4. Challenge Details

  1. Distance Options
  2. Training
  3. The Route
  1. Distance Options

    This is your Challenge and your distance... and there is plenty to choose from! We suggest that you start from Putney so you can meet your Walk the Walk Support Team at the start line, be in the 2020 Team photo and have us cheering you on through the miles of your challenge! You will hear us before you see us!

    100k 'All the Way' 

    This distance is highly recommended! The 'All the Way' option allows you to see the full Thames Path Challenge route from the hustle and bustle of London and Putney to the scenic views of Windsor, Eton and finally Henley, passing Hampton Court and Windsor Castle on route... how magical!

    The sunrise over the River Thames is beautiful, as the mist slowly disappears and the sun starts to warm you up from the night walk, it gives you a new lease of life to get you to the Finish Line in Henley! Here you will be greeted with a 'fun day' and cheers from the awaiting crowds! 

    A tough but fabulous challenge to take on and what a challenge to say 'I DID IT!'

    100k '2 day'

    If you want to take on the full 100km but split in two, you can! Walk the first half on day 1, rest overnight and then take on the second half on day 2! By selecting this challenge you will be Walking mostly in daylight and still get to experience all the magical sites of our busy Capital to the picturesque countryside of Henley, where the famous Regatta takes place!

    Commencing at 07.20am from Putney, you will walk the first 50km of the Challenge on Saturday 12th September finishing in Runnymede. Day 2 of your Challenge will start at 06.00am on Sunday 13th September from Runnymede to the Henley Finish Line!

    You will need to book your own accommodation in Runnymede.

    50km

    If you are looking for a step up from a Marathon then the 50km option is the one for you! You have a choice of start locations either Putney starting on Saturday 12th September or Runnymede starting on Sunday 13th September. We strongly recommend starting from Putney, as this will be where the Walk the Walk Support Team will be, to cheer you off the Start Line and through your miles of this Challenge to your Finish Line in Runnymede! 

    The Putney Start Line is very much the urban part of the Thames Path Trail; Walking across the iconic London bridges, onward to Teddington and towards rural Surrey and the Runnymede Finish Line.

    22-28km

    If you are looking for the challenge slightly longer than the half marathon distance, then 22-28km is perfect! With the 22-28km distance comes a choice of 4 start locations; Putney, Hurst Park, Runnymede or Cookham! Each distance has its own beautiful route along the Thames Path, each very unique in their own way, all walked in daylight.

    To get the full support from the Walk the Walk Support Team we highly recommend starting from Putney, so we can cheer you across your Finish Line in Hurst Park!

  2. Training

    How much?

    A bespoke 15 week 100km or 50km Training Plan will be sent out with your Walker Pack for Thames Path Challenge for your distance. For those doing the 22-28km, you will follow the Training Plan for the Half Marathon distances.   

    The training for the 50km or 100km challenges is very intense and time consuming. To give you an idea, you will be required to train 6 days a week. We recommend the longest walks you will have to do are a 35 mile for the 100K followed by a 10 mile walk (with a Walk the Walk invitation to join our 25 mile team training walk). As well as getting lots of miles under your belt, the guide includes lots of back to back walking to get your body used to these types of distances. We also recommend to include other types of exercise to get your overall fitness to a new level. Remember, 70% of the route is off road following footpaths & bridleways, so mix up your routes and distances. Make sure you also train in all weathers, to check not only your kit is waterproof but to also experience walking through mixed terrain underfoot.

    Our Training Plan will really help you complete this challenge. If you need any tips or advice to complete these distances, we have Walk the Walk staff who have completed these type of distances and can offer you tips, just give us a call.

    Plan A – for those new to endurance Walking/intermediate level

    You should be able to walk 3 miles at a constant pace of 18 – 20 minute miles, by following the first few weeks of the Training Plan below, you will have a great fitness base for the start of your training for the challenge ahead.

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    Each of the training weeks above can be completed as many times as you wish before moving onto the next week. Plot a few different walks so that you have variety, to pick routes that suit how you feel and keep you motivated!

    Having entered a 5 footprint challenge, you should be able to manage the distances on the plans comfortably, however if you do not feel ready to start this programme, begin by walking just 1 mile, or however far you are able, time yourself, and then aim to increase the pace just a little each time you walk. When you feel ready, slowly increase the distance and complete the process again until you are able pick up the Training Plan.

    Please remember the talk test... you should always feel your heart rate increase, but still be able to have a conversation with your walking pal. If this feels uncomfortable please stop and consult your doctor.

    However please do not forget that the Thames Path Challenge is not all on roadways; approximately two-thirds covers rough (and sometimes muddy) ground and terrain.

    Plan B - for those at a more advanced/experienced level

    You should be able to walk 4 miles at a constant pace of 15 – 18 minute miles, by following the first few weeks of the Training Plan below, you will have a great fitness base for the start of the challenge.

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    Each of the training weeks above can be completed as many times as you wish before moving onto the next week. Plot a few different walks so that you have variety, to pick routes that suit how you feel and keep you motivated!

    Having entered a 5 footprint challenge, you should be able to manage the distances on the plans comfortably, however, if you do not feel ready to start this programme, begin by following Plan A, and then aim to increase the pace just a little each time you walk. When you feel ready, slowly increase the distance and complete the process again until you are able to pick up on the Training Plan.

    Please remember the talk test... you should always feel your heart rate increase, but still be able to have a conversation with your walking pal. So if 15 minute miles are too fast slow down, better to complete the distance at a slower pace. If this feels uncomfortable please stop and consult your doctor.

    Your ultimate goal will be to reach a walking pace of 15 -18 minute miles approximately 15 – 17 hours for the 100km. This takes into account that the Thames Path Challenge is not all on roadways and also covers rough (and sometimes muddy) ground and terrain.

  3. The Route

    The route will be fully signposted and GPS files will also be made available via the Thames Path Challenge website; all participants will be given a route map at the start of the challenge. The night stages will be lit with reflective signage and glow sticks; a head torch is compulsory for this section… don't forget to bring spare batteries!

    Rest stops

    The route is divided into 4 stages; each one is approximately every 25km with ‘Rest Stops’ at the end of each stage. At each rest stop there is lots of food, snacks, hot and cold drinks, medics and toilets. You must check-in at each rest stop.

    There are ‘Mid-Point’ stops between each of the main rest stops, which also serve plenty of snacks and drinks; all stops have ample toilet facilities.

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