2018 – What a year for NWUK!

2018 has been a hectic and amazing one for Team NWUK. It started with a bang when Mercian Nordic walking led by Ian Northcott were filmed for an ITV’s  Britains best walks with Julia Bradbury which was aired on 30th Jan. To add more excitement, a call came into NWUK HQ on Tuesday  23rd Jan asking if Ian and his group would like to join Julia promote the programme on the BBC One show – see Pic

So Ian and his trusty band of walkers did a live purple ‘fly past’of the presenters on prime time TV and caught up with Julia Bradbury too!


Meanwhile NWUK Malaysia were hitting the headlines with their project Pyjama walk where  unicorn onesies were clearly the fashion statement of the day! All great training for the Purbeck festival which they attended en mass too (not in the onesies though!)

There were plenty of challenge events for Nordic Walkers take part in this year from the Grasmere gallop and Cotswold 24 hour race to the Chichester half marathon and of course the Purbeck 16 mile and 27 mile challenges during the festival 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The HQ Team were out and about as ever in 2018 and it was great to see so many of you at Countryfile Live and other events we attended. Our purple dome was also on show at the Keswick Mountain Festival and Grasmere Gallop events – to find out where we will be or more about evnts and meet ups for Nordic walkers visit our EVENTS PAGES 

Even the Home Secretary had a go at Nordic Walking when he met Instructor Elaine Griffiths at a pensioners fair recently – hopefully it provided  a pleasant break from the Brexit talks at least? It is known to be good for stress after all!

This huge purple gathering was to celebrate the 10th anniversary of one of NWUK’s first ever Delivery Partner Instructors – Sam Armstrong from Derbyshire has changed countless lives in those 10 years and it great to see how many people pitched in to make it a party to remember. Proof that NWUK groups are about more than just walking with poles!

We have had a couple of engagements in our groups but this is a FIRST……  two Nordic walkers tying the knot with a guard of honour made up of Nordic walking poles! Congratulations to Andrea and Bill from the Battersea Polers club from everyone at NWUK HQ – we hope you took the poles on honeymoon too?

Autumn saw lots of remembrance and Halloween walks too this year 

 

 

 

 

 

We are so looking forward to seeing all the Christmas tinsel walk pictures! We love these images so make sure you send us pictures of your group or pop them onto our Facebook pages

NWUK showcased the amazing Activator poles in the neuro demo zone at the Therapy Expo at the NEC in November . Martin Chrsitie outlined why we think that these strapless poles are perfect for people with neurological conditions like Parkinson’s Disease and how we work with specialist teams to offer simple pole walking solutions for all levels. For more info contact the team on 0333 1234 540

Finally 2018 was a busy year for NWUK Festivals with our third event in Purbeck (Dorset) and a new mini event in the Peak District – both were amazing and tickets are already on sale for the newly named PURPLEBECK 2019 which will be BIGGER, BOLDER and BETTER than ever so nab a ticket before they go up in price! HERE

Shoe review – Grubs stand up to the NW technique test

We are really fussy about shoes at NWUK and our requirements are pretty simple……

Number one priority is COMFORT! We want to be out with our poles at every opportunity on all types of terrains so we need supportive, lightweight shoes with great cushioning.

Second priority is WATERPROOFING WITH BREATHE – ABILITY! Soggy and/or sweaty feet will effect the experience of even the shortest of walks and one thing that we have learned over the years is dry feet = happy walkers!

The third element is very specific but vital for Nordic Walking and that’s a sole that flexible enough to get a great HEEL TO TOE FOOT ROLL. Part of good Nordic walking technique is to hit the ground with the heel of the foot and to engage the whole foot in a rolling action that finishes with a push off from the toes as you propel forward with the pole on the opposite side. The key things a shoe needs to provide in order to facilitate this are good cushioning for the heel strike and great flexibility through the mid foot to the toes.

 

This month we have been testing GRUBS Discover shoes which have built in ‘RollinGait’ technology and a unique Stabilty cradle which positions the foot deep in the sole. Tested by a panel of key Instructors, our original concerns re the chunky sole were replaced with a ” WOW that really helps to stabilise the foot, is extremely comfy and the shoes really do enable brilliant NW technique!! Tested by 6 Instructors – the shoes have ranked higher than any others we have tested for Nordic Walking.

