With just two months of training time left before the walk, now is the time for us to move into an active planning stage and to really bump up the training.
The training regime is really quite simple - walk... a lot, everywhere, with full weight, and then walk some more, and some more...
Also, the first part of the surveying of the more critical sections of the route has begun. Yesterday, myself an my wife Julie surveyed the newly reopened section of the route that bypasses the Lion Inn
This section is the crooked diagonal path you can see on the above map, with BS marked on it (boundary stone). It cuts several km off the route, but more importantly removes the temptation to go to the pub! We did go to the pub for lunch afterwards (jacket potato and prawns for me!), and suspect that this is where many people quit! It does have a bit of a boggy section at the start, but hopefully it wont be too bad on the day!
As part of the increased training, Bob is out running more, whilst I am also introducing a touch of Pilates, and the use of ankle weights when not actively training. These have the effect of simulating the wearing of very heavy hiking boots - increasing the strength and tone of the thigh muscles. Anywhere that I am actually walking properly, I will have the Clansman RT-320 radio on my back! Bob as I understand it carries his weight in the form of bottles of water. Next up is to start getting some long distance walking in, 10 or 15 miles or more at a time, and some ascent. Hopefully leading up to doing the Yorkshire Three Peaks as a training walk mid May.
Its also a time for technology upgrades! Whilst the two OS 1:25,000 maps and a Silva mk4-M compass are standard, my venerable old Garmin Etrex H GPSr was showing its age, and was found to be incapable of storing sufficient waypoints to guide us over the whole route. So I now have a shiny new Garmin Etrex 30, which is blisteringly fast and accurate, and can store thousands of waypoints. Bob also is obtaining one of these, so we should have tertiary redundancy on our navigation methods.
On a special note for our radio ham readers - The UK radio regulator Ofcom have agreed in principle to our request to operate as the UKs first ever pedestrian mobile Special Event Station! Sadly due to weight restrictions we will be operating only on 145MHz FM. We are just awaiting approval for a slight course correction (to include the above mentioned detour) and of our operating frequency, and the issuing of our special callsign. Hopefully we can announce this in the next week or so.
Also, look out for a post middle of next week when we will be promoting our walk, and the work of MAG, from the top of the Arqiva TV Tower in Emley Moor!