Training should start as soon as possible. There is a large group from the South West of England who start their training in January ready for the event in July – so far they have not had any members drop out during the Nijmegen week.

Practice walks help build your body and mind ready for the event. Training may seem long and boring at times, but it is best if you can persevere. The more you train the more aware you become to how your body feels. You have time to swap and change your shoes if you feel the ones you have bought are wrong, time to find suitable clothing comfortable for you, and time to learn more about your own body. You can work out how much water you need to drink and what the best things are to eat for good nutrition.

Yes, we quite agree that training can be ‘boring’ but think of the rewards. The main thing to come out of training is learning to listen to your body. The way you train yourself to walk is down to individual preference. Lots of people are willing to give you advice on what’s best but what works for them is not always right for you. Starting training early enough will allow you time to iron out these problems.

It doesn’t matter who you are, training is of paramount importance if you want a pleasant week. Remember training won’t solve all your problems, some people may have an “off week” and not everyone will be successful in completing the four days. However training does make things much easier and if for any reason you may have to pull out, you can’t blame the lack of it!

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