Here are a few of the reviews ……………………….

Sam Armstrong from Derbyshire trialled a pair of brightly coloured fuchsia and mint shoes and rated them out of 10 – here are her conclusions…………………

Comfort 10 – Laces 10 – Sole and rollingait technology 9

(Took a few hours to get used to the rollingait but once adapted to it I was hooked. Loved the fact that it encourages the lemon squeeze effect and heel strike. It’s not got a 10 because I would like to see a deeper lug. Although saying that they performed well on the Adventure walk and there were slippy conditions under the leaves and sandstone rocks.)

Mid sole 10 (Like wearing slippers outdoors but with enough support) – 

Waterproof –  I’ve now fully tested the shoes in wet, damp and muddy conditions. They were really tested out on an awful muddy peak district walk and I have to say performed brilliantly, absolutely superb.

My feet stayed warm and dry and they didn’t slip or feel insecure at all whilst I supported less able members down a slippy bank. So top marks for the lugs!

Weight 10 – Super light but still feel very much a solid shoe.

Uppers – Hard to score on this one, as I’m not a fan of the colour and neither did it go down to well with my walkers. However, I did mention the fact that it came in grey too. They were all very curious about the shoe and if it had been in grey they wouldn’t have noticed it as much.

In all I like the fabric, the flexibility of the shoe and the control that you feel you have with it. A super snug fit to the foot, very secure with the lacing system. They are also warm and cosy (if that make sense).

Conclusion –  I Love them!

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Janine Lewis an Instructor who is based in Reading who trialled the black and yellow version says “These shoes were made for a lot of fun and serious walking! The company name alone, Grubs, lets you know that they are a no nonsense shoe for our wonderful British weather and terrain. 

Over the last 7 days I have played on flint-stoned canal paths, slippery wet grass slopes, wet chalky hills, huge puddles, tarmac paths, woodland trails with hidden roots under slippery leaves. The tough rugged soles with decent grippy rubbery cleats really did keep me up right and dry.

The shoes are wider than I am used to but with their unique lacing system I could tighten them to get a comfortable supportive hug within the shoe. There was a slight crease from pulling them tight but this did not rub on my upper foot. 

The shoes are also a neutral footbed which was more practical for the heel to toe rolling through action of Nordic walking. You walk with a stronger foot placement. I did not need to resort to adding my orthotic soles in and comfortably walked up to 12 miles each day with out foot ache. There was sufficient suppleness through the top of the shoe to flex as I moved through to the upright movement of heel to toe, almost on tip toes. Especially comfortable going up the hills too.

I wore different socks each day from merino thermal socks to athletic thinner running socks. I had no foot movement due to the lacing. I find with some shoes that are wider, I have to wear thicker socks that can often cause friction blisters. Not the case with these.

The shoe was almost similar in style and look of the lower foot bed of a wellie. This made them very waterproof. I have still not managed to get wet feet despite jumping in puddles.

The heel grip was high and snug and didn’t rub. The ankle area was cut low and again, no rubbing. I have long feet with a skinny heel area, so although I was in a broad men’s shoe, size 9, I did not feel like I was walking in oversize heavy shoes. 

The footbed has a solid innersole, which I initially thought would feel hard and harsh on the sole, especially If I was walking on gravel. The rubber sole seems to disperse the piercing effect of the small stones.  

These shoes are good alternative to leather shoes as they are lighter in weight. They are a different style to the trail shoes which are also low profile but often narrower. The shoe style didn’t have excess stitching on top which often deteriorates and splits with the constant upper shoe creasing.

It’s a thumbs up from me for these shoes. Solid, supportive, warm and waterproof. Oh, and in my favourite duck-yellow! 

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Ian Northcott from Bromsgrove had a charcoal and black pair to put through their paces and here’s his opinion! 

I have used these shoes for a few days now. Wow (apart from the white sole) they are fantastic. 

Comfort 5/5 – Waterproof 5/5 – Colour 2/5 – NW Friendly 4/5

Indoor Gym friendly 4/5 – Running Friendly 3/5 – Brilliant – I want another pair!!!

