Harri's Walk Information

Walkers Training and Preparation

Taking on the Harri's Walk With Wings Challenge, whatever the distance you choose, can be just that - a real challenge. Having said that, it is a goal that can be achieved with the right preparation. Planning for success in the event is crucial.

The first step is to set your goal – 20, 40, or the ultimate 80 km. How much are you prepared to challenge yourself? In setting a challenging but achievable goal, we then need a plan and a method that will see us strive for, and achieve this goal.


Get training!

Start with a basic fitness program and get some experience walking. 

Walking for 3 or 4 times a week for 30-45 minutes will quickly build a basic level of fitness. On the weekends, test yourself with some longer walks that include some hills. It is important to have walked some or all of the road before the event. 

This will enable you to become familiar with the route. 

Being familiar with walking at night and over a longer distance is a great advantage.

 
Acclimatize

It is extremely important that you prepare your body for all possible weather conditions.  Extreme heat or cold weather will influence your ability during the walk and can seriously affect you if you are unaware of your physical limits.  You should  prepare yourself by training sensibly in various conditions and learn to become aware of what your body can and cannot achieve.  It is extremely important that you keep your fluids up and rest or retire the moment you begin to feel unwell or stressed. It is good practice to train with at least one other person and to let someone know your plans while you are training.

Clear parameters have been set for Harri's Walk With Wings 2015  and the event will be cancelled should the conditions be deemed dangerous by Event Management in consultation with the Emergency Services.

 

Set a Timetable

It is important to develop a basic plan, but more importantly, to stick to it. Set out your personal approximate arrival time at each checkpoint (this can be calculated by walking sections of the walk beforehand). Consider where and when you might like to have a longer break. A word of warning, many individuals find it harder to get going again after long breaks. Short and sharp rests are preferred.

Your practice walks will give you an indication of your speed. Keep sectional times for future reference.

 

Night Navigation

Navigation at night can be a little daunting. A night walk must be completed at least once in your preparation. It will prove valuable to your training as there are 6 hours of night walking involved in the 80km walk.

 

Drink to Revive

You will need to re-hydrate regularly. As mentioned, weather conditions can be very hot or cold. Your practice walks will give you the opportunity to carry your water and give you an idea of how much you will need in given conditions. It is important to take hydration seriously over the chosen distance. Water is best for beating dehydration, but occasionally a sweeter, energy-type drink makes all the difference to lagging spirits and tired legs.

 

Food and Fluids (pre-event)

Begin preparing the food you will take on course in the days prior to the event. Foods such as cereal bars, dry biscuits and tinned fruit can be organized several days ahead. Fresh foods such as sandwiches can be prepared the night before. Avoid additional stress by ensuring you have got the foods that you need well in advance of the night before competition though! Don’t forget your drink bottles!!

 

Food

The term “carbohydrate loading” is used to describe the practices of endurance athletes to consume large amounts of carbohydrate in the days prior to an endurance event such as Harri's Walk With Wings, with the aim of maximizing muscle carbohydrate stores and improving performance.

Classical carbohydrate loading practices required 2-3 days consumption of large amounts of carbohydrate-rich foods. Recent research, however suggests that an intake of ~10g Carbohydrate per kg body weight in the 24-36 prior to an endurance event, combined with tapering training will maximize muscle carbohydrate stores. A Sports Dietitian can help you design an individual carbohydrate loading plan.

Tips for carbohydrate loading:

  • Use Compact Carbohydrate-rich foods such as pasta, rice, white breads, English muffins, crumpets, cereal bars and high carbohydrate meal replacement supplements such as Sustagen Sport.
  • Have more frequent meals in the 24-36 hours prior to the event.
  • Increase your meal size if possible with emphasis placed on the carbohydrate component of the meal.
  • Choose low fiber breads and cereals to avoid the “filling” effect of high fiber wholegrain breads and cereals.
  • Practice your regime prior to longer training sessions.
  • Incorporate an effective exercise taper in the days prior to the event.

 

Fluids

Before you start a long training session or an event, ensure you are fully hydrated. If you are well hydrated you should be producing regular amounts of clear or lightly colored urine in the hours prior to exercise. You can achieve this by drinking 400-500ml per hour of fluids in the 1-2 hours leading into exercise.

For individual advice on event preparation contact a Sports Dietitian.

 

Food (during event)

Replenishing your energy levels during the event is important. Pasta, rice, rolls and breads are a great source of slow burning carbohydrates, and will help you tackle the latter part of the walk with more energy. Carrying glucose based sweets and energy/nutritional bars will supplement the food available at checkpoints and from your support team.  Go easy on the salts and electrolytes, as your major issue is keeping fluids up. Lightweight, high-energy bars or pieces of fruit cake can also prove helpful.

When considering your food requirements for the event, the rule of thumb is take with you what you want and need, especially if you have an individual “palate” or special requirements.

In general you should aim to consume 60-80g carbohydrates per hour during the event. This can be achieved through regular intake of carbohydrate containing fluids and food. For individual advice on meeting carbohydrate requirements contact a Sports Dietitian.

Remember to familiarize yourself with the foods and fluids you are going to consume during the walk so you won’t have to worry about it during the event!

