TOP TIP ADVICE FOR WINTER WALKING – EMBRACING THE SEASONS!
Definitely Autumn is in the air and with it comes the tonic of walking in wonderland! The colours are vivid and magnificent, and the leaves are now blooming’ marvellous, with their red and golden hues, especially in the dewy light of these October / November days. This week Halloween was duly celebrated (a day early!) with an impromptu party at Muddy Boots Cafe, Blickling. The staff get very used to this Wednesday weekly post-walk gathering of Norfolk Nordic Walkers rocking up religiously at 11.15am eager for coffees and sustenance, but occasionally they get more than they bargained for…..as the above photos show! As on all our walks, it’s not simply about the exercise. There’s so many other factors that come into play, from group motivation to laughter and banter, all which keep us moving onwards and upwards…
EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT… KIT!
Is it sunny? Will it rain? BBC weather says one thing, Met Office another. Will I get cold, should I layer up, is it time for the winter wardrobe? For us walkers these Autumnal days can be confusing time kit-wise. Cold mornings, bright days, shorter evenings, dew drenched grass, and emerging muddy sections all require us to adapt our clothing and our footwear. Here’s some things to consider:
Nothing spoils a good walk more than wet feet and it’s at this time of year you generally find out how watertight your footwear is. Remember you want a sturdy GRIP on your shoes – at this time of year paths are slippery. If you’re considering buying a pair of shoes/boots, Scarpa, Merrell, Keen and Salomon are all popular brands with our walkers.
What about waterproof socks? Sealskinz saved my feet last winter with sock liners underneath to counteract the rubbery feel but Aldi and Bridgedale also now sell waterproof socks. Just remember with Sealskinz to avoid drying on a radiator or other direct heat source to prevent damaging the waterproof membrane. Trust me! I have tried this and regretted it!
Gaiters are a useful piece of kit and I would highly recommend them, especially at this time of year. They cover the top of your shoes/boots and the bottom of your trousers, keeping your feet and trousers dry, protecting your footwear and preventing your trousers from getting covered in mud. All have a durable water repellent finish on the outside and the more expensive ones also contain a waterproof and breathable membrane, which means you don’t get sweaty lower legs. Gaiters come in different sizes and lengths and it is worth trying them on to make sure they fit round your calves. I think they are GREAT!
Another must-have for Nordic walkers is a pair of waterproof trousers. You can buy over-trousers – they are light, very breathable and fold into their carry net so take up minimal space in a back pack. For our hour-long fitness classes I can quickly put them on over a pair of cropped leggings, which keeps me dry and cool. You can also buy waterproof trousers but make sure they are not too hot and can be worn in lieu of walking trousers / leggings on wet old days. Non sweaty too!
Tops and jackets
You all know the advice! Layer layer layer. I always buy light waterproof, breathable jackets which you can roll up and carry in your waist pack (purple of course). You get what you pay for! I love starting a walk warm so have a fabulous down jacket from Go Outdoors which is a steal at £20 which I quickly discard the moment we start our warm up. ‘Be bold, start cold’ is the mantra!!!
Hi-Viz / Head torches / Reflective gear for night walks
We love our evening walks and are out and about on Mondays and Wednesdays at Broadland Business Park and on Tuesdays in Eaton and Cringleford. It’s pitch black in places so a decent head torch is a must, along with hi viz outer layers to keep us safe. A lot of us even have flashing lights on our poles….The advice is, be seen!
LONGER WALKS – GET BOOKING FAST!
Maximum for any of our walks is 15 so please do book in advance to ensure your place. Some of you have found you book and then are on the ‘Reserve List’. Saturday walks are now on the website until April. These walks will usually start at 10am. On some walks, there will be a shorter and longer option so that those who want to walk a shorter distance can join those training for the 16th February Marriott’s Way Half Marathon for half the walk and not miss out on Saturday walking.
FREE TASTER SESSIONS COMING UP IN NOVEMBER
Friday 8th November 10.15am and 12pm Eaton Park
Monday 11th November 11.30am Whitlingham Country Park
Wednesday 27th 11.15am Blickling Hall
(Pls book prior to the session)
TIME SHORT BUT WANT TO LEARN TO NORDIC WALK? LIMITED SPACE ON LAST 2 COURSES OF 2019
Sunday 24th Nov Whitlingham Country Park 9.30am – 11.30am
Tuesday 26th Nov/3rd Dec 10am-11am X 2 sessions
THE WEEKLY SCHEDULE from 4th – 9th November
Book all courses / walks at www.norfolknordicwalking.co.uk/activities
9.30am Kick Start Monday! Whitlingham Country Park – FAST WORKOUT WALK – Be prepared to sweat…
10.30am Monday Morning Nordic Adventure – Mixed ability walk in gorgeous Whitlingham Country Park – walk, talk and absorb the park..
5.15pm Monday Motivator @ Broadland Business Park – Expect some double poling, hills and speed work – Go at your own pace but prepare to push yourself!
6pm Becky’s Step up a Gear – UEA Colney Lane – A Great Unwind after a busy day…
10am Mid-week tonic at Blickling Hall 3.5 miler. Steady Gear 2 (optional Gear 3) pace in a stunning location – you never know what you will find! We also love Muddy Boots Cafe at the end of this walk! MODERATE / FAST
1pm Yare Valley Sociable Adventure Walk – Mixed ability for those who love to walk and talk in the Great Outdoors
5.15pm Broadland Energiser @ Broadland Business Park – This WORKOUT walk will incorporate static exercises, hill work and strengthening/conditioning drills. The hour FLIES past!! Go at your own pace but prepare to push yourself!
10.15am Catton Park Feel Good Walk – A gentle Gear 1 with optional Gear 2 walk in this timeless park
12pm Admire the Views Roman Town Adventure – A moderate paced walk in a stunning location for all abilities
1.30pm Stepping Up (hills) & Back Caistor St Edmund / High Ash Farm – A fast paced WORKOUT walk with extra hills for added exertion!
1015am / 12pm FREE Nordic Walking Taster Session – Eaton Park
11am Friday Circulars from Eaton to Earlham – Varied routes through the UEA at your own pace but with optional exertion to push yourself that little bit extra… EATON PARK CAFE beckons at the end…
10am Exploring the Themelthorpe Loop – a fabulous 6.5 miler along the Marriott’s Way and around Reepham
“Continuous effort – not strength or intelligence – is the key to unlocking our potential.”
– Winston Churchill