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Ashley Sandy from Wiltshire said “They are really comfortable and flexible – they are great for NW on the flat with an even surface. I can really squeeze the lemons with them.

They are waterproof and dry which is great at the moment – the colour is not great and the mint colour got dirty really quickly.  On hills they are OK again if the ground is even but as they are a bit wide for me – they were less supportive when walking on rougher ground or uneven surfaces because I could feel my feet moving around especially around the toe box which is pretty wide. However they are so comfy otherwise that I will try them with some insoles”


Finally Lucie Cormack and Gill Stewart from HQ have been testing the shoes on a variety of walks from long and slow to fast paced workout walks and the verdict is that they perform well on both and definitely seem to reduce fatique in the legs and aid faster paced Nordic walking. Lucie says ” They are incredibly lightweight yet robust with a great grip and i jut seem to want to walk faster when I wear them!

So we think that’s a pretty good thumbs up from the Nordic Walking UK experts and are delighted that Grubs are offering a 25% discount off the GRUBS DISCOVER shoes to NWUK Members. Click here to find out more

 

 

 

 

Discover comfort and adventure with the latest NWUK membership benefit

Have you heard about the new Grubs Discover walking shoe?

Discover shoes feature RollinGaitTM, a sole unit that curves along with the foot to meet maximum movement and impact, it’s a hit among mountain hikers and the adventurous to add more bounce and comfort to their step. We thought this sounds perfect for Nordic walking and some of our instructors have been testing them – read their reviews 

The shoes are smart and stylish in three colourways, (charcoal./black, black/burst or fuchsia/mint) and they are fully waterproof.

Members of Nordic Walking UK can get a generous 25% discount on Discover shoes when they buy online via Grubs. www.grubswarehouse.com/product-page/discover Use the exclusive NWUK members’ discount code when you checkout. To find the code, just log in to your membership account on Nordicwalking.co.uk with your email and password and select ‘My Membership Benefits’ after logging in.

Not a member? You can sign up at nordicwalking.co.uk. Click ‘Join’. If you have a Nordic Walking UK Freedom Passport you can get the first year’s membership Free (subject to £2.50 p&p). Enter the Freedom code from your Passport in the discount box at Membership Step 1.

Don’t have a Freedom Passport? Search for classes or an instructor near you on Exercise-anywhere.com. On completion of a Nordic Walking UK Learn to Nordic Walk course with a Nordic Walking UK instructor you will be awarded with a Freedom Passport with a unique Freedom code.

Call 0333 1234540 for more details or go to NordicWalking.co.uk.

Hints and Tips

This month’s tip is on nutrition. How do you fuel yourself before, during and after a walk?
It is best to eat at least 1 hour before a walk and keep it something light and easily digestible on the stomach. Something like oats with dried fruit and nuts, wholegrain toast and peanut butter or scrambled egg. These are high energy foods with slow release carbs and protein to help balance energy levels throughout the walk. If you are walking for an hour you probably won’t need to eat during the walk but anything longer than an hour and half you may want to snack on something like trail mix. This is easy to make yourself and consists of nuts, seeds and dried fruit which you can snack on handfuls regularly to keep your energy levels topped up.
Longer challenge walks or runs require a bit more planning on what you decide to eat. You will need to trial out different foods as you may find that you can’t stomach certain foods during the walk or run and the last thing you want on challenge day is an upset stomach!
Always make sure you are well hydrated before during and after any walk. Fatigue can be a sign of dehydration.
Gill from HQ remembers something as simple as marmite sandwiches at a feed station were a godsend when she was running her long distance events many years ago and at the Purbeck festival recently one of the leaders used squeezy sachets of baby food!
For post walk nutrition (apart from cake and coffee at the nearest café) you should consider topping up your hydration levels with water. A fruit smoothie with natural yoghurt and a spoonful of nut butter is a good way to replenish the glycogen in the muscles after a strenuous workout.

We are now working with a company called Mountain Fuel (founded by Rupert Bonnington – son of Chris) they have devised a balanced sports nutrition system designed to provide the body with the nutrition and energy to cope with any type of physical activity. Also ideal to keep in your backpack on a long walk.
The Mountain Fuel system provides sustained energy and recovery whilst also providing the vitamins, amino acids and minerals your body needs to perform at its best, taking the guesswork out of your fuelling needs.
Check out the range at NWUK Store and take advantage of your Members Discount.