Some examples of foods to choose during extended training sessions and on event day include:

  • Fruit including fresh, tinned and dried fruit
  • Cereal bars
  • Sandwiches – try Vegemite for a savory option
  • Dry biscuits
  • Fruit buns, scrolls, scones
  • Rice cakes and crackers
  • Sports bars e.g. Power bars
  • Sports gels liquids

Fluids (during event)

During the event it is time to put all the practice during training into action. There will be plenty of fluids (including Sports Drink, water, tea and coffee) available at the checkpoints, so refill those bottles. Aim to drink to your estimated fluid requirements or at least 150-250ml every 10-15 minutes. Thirst is a poor indicator of hydration status so remember to “Drink Early, Drink Long, Drink Smart”.

Are there any nutrition supplements that may improve performance during Harri's Walk With Wings?

The answer is yes in some situations, but any race supplement strategy should be practiced in training first and individual advice is recommended.


In Summary

Harri's Walk With Wings is not an easy event and it requires proper training.  You will be out in the open country for many hours. If registered for the 40 or 80km events, it is important that you plan and train for the event in advance, including undertaking night training.

  • Make sure you are familiar with the route by walking it during practice, particularly those sections that you will be walking in darkness.
  • Wear a pair of good hiking boots or running shoes. Make sure they are well broken-in before the event by wearing them in on practice walks.
  • Start practice walks early. Walk at least one day a week for a minimum of 4-6 hours (about 15 to 25 km). Plan a schedule with your team mates and stick to it!
  • Each weekend you should slightly increase the distance and/or time of your walks. All walks should include some hill work and rough cross-country sections. Remember that very hilly routes will obviously take more time and energy than comparatively flat ones. By the end of the training period, you should feel able to walk for 10-12 hours without difficulty.
  • Remember to drink sufficient water. Dehydration is a real risk and can result in death or serious injury. 
  • As part of your training, choose a weekend to practice night-walking. Distances, terrain and direction are all very different in the dark, and walking rough ground by torch light is a skill that needs to be practiced.
  • Two weekends before the event try walking about 8-10 hours on both Saturday and Sunday. This helps to accustom yourself to walking when stiff and tired. Allow your muscles to relax during the following two weeks.
  • For those who really want to complete the course with as little discomfort as possible, a short run every day will give additional basic strength and fitness.
  • Tired muscles start to stiffen during long rests. Shorter, more frequent stops may be more advisable during the event.

Equipment
  • Well tried and worn in strong footwear
  • Your Harri's Walk With Wings T-shirt
  • Hi-Vis Vest (Mandatory for walking)
  • Comfortable backpack
  • Mobile phone & spare, charged battery
  • Identification and a little emergency cash
  • Glow sticks and reflective tape for night walking
  • Water (at least 2 litres)
  • Windproof/waterproof jacket
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • First Aid kit (personal) including anti-chapping cream, cloth sticking plaster or blister pads, elastic bandage etc.
  • High energy snacks inc. chocolate, dried fruit, glucose tablets
  • Plastic bags to keep clothes dry
  • Wool/fleece jumper x 2 (non cotton)
  • Warm pants for night walking
  • Beanie & gloves
  • Spare socks
  • Spare T-shirt if hot
  • second pair of shoes
  • Headlamp & Batteries (Mandatory for Night Walking)

 

Support Crews and

Volunteers


Volunteers

We are glad to have you aboard we have a diverse range of tasks that we need help with from helping out at pit stops along the way to mascots, support for our drivers, stall holders, first aid, and many closer to the moment when we have registrations in we will put up a list of available tasks we need help with. We are very happy and glad you can help out.

Or please contact us for any questions you may have.

 

Teams

This year through your registrations you can join with friends or family to form a team. it means you can fund-raise under one banner and set a higher goal and participate under one team name.

 

If you are support crew for your team, please ensure you register under their banner. 

This year your team may do legs but will need your support along the way for pick up and drop offs remaining in the time frames between stops in our rules section for more details.

 

Equipment to consider

  • Changes of clothes for different conditions, such as shorts, t-shirts (long & short sleeve) or thermal shirt if wet/cold.
  • Spare socks
  • Spare shoes 
  • Windproof/waterproof jacket
  • Fleece jacket and spare beanie
  • Dry towels
  • Torches with spare bulbs and batteries
  • Lots of water & soft drinks
  • Hot food (sweet, savoury)
  • Hot drinks
  • Snacks including glucose tablets, biscuits, chocolate, salty snacks, hot food and fruit.
  • Full first aid kit plus massage cream & sunscreen
  • Blankets and space blankets.
  • Deck chairs for sitting around, and for your tired competitors.

Management of Critical Incidents

Management of Critical Incidents

Harri's Walk With Wings participants have a responsibility to act safely at all times, taking reasonable care to protect their own health and safety and that of fellow participants. Event organizers will ensure as far as reasonably practical that the event is held safely, and in the event of any critical incident, plans are activated to prevent and/or minimize risk to participants.

Some examples of potential critical incidents include:

· Bush accidents - falls, snakebites, etc.

· Getting lost

· Extreme weather - storms, lightning, floods, heat

· Sudden serious illness - heart attack, asthma, etc.

· Bushfire

Please be aware off, and listen to, all event staff and support crew.  They will provide you with the necessary information required to manage any of the above situations