Participants who regularly do aerobic activity should follow the intermediate training guide. These participants aim to finish within 20 to 32 hours (the average is 30 to 32 hours).
Phase 1: Building a Base (weeks 1 to 4)
During the first four weeks, start changing your exercise regime to include a few more walking/running sessions. You should be walking/running up to four times a week at a comfortable pace, though try a weekly session at a slightly harder pace. If you’re usually a walker, it’s also a good time to try some easy running. While you’re walking choose an object 50 to 60 metres away, such as a telephone pole, and slowly jog to it. Walk again once you’ve reached it, then repeat the exercise. Running adds variety to your training sessions and improves your cardiovascular fitness and strength.
Phase 2: The Long Walk (weeks 5 to 10)
Phase 2 is about building your strength and endurance. Because you are increasing your distance, some days will feel better than others. Listen to your body and be willing to back off. See the Sample Intermediate Sessions below.
Phase 3: Peak (week 11 to 12)
See Phase 3 for the Beginner program. For Intermediate participants, try walking on both Saturday and Sunday. On Sunday you’ll get to experience walking with sore legs.
Phase 4: Taper (week 13 to 14)
See Phase 4 for the Beginner program.
SAMPLE INTERMEDIATE SESSIONS
PHASE 2: The Long Walk
Monday – Rest day
Tuesday – Hard day
Find some local hills and spend 45 minutes taming them (or getting tamed!). Walking off-road is preferred and along the trail is ideal.
Wednesday – Easy day
Do an easy recovery walk. Focus on your heart rate, stride length, posture, breathing, etc. In the later weeks, try some of these walks at night.
Thursday – Hard day
Warm up for 15 minutes at an easy pace, stretch for 5 minutes, then walk hard for 20 minutes, walk slowly for 10 minutes and end with a 15-minute stretch.
Friday – Rest day
Saturday or Sunday – Long walk
Do a long, steady walk, preferably on the trail with your teammates. The distance should increase each week, from 3 hours to 12 hours and/or a distance of 50 kilometres. Weekly increases must take into account the difficulty of the trail (i.e. don’t increase the walk by two hours and attempt the most difficult trail sections) and breaks should be taken after three weeks of steady increases.
Here’s a sample training plan for your weekly long walk:
Week 5 – 3 hours, medium terrain
Week 6 – 5 hours, easy terrain
Week 7 – 5 hours, hard terrain
Week 8 – 4 hours, medium terrain
Week 9 – 6 hours, medium terrain
Week 10 – 8 hours, easy terrain
Try not to miss out on these four sessions per week. Spread out the sessions over the week and mix the hard/easy sessions. The long walk on the weekend is the most important. If you have time, cross-training sessions are also excellent.