Moonwalk London Tips

May 21, 2019

I walked my first full moonwalk last weekend. It was awesome, I am so pleased I did it and enjoyed every minute.

While it was all still fresh in my mind I thought I’d share my experiences and tips for making it as much fun as I found it.

Firstly, trust the training. I followed the training schedule they sent me in my pack almost to the letter, I didn’t necessarily get out on all the walks on the days they suggested but I did do all the walks in each week, usually with 2 walks mid week and one long one at the weekend. I also went to my usual yoga class once a week for a full body stretch and as my ‘other activity’. The training really helps increase your fitness and helps you understand what you need to take with you on the walks and what you need to do for recovery. It’s amazing how much quicker your recovery after the longer walks gets as you progress. Sign up to ‘Map my Walk’ or another free walking app to log your walks with distances and times to see how you are progressing, you can also see how many calories you are burning to justify a big bit of cake when you finish.

Buy new shoes. I had no idea what I was looking for with walking shoes, just made sure I bought a pair of proper ‘power walking’ trainers (not boots for pavement walking), I bought a pair of inexpensive shoes from Decathlon that were a half size bigger than my usual size, to allow for swelling. I also bought a couple of pairs of proper running socks that are lovely and smooth on your foot to minimise blister risk.

Find a friend. I signed up for the moonwalk with my friend, we were unable to get out on the midweek walks together but made sure to do the long ones together, this allowed us to work out a compatible pace and keep each other company, if you are on your own, sign up to see if anyone else locally is training too. We planned our walks with google maps, putting in landmarks along a route and seeing how to make up the distance, always train on pavement and hard surface. We are lucky enough to live near Windsor Great park so planned a lot of our walks through here to avoid traffic and enjoy some lovely views, this definitely helps keep you motivated. On the shorter, lonelier walks I listened to podcasts and music to keep me occupied, although walked a lot faster when the dance tunes were on.

Bring Snacks. I honestly didn’t realise how much lactic acid hurts, I didn’t realise this until we got up to the 12/14 mile walks but came home very achey and miserable until I realised that these aches in my thighs and hips went away within 30 mins of getting home. I did some research and planned to eat something each hour of the walk, a bit of cereal bar, a quarter of a peanut butter sandwich, a wethers original, all help to keep you going and put off the lactic ache. Water also helps, but you’re not sweating much while walking so don’t need loads like with other exercise (and you really want to limit the amount you need to wee).

Look after your feet, but not too much. Once a week I made sure to exfoliate my feet throughly and trim my toenails and regularly applied vaseline or foot balm to keep them as soft and supple as possible without removing too much of the hard skin that was protecting my feet from all the walking. While walking if your feet are at all uncomfortable sort it out immediately, this meant retying tight laces, removing small stones, smoothing out socks etc. Miraculously I didn’t get any blisters, in training or on the walk.

Stretch. I found that if I did stretches during my daily routine it was easier to fit them in. So I would do lunges and hamstring stretches while brushing my teeth and would touch my toes or ‘tabletop’ stretch on the kitchen worktop while waiting for the kettle to boil.

Decorate you bra/Plan your outfit. you might feel like a bit of a fool getting on the train in a sparkly bra and gold leggings. But trust me, once you get to Moonwalk City, you’ll wish you wore even more glitter!

Don’t get there too early. We planned to arrive at Clapham Common at 9pm and didn’t set off until quarter past 11. That’s a lot of waiting around in the cold in your bra. The Pasta they give you is ok but we thought the rice was better, get a different option to your friend and share/swap.

During the walk, remember to eat/drink on the way around. Make friends with your fellow walkers. Enjoy yourself, take in the sights, many are lit up pink just for you, the route takes in a lot of landmarks so make sure to take a selfie with each of them. Don’t forget to take some cheeky ibuprofen to put off the aches and help get you through the night. The hot chocolate they were handing out in Sloane Square might have been the most delicious I’ve ever had, hot and sweet it made me very happy.

After the walk, don’t stop. We made sure to keep moving, picking up our bags and heading back to the train station before fatigue and stiffness kicked in. We were heading back to Clapham Junction, where there is a couple of coffee shops and a Sainsbury’s where breakfast supplies can be bought for the journey home. On the train I removed my walking shoes and gave my feet a quick freshen up with a baby wipe, and put on a  pair of trusty Birkenstocks, it was ultimate foot bliss!

Make sure to check train times for the Sunday return journey. As you may be aware, train services are bonkers on a Sunday, we were very lucky there was no evil Bus Replacement Service or Maintenance works on our line, but we did manage to get on a train that didn’t stop at our destination station! Here is the problem with travelling while very tired.

Once home I had a shower and put on some lovely clean pjs and a pair of DVT (compression) socks. (I wore these after the 20 mile training walk too, I found them to really help with calf aches and make my feet feel much lighter, don’t know if its advised to wear them but  I loved them!) Then I went to bed for a few hours.

If you are considering the moonwalk – do it! and if you are already signed up – good luck and I might see you there!