Come to Corsica with the Dorset Nordic walking Team

If you enjoy Nordic Walking in lovely Dorset, why not join us to explore the Coast, Mountains and Villages of Corsica next May (12th – 19th)?

Join Gill from NWUK HQ plus Swanage based Instructor Sally and other Dorset Nordic walkers on a trip organised by EXODUS TRAVELS in conjunction with Nordic Walking UK. We have a few places left and would welcome individuals, couples, groups of friends etc. The walks are typically about 7 miles a day with one longer walk and a rest day. We aim to blend Nordic Walking with a lot of fun and we will be taking time to enjoy the scenery as we do in Dorset

Flights and Accommodation are included and if we get enough folk from Dorset, we aim to travel to the airport together if possible to save costs too.  Call 0333 1234 540 if you want to chat to us about it or want an info sheet but hurry as booking closes soon!

CORSICA TRIP INFO AT A GLANCE 

  • 7 nights in a family-run hotel with en suite facilities
  • 5 days centre-based walking; 1 free day
  • Well-marked trails, often rocky and uneven
  • Altitude maximum 1650m, average 800m
  • All breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • For more info about the trips (note our date will not so on the Exodus website as its a private trip)  – click HERE 

 

Join us on our bespoke Nordic Walking holidays

At NWUK we know what a Nordic Walker wants from a holiday and that’s why we have worked with travel experts EXODUS to select two perfect trips where exploring with poles is at the heart of the experience.

Exceptional scenery, qualified Leaders from our HQ Team plus the chance to meet up with other Nordic walkers from across the UK plus great accommodation and flights all included.

So, whether you are a lone traveller, couple or group of Nordic walkers – come and join us on our bespoke NWUK Trips.

Join us in 2019 and visit either Corsica or Chamonix Mont Blanc to enjoy a fun filled relaxed holiday with your poles!


The dates for our first two trips are:-

CORSICA
12th – 19th May 2018

CHAMONIX MONT BLANC
28th Sept – October 5th 2018

To book or for more information – contact us on: 0333 1234 540 or email support@nordicwalking.co.uk 

Both trips will be exclusively for NWUK and both will include plenty of moderate walks  – check out what’s included


CORSICA

  • 7 nights in a family-run hotel with en suite facilities
  • 5 days centre-based walking; 1 free day
  • Well-marked trails, often rocky and uneven
  • Altitude maximum 1650m, average 800m
  • All breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • For more info – click HERE


CHAMONIX MONT BLANC 

  • 5 days centre-based walking; 1 free day
  • Travel by minibus, local train and cable car
  • Altitude maximum 2352m, average 1525m
  • 7 nights in comfortable chalet, all rooms with private bathrooms
  • All breakfasts, 5 picnic lunches, 6 dinners
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • For more info – click HERE


If you would like to chat to us about the trips or have any questions – please call Gill on 0333 1234540

Out N About Summer 2018

Wessex Nordic Walkers took part in the Walk for a Brighter Future 10k raising over £250 for their local NHS hospital in Swindon. NWUK Instructor Ashley Sandy  led the way with all that and took first place with others in the group just behind her.

Groups around the UK have found that taking part in a charity walk is a great way to add some oomph to your Nordic walk and do good at the same time                                              

Tracy Larvin from Mercian Nordic Walking was one of a group of Nordic Walkers form Glocestershire nd Worcestershire who took part in the Cotswold 24 hour race – Tracy, however was the Nordic walker who covered the most miles in the 24 hours – read more about the event and their personal accounts here 

A hot Summers day in Cheshire saw the ‘Millenials Nordic Walking Group’ heading for the shade and wearing their best sunhats. Reason for their name? Simple, their combined ages total over 1000! Yep, we’re talking  92,91,85,84,84,84,83,83,80,77,73,73,69,50,47years.! 

Becki Stevenson and her group from Wales got to the top of Pen y Fan on one of the few wet days of 2018! Whilst South Warwickshire NW seem to have got their priorities right – even their cupcakes are branded! We hope that they had purple plates too!

