Many sports enthusiasts are looking for ideas for an active summer vacation. The most popular at the moment is the path. One among all that of Santiago. How to prepare?
Have you ever spent a walking holidayOr? Among “active” people, this idea is very popular. The routes are numerous and the renewed influx of modern pilgrims encourages the territories to recover old routes and to propose new ones.
Surely to resonate his fame is the Way of Saint Jacques de Compostela, which offers different routes, from the full to the shortest, with organized and structured stages, support points, perfect signage. In Italy, the Via degli Dei on the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines has gained well-deserved fame in recent years, but the historic Via Francigena is also in excellent health.
But the questions remain: how to approach a trip of several days to take full advantage of it? Is a runner’s training enough? What are the main problems that can arise? How to choose the right shoe?
The choice of path
The first question to ask is: which route to choose? The multiplicity of proposals can be confusing. It is imperative to understand what type of route suits us, whether on the road, on a trail, in the mountains or on the plain. Above all the difference between mountain and non-mountain is fundamental. An alpine or mountain hike requires more training and a good knowledge of the type of route. In addition to specific equipment. A low altitude route, on the other hand, is generally more affordable for everyone, although the type of terrain should not be underestimated. If you are looking for a more physically relaxing holiday, avoid overly tiring elevations and especially overly technical terrain. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a training experience, opt for the Alte Vie, usually spectacular routes that cross mountains and valleys. The world-famous high roads of the Dolomitesoffer incredible views, as well as a good dose of adrenaline thanks to the many via ferratas they offer.
The first big stumbling block is that in a walk we do physical activity every day. There are no rest days, if not rarely. The body must therefore get used to reducing recovery times. A runner usually has a good training threshold, but often alternates between work days and rest days. The first piece of advice is to begin to gradually reduce recovery days by including physical activity on rest days, maybe softer. Walking is a moderate activity, but it can be very tiring if there are several hours a day. A good workout also involves doing, perhaps on the weekends, a comparable activity, perhaps trekking, for a total of 5-8 hours, to get the body used to staying active for a long time.
The last tip is to strengthen the back and chest muscles. You’ll easily carry a backpack with you, and walking for many hours takes a toll on your spine and joints. So yes to exercises for the core, shoulder and back muscles, at least twice a week.
The choice of footwear varies depending on the road surface. In principle if the path is mainly asphalted you can choose a comfortable running shoe, better if stable and with a large support surface. If, on the other hand, the ground is not tarred, yes a outdoor shoes. In walks with less elevation and an easy bottom, a shoe that is low or just above the ankle will be more suitable, preferably with a cushioned and flexible midsole. Remember that yes, you will struggle, but the shoe should not bother you and should be comfortable and light. Only if where you are going has cold temperatures you can count on waterproof shoes. If, on the other hand, it is hot, in case of rain, a simple one is preferable waterproofing spray and the usual newspaper in the shoes in the evening. If the terrain is not particularly technical, do not abuse the tread with deep lugs. Indeed, if the ground is hard, the crampons will annoy you. In the case of mountain trekking, on the other hand, you can choose shoes low or high. Always remember that on descents the weight of the backpack can make you unstable, so a high shoe can be very useful. Any advice for everyone? Choose shoes extremely comfortable. They must not touch my foot anywhere or disturb me in any way. Any point of friction while standing will turn into a moving light bulb.
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