The other week I was taking an ‘Easy’ rated walk on the Downs.  If you were with me that day you may remember my encouraging you to walk the famous 0.5 mile tree avenue at a fast pace.  Someone said ‘But this is rated an easy class!’.  ‘Ah’ I said, ‘but easy doesn’t actually mean easy on your fitness – otherwise you won’t ever get fitter.  It means… well it means that the Downs is an easy place to walk because it’s generally flat’.

It got Ros and me thinking that we need to change our grading system for our walks to make it more realistic and to explain in a little more detail what you can expect when you book onto a walk in our different locations.  So next week you will see the following changes:

For walks on The Downs:

Current grading

New grading

What this means

Easy

Mixed ability

This class is suitable for most fitness levels and the terrain is mostly flat.  We will encourage some fast walking to increase your fitness.  We will give fitter walkers extra challenges.

Moderate

Mixed ability

This class is suitable for most fitness levels and the terrain is mostly flat.  We will encourage some fast walking to increase your fitness.  We will give fitter walkers extra challenges.

Challenging

Challenging

The class speed will be fast.

Nordic walking workout: moderate

Nordic walking workout:  mixed ability

This class is suitable for most fitness levels.  The class includes additional strength, conditioning and balance exercises. 

 

 

For all our other walk locations (Ashton Court, Oldbury Court, Blaise, Leigh Woods, Royal Victoria Park, Bath):

Current grading

New grading

What this means

Moderate

Mixed ability & hills

The terrain is a mix of flat and hills plus some rocky ground.  You need to be a confident walker.

Challenging

Challenging

The terrain is a mix of flat and hills plus some rocky ground.  You need to be a confident walker.

2 hour stamina walk:

moderate

2 hour stamina walk:  mixed ability & hills

The terrain is a mix of flat and hills plus some rocky ground.  You need to be a confident walker. 

2 hour stamina walk: challenging

2 hour stamina walk:

challenging

The terrain is a mix of flat and hills plus some rocky ground.  You need to be a confident walker. 

Nordic walking workout: challenging

Nordic walking workout:  challenging

The terrain is a mix of flat and hills plus some rocky ground.  You need to be a confident walker.  The class includes additional strength, conditioning and balance exercises. 

 

When am I ready to try a higher level of class?
As a rule of thumb, when you are regularly walking in the front third of the group you are ready to move to a more difficult class.

How else can I improve my fitness?
Our aim through our classes is to help you increase your fitness and overall wellbeing.  When you are starting out on your fitness journey even a short walk on the flat will make a difference.  To continue to increase fitness levels you need to ensure that you keep challenging yourself.  Here’s how:

  1. Aim to move from walking at the back of the group to being in the middle (or even at the front!).
  2. Move to a more difficult class, for instance from a 'morderate, flat' to a 'moderate, hills' rated walk.
  3. Join one of our two hour stamina walks.
  4. On Saturdays you can book Rachael’s two Downs classes back-to-back.  The first is a moderate one (it includes strength, conditioning and balance exercises).  The second is a mixed ability class.
  5. Join one of our Nordic walking workout classes.
  6. Push yourself harder on the hills.
  7. Set yourself some goals – one of our club challenges, the Walk1000Miles challenge, or one of our weekend trips.

Don’t forget that you can also regularly benchmark your fitness by booking onto our free fitness test on the Downs on the first Saturday of the month.  We will give you your average walking speed so you can measure your progress and see which class level you are at.

Happy walking.

Vicky

 

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