Well begun is half done

You undoubtedly want to ensure you can get the most out of your four days of endurance walking, right? You want to enjoy it all: the music, the festivities and the hundreds of thousands of spectators who welcome you on Via Gladiola. And you can, too, by making sure you are well trained right from the start. It is wise to train with the help of a systematic scheme, to let your body get used to the strain. That is how you can prevent injuries and disappointments and your walk will be more enjoyable.

'Listen'to your body

Train weekly and gradually increase the walking distance. Listen to your body and slow your pace if necessary. If you have any doubts at all about your health and/or physical condition, consult a doctor!

Warming up

When you set out on a walking event, start slowly so that your muscles can warm up gradually. Increase your pace once your muscles have warmed up. Walk at different speeds and try to find an inner rhythm. If you go for regular walks and you want to improve your fitness, try to regularly walk at a faster speed before resuming your "normal" pace. If you do this more often, you’ll see your "normal" pace go up. If you feel tired, don’t stop but simply slow your speed. Music can be a good aid in establishing a good pace.

Walking together

It can be very pleasant to walk with a friend (provided he or she enjoys the same walking pace). This will help you to walk in a more relaxed way. Walking in a group is highly convivial, but everyone has his or her own pace. If the group is walking too fast for you, don’t feel pressurised to adopt this pace. After all, if you are walking too fast, you will start to suffer after a few kilometres.

Varied routes

Select a different route each time. You can also alternate between surfaced and unsurfaced roads, or between flat and undulating terrain. The big advantage of a winding road is that you won’t have to stare down a long straight track that seems to go on forever, which is very discouraging. It is also a good idea to train in different weather situations.

Time

Take your time for the walk. Wearing a watch can make you feel pressured to complete the walk within a certain time span. This can have a negative influence on your walking pace. In any case, consciously take your time to walk and take your time to rest. When you're resting, don't sit down on the ground, because then your muscles will cool down too fast and become stiff. If you have the feeling that your legs are getting tired, then take your time to stretch your muscles. This is how they will get some rest. After stretching the muscles, your legs will feel more pleasant.

Good walking shoes

You don’t want to have to worry about aches or pains caused by your shoes or other gear while walking. So be sure to pay close attention to this as well! Good, comfortable walking shoes are a must while walking. Walking the 4Days Marches demands a lot from you physically, and high-quality footwear can support you in this.

More info

Walking is an essential component of a healthy, active lifestyle. Walking invigorates our communities and makes them more fun. Wandel.nl offers all walkers in the Netherlands services, products and know-how to ensure the best possible walking experience. On their special 4Days Marches page you can read interesting articles and get tips on how to prepare for the 4Days Marches. Wandel.nl is an initiative of the Royal Dutch Walking Association KWBN.

Sportzorg.nl is the informational website of the sports medicine doctors in the Netherlands. This independent website provides accessible information in Dutch on a wide range of topics such as sports injuries, nutrition, psychology, sports medical examinations and chronic conditions.

Participating in the 4Days Marches is both fun and healthy. You must keep in mind, however, the importance of thorough preparation, the right nutrition and good aftercare. The tips and advice of the Dutch Association for Sports Massage (NSG) can help you take a responsible approach and get the most enjoyment out of the event. 

You don’t want to have to worry about aches or pains caused by your shoes or other gear while walking. So be sure to pay close attention to this as well! Good, comfortable walking shoes are a must while walking. Walking the 4Days Marches demands a lot from you physically, and high-quality footwear can support you in this.

Countdown to the 104ᵗʰ edition of the 4Days Marches