The HQ Team toured the UK in June July and August with appearances at the Grasmere Gallop, Keswick Mountain Festival and Countryfile Live and it was great to see hundreds of purple clad people take part in the Gallop which is the first ever Nordic Walking event in the UK and one we are proud to support every year. As you can see from the pictures it’s a great event in a stunning place and the perfect chance to meet up with other Nordic Walkers. Join us in 2019 see HERE for details of how to enter

 

 

 

See you there?

We will be at the Countryfile Live event 2019 again too although we doubt it will be quite as hot! This year we sweltered at Blenheim Palace and soldiered on with Tasters in the shade as the 125,000 visitors tried to stay cool (even opting to be doused by the local Firefighters) The heat did not dampen the spirits of the NWUK Instructors who worked tirelessly to promote Nordic Walking                                                            It was also hot for the 10th Anniversary of Sam Armstrong who started her Mid Derbyshire group back in 2008 when she was one of the earliest Instructors to train with NWUK . Her brilliant group gave her a party to remember. What was lovely is that  walkers who also started with her 10 years ago were keen to tell us how grateful they are to Sam and her team for providing such a brilliant, effective and enjoyable way to exercise with lovely people. 

 

A unique Festival of Fun!

The Isle of Purbeck in Dorset once again became PURPLEBECK this September when Nordic Walkers from around the World arrived to take part in the 3rd Purbeck Nordic Walking Festival organised by local company Nordic Walking UK

Dressed in their signature Purple branded shirts they took part in over 120 different walks and workshops which saw them experience this amazing location at its best. The walks took in the coastline, the history, the geology, the scenery and the literature that makes the area so unique whilst the local hospitality added delicious cream teas, meals and more!

The main HUB for the event was ideally placed by the Norden Park n Ride in Corfe Castle which meant Festival goers could easily park for free and get around the area via buses and the local Steam Railway. There was even a Purple Express Train that took them back to Swanage after the Saturday Evening music event where bands played as people enjoyed a rustic Hog Roast or choice of suppers and local Cider.

On the Saturday, a large proportion of the walkers took part in two challenge events organised by the Purbeck Marathon team. The 16 mile and 27 walks took them out in to the most dramatic and rugged scenery and it was certainly no walk in the Park!

The outright winner this year in a time of 6 hours 26 mins was Tracy Larvin from Bromsgrove who is fast becoming the one to beat when it comes to endurance Nordic Walking. Here she is getting her trophy. You can view the rest of the results HERE

It was not only the speedy folk who were celebrated at the Prize presentation either – These three (Duncan, Kathy and Caroline) were awarded the Inspiration prize as nominated by their Instructors. Great stories that remind us of how many people battle ill health to stay active or how in just two years it’s possible to go from coach potato to taking part in the Marathon challenge (yes the two Ladies are wearing marathon medals!). They were no dry eyes in the crowd and it was great to embrace how Nordic Walking is for all levels and really changes lives.

The new scenic and private HUB area was buzzing with registrations, retails opportunities, presentations and workshops which included beginner’s courses, rehabilitation sessions, Ski fit, Speedhyking (see picture) and a host of other technique and training options.

All participants were given a T shirt (purple of course) plus a goodie bag which contained a festival neckerchief courtesy of Fizan poles. Every walk was lead by a qualified and first aid trained leader and back markers where in place to ensure everybody made it back safely too. A Team of Orange clad volunteer Hosts which included NWUK Instructors from around the UK plus local Nordic Walkers from the Dorset Nordic walking group made the event go without a hitch and Festival goers remarked on their efforts which even included rubbish recycling and traffic management. 

Organiser Gill Stewart from Nordic Walking UK said, “we simply could not put on the walks and workshops without this team of dedicated Folk who spend all year mapping and risk assessing walks and helping come up with our innovative programme” On that note…. Many of the Festival goers have already reserved their accommodation for next year and Gill and the team have already pre booked the Cream Teas, Ferries and Bands that make this event so iconic. Dates for 2019 are 13th – 15th September and tickets are about to be released. Get in early as those who book first get the first choice of walks and workshops when the full timetable is released in June and those with tickets can log in to book specific walks and workshops in order to make up their own schedule for the weekend. Tickets cost from £25 a day which gives access to at least 3 walks and workshops plus presentations and access to the HUB and music events.

