The 4 Day Nijmegen March and how to accomplish it.

~Health~
are you healthy enough to train & participate?~

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Walking distances of 30 miles a day, 4 days in a row is equally as far as doing 5 marathons in 3.5 days.

This is a very serious event, in 2006 three marchers died from heat related injuries. Possibly other health concerns were involved. Get a physical before starting any of this...tell your doctor you intend to walk 30 miles a day repetitivly and insure your heart can take it or design a plan to bring it up to a level where it can. The event is not worth hurting yourself over or worse.

Steps I took to prepare for Nijmegen took place over a few years. After a break from fitness training, I needed to get back into regular exercise and eat an organic diet, (free of junk food) while being careful to prepare the food to be as nutritious as possible by not overcooking it. 

At the same time went swimming 30 minutes a day moderately, doing the breast stroke and backstroke for 2 years...and then moved up to 1 hour a day of vigorous swimming for 1 year before I considered this arduous endurance training.

Noticable improvements in muscle mass, flexibility and lowered heart rate and blood pressure indicated to me I was ready to begin Nijmegen training in 2009.

~In-born conditions~
A variety exist that people need to cope with, especially on multi-day, ultra events.

My father had full blown Ehlers Danlos Syndrome and I have it to a smaller degree but it is evident.
Signs include easily experiencing joint injuries like seperations and a condition called "velvet skin" which is easily damaged with stress or trauma.
"Why is your skin so soft/sensitive/ thin?" I get asked a lot...it is a in born condition.
It's a condition I was born with...not a good one for long distance marching.
  
This marching training demands that I be especially vigilant to remove all rough edges from shoes, ventilate them well and buy the best running shoes. You can't "toughen up" normally with Ehlers Danlos skin, it either does not toughen or barely does.

My roomate last year could wear 1 pair of wool socks all day long for 30 miles in leather shoes...
I would have loved that simplicity!
Learn what you'll need based on your body...we are all different.

~Diet~

Choose your own low fat, preferrably organic diet.
I prefer a diet of chicken, fish, rice, greens and papaya including real 100% orange juice as an example. What you eat during your 5 months training will dramatically effect your performance.

Snacks along the way during the event should be light and address your nutritional needs for the distance. Have energy bars in your pack if fatigue sets in. These will alleviate the soreness from lowered and used muscle feul.

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Tables and chairs are set up along the way to take breaks. Here two Dutch women rest and have the right food on break, not too light, not too heavy and natural.

~Food & Self care~
Organic food: $26.50 a week x 23 (nutritional meals before/after marching) $609.50
[Salmon fillets, scallops, green beans, spinach, blueberrys, free range chicken.]
Massage: $80 a week x 12 (for 40-50km distances, last months marches) $960.00
[Sports massage focusing on recovery for leg muscles after 9-11 hours of walking ]
Budget $1,570

~Sports Massage~

This is a very important thing to go in for every time you march 20-30 miles. I noticed it is less important with distances 15 miles and under. If you do not get these massages...over a course of 3-4 long hikes...you will experience greatly shortened and stiffened muscles that are loaded with toxins. Massage breaks everything up and allows better healing.
I could not afford it for a while and noticed a dramatic difference when I did and did not get one. Fatigue, aching and stiffness were greatly increased after 6 marathon distances with no sports massage.

~Foot, Ankle, Knee, Hip problems to solve~

Solve these problems as they can prevent you from finishing the event:
Athletes foot
Plantar warts
Bursitis
Ingrown Nails
Sprained ankle
Heel spurs
Anything weakened by dislocation
Stiff sore muscles
Uneven size legs, by favoring one side, leaning for years -(I had this) Took 8 months to solve.

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