Do you have a training plan?

Training in advance of the Island Walk is advisable to get your body in physical shape and to get you mentally prepared too. Training is also about checking your footwear is comfortable, what snacks will be required and can you digest them comfortably, and getting used to carrying a rucksack – unless you have hired a Sherpa!

Your training plan should have smaller goals to help you reach the big one. Your main goal will be different to other participants as some aim to finish, some to finish in a set time and others simply aim for a particular point such as Gorey, the north coast or St Ouen’s Bay. Whatever distance you are aiming for give yourself time to prepare, ideally at least six weeks (but the more preparation time the better).

This is the science bit – the basic purpose of any training programme is to cause the body to improve and to adapt and adjust to the stress placed on it.

Don’t stress yourself out about this training stuff! Train as regularly as you can manage and if you are training with someone remember we all progress at a different rate. We all have different stride patterns too, so what is a comfortable pace for you may not be for your partner. Discuss the pace before setting out as more than likely one will fall back or drop out!

Begin your training on flat surfaces and extend your distance then vary the terrain. Go to sections of the walk and practice walking up and down cliff paths, short distances at first and then longer. On undulating terrain your body will be at an angle and this will place a strain on muscles you never thought you had!

Those muscles will get sore from around 24-48 hours after exertion. What causes it is not fully known but is more likely to be micro tears in the muscle tissue. Soreness limitation is the goal so a good warm up and cool down is essential.

Fit to drop – well hopefully not! Never exercise with an illness such as flu or a chest infection. All the gains of a training programme are not lost by missing a few days. During training or the Island Walk STOP if you are experiencing abnormal feelings such as: excessive heart rate, palpitations, chest pains, dizziness, laboured breathing, feeling clammy or flushed, or generally feeling unwell.


If you have not exercised for some time we would recommend that you consult your doctor, especially if you currently or have in the past suffered from one or more of the following conditions:

  • Raised or high blood pressure
  • An existing heart condition
  • Joint problems
  • Chest pains
  • Fainting
  • Dizziness
  • Asthma?