 

 

 

 


Don’t take our word for it – check out this feedback…………………….

Thanks for a great festival, great walks, lovely people and enjoyed the hub on Saturday night!

Thank you so much for a fantastic day on Saturday, I had a brilliant time and thoroughly enjoyed every single moment. Great walk in the morning followed by several workshops, all excellent and well run, I very much appreciated it all.

Congratulations on a great event and people were saying how much they were enjoying it.  I loved your new hub location in Corfe, great to have all the parking, space for the Workshops too as well as very scenic.

It was great to see people I hadn’t seen since last year’s festival and to meet new people too. It really was a  lovely atmosphere.

Well done for everyone’s hard work and organisation I know how much work goes into these events and you organised the great weather too.

I’d like to thank your team for organising such a brilliant Festival-it was evident that so much thought and care had gone in to arranging everything and it must have been a logistic challenge to think of all the contingency plans. Everyone from the Purbeck Team was so welcoming and friendly. The walks were an absolute delight and the classes were wonderful. The leaders were really superb. It was the first time I’ve attended a Nordic Walking Festival and it won’t be my last!

What an awesome event. A very big thankyou to All the team. My wife & I had so much fun. Please email us when you set a date for next year !

I would like to say a huge thank you to you, the whole NWUK team and the local hosts for the totally enjoyable Festival 2018.  I know you all worked so hard before, during and probably after the event too, to give everyone such a fab time.I loved the walks – in particular Corfe to Creech, Secret Arne (what a beautiful location) and the Foraging with Joe was wonderful.  He hinted that he could include a cookery session next year which could offer a brilliant addition.The local hosts were excellent, especially David and Sally and Pam who I walked with.I’m now very excited about the possibility of going on one of the Exodus holidays with a party of Hampstead nordic walkers.

Come and join us –  See the Event website HERE and take advantage of Earlybird ticket prices up until Christmas. First come first served and don’t forget that NWUK Members save £5 on ticket prices too.

  

Autumn kit essentials – be prepared and avoid the ‘FALL’

Autumn is the season of glorious colours, crisp leaves and golden light but it’s also a time when the risk of accidents increases. Perhaps that’s why they call it the FALL? Why is this so? Well, with Autumn comes darkness, mist and fog for one! Visibility is reduced massively by the shortened days and increase of misty mornings and fog filled Valley’s so all Nordic Walkers should make sure they can see and be seen. (Like these lovely Ladies from Reading!

Walking in poor light will mean you miss those tree roots or rabbit holes so always pack a headtorch that can help you pick out the trip hazards in advance. This great little lightweight  LEDLENSER HEADTORCH will light up your path and make sure you are seen by others too. There’s no reason to stop Nordic walking as the evenings draw in – simply join your local Workout Walk and enjoy the torch lit banter! It’s a well kept secret that people tend to be more inclined to take part in workout drills/exercises under the cloak of darkness so let your inhibitions melt away and use the winter to get fit and trim ready for the Spring

walks!

If you are venturing near roads or cycleways you will need added visibility – these little safety lights fit onto backpack straps, clothing and even shoes so grab a pair today and keep with you at all times.

 

A waterproof backpack cover is also a great idea if you want to keep spare clothing warm and dry and this one will help you stay visible too!  

Another Autumnal risk is frost and slippery pavements so make sure you have good grip on your shoes and stick to the grass if there is even a hint of Jack Frost on harder surfaces. Be especially careful on stone steps and paths too as these can be slippery due to leaf mould and moss. In fact watch out for leaves in general as they don’t stay

The MERRELL SIREN – Our favourite Ladies shoe

crisp for ever and wet leaves can be a hazard. These waterproof shoes from Merrell are a winner when it comes to both comfort and grip – this is the lovely Purple and grey ladies version called the Siren Sport but we also stock the Men’s Moeb which is plain grey. 

