you may decide to carry less in your day pack! We take care of your main bag on our walking tours, so all you need to carry is what you need for the day.
Head for the hills
We recommend training on different terrain. Try walks with some elevation, or on rocky or uneven ground. This will test your endurance and ability to recover easily after your walk and will prepare you well for a multi-day walking tour.
Search for training hikes in your local area.
To look for suitable walks in your local area, visit the Parks and Wildlife service’s website in your state or territory. They have information to help you choose suitable walks and often have maps and instructions.