Q and A Section

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Number Two

Q: What sort of training do I need to be in good shape when I arrive at St. Bees for the start of the trek?

A: Okay, let's be candid. If you're a regular, experienced walker, you can start planning your walk. But if your normal exercise regime doesn't extend beyond a walk from your local supermarket to the car once a week, then you've got some work to do.

The Coast to Coast is a 190-mile walk across the wonderfully varied countryside of northern England. Completing this walk will give you a great sense of achievement.

Thousands of folk do this walk every year, so don't worry too much about whether you can do it. It's not like climbing Everest, and you can. But you must get in shape for this physically demanding adventure -- and training could take you at least six months.

The level of fitness required depends partly on how you're doing the walk (see next question). However, if you work a standard five-day week, you should try gradually increasing the amount of walking you do. Begin by walking several three-to-five-mile circuits.

If possible, vary the terrain so you get used to some hill climbing. It's also useful to walk on surfaces other than artificial paving. Make sure you carry a backpack on these trips, with a few pounds of weight (chocolate or boots -- it's up to you). When you've built up to walking 10 miles every Saturday, and another 10 on Sunday, your body should be ready for the real thing.

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