Finally, now is the time to take layering seriously. A good base layer will keep your core warm and you should then think about layers that are lightweight, windproof and not too heavy. This way, you can add or peel off according to your heat levels. One addition that’s great for the chilly start or a walk and perfect to pop on if you stop or at the end of a walk is our super lightweight padded Gilet. It packs down into a tiny bag and weighs virtually zero so it’s a must have backpack item now the weather is closing in.

Men’s and Ladies in stock CLICK HERE TO ORDER

So. no excuses for letting your exercise regime slide this Autumn – just make sure that you don’t by taking care and tackling the elements with the right gear!

 

Tales from the Cotswold 24hr race

We love supporting our Nordic Walkers as they embark on personal challenges and this year it was great to hear from two Ladies who completed the Cotswold 24 hour challenenge event in early August. There is a growing band of Nordic walkers at this event every year so why not put it in your calendar for 2019?

Read on to hear Helen and Tracys’ stories…………………

Helen celebrates with her medal!

I am still on a “high” following the Cotswold 24hour race and would very much like to tell you about my experience via an email as I don’t use Facebook. However, I have a little story to tell you first.

I have always enjoyed walking and for many years was a member of the Ramblers organisation. I thought that was good but I cannot praise Nordic Walking highly enough. Not only is it a total physical body workout but overall has such a great feel good factor due to the sociability and fun we all have together. It is great being able to exercise so effectively in an “outdoor gym”. 

 However, over a period of about 10 years before I had major surgery to replace a disintegrating hip joint, my mobility deteriorated until I could barely walk anywhere even with a stick. Following very successful surgery in October 2015, I was desperate to regain and increase my fitness levels. A few months later, I  saw an advert for a Nordic Walking taster session and duly booked on. However, after just a few minutes it was clearly apparent that my muscles were too weak at that stage.  I was so fortunate though because, sensing my extreme disappointment, not only did Ian Northcott  suggest some exercises I could work on at home but he kept in touch to see how I was progressing!!! 

After a few more months I booked on again  and this time was strong enough to learn the technique and sign up for the well being walks!!!. I have not looked back since and am fitter and stronger than I have been for years. I am now taking part in endurance walks, trek fit and hill climbing sessions to name a few.

The Cotswold 24 hour race is just one of many activities I have been able to try that I never thought I would. I haven’t been camping since I was a girl guide [ not going to give my age away! ] and since my swimming days at school, have never considered myself to be very competitive, so the idea of entering a 24 hour race was off putting. When I realised that I could choose when to walk and for however many  laps, I decided to “give it a go”.

 Thanks to you giving us all a Nordic Walking t shirt, we all looked amazing at the start line and were a great advert for the sport. I am sure that you will have seen us on Facebook. As we set off the atmosphere was electric and as the race progressed, people were so supportive and encouraging to each other as they passed by on the track. I immediately felt part of it all.

Thanks to my team mates Eileen, Ian and Tracey, who were placed third, second and first in the mixed solo category, Nordic Walking has now reached a new level of credibility at Cotswold 24. Runners are no longer under the illusion that we “walk with poles” but that we “use our poles to walk” . En route, I heard many comments about our speed. Tracey was just incredible as she was walking as fast as one of the top runners!!!! and this was acknowledged when she was presented with her trophy. So Cotswold 24 hour runners, Nordic Walkers are a force to be reckoned with!!!  I felt so proud to be part of Nordic Walking and the Cotswold 24 hour race.

I thoroughly enjoyed the weekend, even the camping!!! although next year I will pack an air bed, lamps and a small stove to improve my comfort. You can tell how long it is since I have been camping.  In-between the walks it was very sociable and fun because you have the opportunity to talk to so many different people. I am pleased I achieved my goal, increasing my endurance, with the laps I completed on both days.  I chose not to walk at night in the dark [maybe next year] so missed out on how fascinating the countryside looks and sounds, but did walk at dawn. What a fabulous time of day; crisp fresh air with the sun starting to rise. 

I had a great time and am already considering what to aim for next year. So Nordic Walkers everywhere, come and join us.

Helen Chambers

Tracy Larvin completed 15 laps and walked for 22.5 hours!

