I am constantly impressed by the fitness gains of our walkers.  New walkers most usually find themselves somewhere near the back of the group.  But after just a few weeks of consistent walking and technique advice there’s a marked change.  Both speed and stamina improve, often dramatically.  The reason is multi-faceted:

  • Heart and lungs are working more efficiently (improved posture plays a big part here);
  • Technique is improving;
  • Muscles are strengthening;
  • Confidence is increasing.

It’s sometimes not easy to see these improvements yourself so benchmarking your fitness is worthwhile and something I’d highly recommend. It's relevant for both the beginner and the seasoned Nordic walker.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to time yourself over a set route every month or so and keep a record of your results.  You will find that this will fluctuate depending on how you’re feeling on the day, weather conditions, time of year, and how frequently you’ve been walking.  You don’t even need to Nordic walk the route, just so long as you do the same thing each time so that you’re comparing like with like. 

I sometimes run these benchmarking tests with my groups, timing walkers over a half mile distance.  They are then able to compare their times against age adjusted standards, like those by SparkPeople below (these are for a one mile distance but it’s a useful indicator).  You can use a GPS app on your smart phone (such as Map My Walk), a fitbit, apple watch or anything else that gives you a measure of distance and time if you want to re-create this test yourself. 

Ratings for Men, Based on Age

Age

20-29

30-39

40-49

50-59

60-69

70+

Excellent

<11:54

<12:24

<12:54

<13:24

<14:06

<15:06

Good

11:54-13:00

12:24-13:30

12:54-14:00

13:24-14:24

14:06-15:12

15:06-15:48

Average

13:01-13:42

13:31-14:12

14:01-14:42

14:25-15:12

15:13-16:18

15:49-18:48

Fair

13:43-14:30

14:13-15:00

14:43-15:30

15:13-16:30

16:19-17:18

18:49-20:18

Poor

>14:30

>15:00

>15:30

>16:30

>17:18

>20:18

Ratings for Women, Based on Age

Age

20-29

30-39

40-49

50-59

60-69

70+

Excellent

<13:12

<13:42

<14:12

<14:42

<15:06

<18:18

Good

13:12-14:06

13:42-14:36

14:12-15:06

14:42-15:36

15:06-16:18

18:18-20:00

Average

14:07-15:06

14:37-15:36

15:07-16:06

15:37-17:00

16:19-17:30

20:01-21:48

Fair

15:07-16:30

15:37-17:00

16:07-17:30

17:01-18:06

17:31-19:12

21:49-24:06

Poor

>16:30

>17:00

>17:30

>18:06

>19:12

>24:06

 

Nordic walking poles arrive in Bristol

Finally I have some good news for those of you who would like to buy poles in Bristol.  Ellis Brigham have now started stocking three types of Leki Nordic walking poles:

  • The Leki traveller carbon (£134.99);
  • The Leki Speed Pacer Vario (£124.99); and
  • The Leki Supreme Shark (£79.99).

The first two are 100% carbon and are both on my recommended list.  The Supreme Shark is an entry level adjustable pole.  Good if you’re want your own poles but don’t want to spend too much money.  You will also be able to adjust them as your technique improves and you want to use longer poles.  Even better, if you are a Bristol Nordic Walking Member (i.e you pay a monthly membership) you are entitled to 10% off.  Ellis Brigham are also running a special 15% off day on Thursday 27th July.  Their Leki buyer will be in the store and will be giving a talk at 11.30am to us about the latest developments in poles.  She will be bringing in some demo poles for us to try afterwards.  Details are in this week’s Newsletter.

Don’t forget you can buy Exel poles through us.  Members get a 10% discount on these poles too.  So it’s all good news for us Nordic walkers.

Vicky

Category: