Sunday, 26 October 2008

Grand Union Canal – Out and Back – (Middlesex) – 26/10/08 – 10 Miles – 9kg – Myself

If I am doing a door to door ten miler along the Grand Union Canal that usually means I am trying to squeeze a walk in when I am tight for time (in this case trying to fit it around movies at the London Film Festival). However I had been looking forward to this all week, especially as last weeks shift at work left no time for any sort of exercise. Not only that though, but it is now over a month since I did a walk in the double mileage figures range (although plenty at less than half that distance). Now as such there isn’t much to report on the walk itself, other than it was constantly raining and was a very gloomy day. There was a small smattering of human and canine activity around Hanwell Locks, and a bit more minus the dogs at Southall. Beyond that the canal towpath was mainly deserted. Also for reasons I have yet to figure out, I decided to leave my spanking new £114 waterproof Berghaus jacket at home, and go instead with a £10 coat I bought some time ago at Primark. Suffice to say that said coat isn’t really waterproof and I did get progressively damper as the walk went on. On the other hand it is worth noting that although I did wear my £40 ‘waterproof’ Berghaus trousers, when I got back the bottom 6 inches of each of my inner trouser legs were sopping wet. So now onto my boots.

You see what this walk was really about was a chance to pick up on the long distance weight carrying idea, which crashed disasterously on my walk on the 10th September (the last time I tried it). Like then I was wearing my Peter Storm boots, only this time with new £11 Sorbothane inserts, and like then I was also carrying 9kg of water in my rucksack. Along with the new inserts a few other things should now be going in my favour. Namely in the last fortnight I have spent a full week wearing these boots (+ inserts) as I did my conservation bit for the National Trust. Also I have been doing a couple of Urban 4 mile walks per week (since the heels healed up) carrying up to 22kg in weight in my rucksack, only in that case wearing trainers. So by today my feet should be capable of carrying 9kg for 10 miles wearing boots, yes ? Well I have to tell you it was a close run thing, and that although my heels didn’t blister or have the skin ripped off, by the time I came to take the boots off that was what I was expecting to find, as both of my soles felt as if they were on fire. Thus once indoors in bare feet, it was a good twenty minutes before I could support my body weight on them.

So in summary the fitness benefit of carrying weight in my rucksack is for real but there is going to have be limitations as to how far I can take this idea. The way I now envisage it is: Walking with other people = no additional weight. Walking by myself on a double figure country walk wearing boots = 9kg additional weight. Walking by myself on a four mile urban blast wearing trainers (not featured on this blog) = 22kg additional weight. I hope you have all got that now.

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