Tracy has always been active but her story shows that injuries can really impact on sporty lifestyles. Read on to see how Nordic Walking has enabled Tracy to get back to full fitness and get competitive too – a great example of how Nordic Walking is great for those who love sport and challenges too

I have always been a very active person, and played most sports. Started playing senior ladies hockey at 14, selected for u18s West of England hockey, County hockey, Shropshire athletics and the West Mercia Police hockey team…this is not me blowing my own trumpet, I am just letting you know my previous sporting activities

This all came to an end when I hit 30, I was having excruciating knee pain and was told I needed knee replacements and adviced to give up my sport as I was too young for the operations. I then gave up sport and bought a horse, and started competing and riding.

In 2013 I ruptured my patella tendon six months before my retirement date from the Police Force. I was in plaster, then a brace and on crutches for six months, and couldn’t walk without pain in my knee. The physio helped so that I could at least bend my knee, but the NHS said that there was nothing further they could do. Due to the pain, I struggled to ride and all I could do was walk my dog

In February 2016 I saw an advert in the local paper for Nordic Walking, with Mercian Nordic Walking. At that time my friend and I were arranging a holiday in the Smokey mountains and she needed to try and get fitter We signed up, and my thoughts were to go and give her some support but as I walked my dog 8-10 miles a day, I was unlikely to get anything out of it as “it was just walking with poles”.

How wrong was I ……………I am now an addict!

My Instructor Ian Northcott’s passion for fitness and Nordic walking soon rubbed off on me, and gave me the drive to enjoy fitness again Due to my knees problems the poles certainly helped to take the pressure off them, I really enjoy the Nordic walking, the social aspect and I have made some truly good friends

Ian started up the trekfit classes and circuits, and was able to cater to my needs with my knee issues. I can’t say it was easy, but the up and coming marathon at Purbeck 2018, gave me something to aim for. Gradually Ian introduced me to more fitness classes and longer walks, to help with fitness, for all those that had their sights set on Purbeck for the marathon and 16 miler in September

Then at the beginning of August, several of us from Mercian Nordic Walking attended the Cotswold 24 hour challenge. We all had set different goals, relating to how many laps we wanted to do We all surpassed our goals, each lap being 9kms, some of the ladies doubled their lap goal, having set 2 laps as a goal they achieved 4, which was amazing The great thing about the 24 hour challenge is that you walk when you want to, sleep when you want, eat when you want, so long as you do one lap.

I set my sights on 10 laps, and having done a team event last year I hoped that was doable. I managed to do 15 laps and walked for twenty two and a quarter hours At the event last year, some of the runners accepted us but didn’t seem to understand what Nordic Walking was about, and others were quite patronising.

This year it was a totally different story by the end of the event The amount of support and in their words “respect and admiration “ “you walk faster than I run”  was overwhelming.The one thing I did notice this year during the night several runners actually took to poles and walked laps.  They certainly weren’t doing Nordic style, as they haven’t been instructed, but never the less, they obviously  realised what we have achieved the last few years at the event.

I am delighted that my Team Mercian Nordic Walking came first, second and third in the Nordic category, and had I done Nordic walking but entered as a runner I would have come 3rd in the ladies solos out of 53 and 23 rd in the mixed out of 119runners

So the point of the e mail, as long winded as it’s been, is to thank you as Nordic walking  UK for the concept as without the Nordic walking I certainly wouldn’t be as fit as I am, and definitely not able to compete in any sporting activities To let you know what a wonderful instructor Ian is, because there were so many of us who have been to the events and exceeded what we thought we were capable of And to try and encourage more Nordic groups to take part next year, it is such a well organised event, great fun and a relaxed atmosphere.

I would also like to mention that my sister who is a very keen cyclist, and has cycled for GB in the World Champs in her age category, and her partner Cat who is a runner and competes in triathlons, did a learn to walk course with Ian in readiness for the Somme trip in October. When they returned from the course, they admitted that they had a new found respect for Nordic Walking, didn’t realise how hard it was, and were even complaining about aching muscles when they returned home on the Sunday. 

The word is getting around other groups, so what better way for free advertising than to get groups into events like the 24 hour challenge, so that runners etc don’t just think we are ‘walking with poles’

We are looking forward to seeing how Tracey and the team get on at the Purbeck Nordic Walking Challenge Marathon in September – watch this space!