The 4 Day Nijmegen March and how to accomplish it.

~Preparation~

If you are serious about doing the Nijmegen March, you'll need to start gathering equipment, I have a list of gear on this page...refined over a period of 9 months. Do not go cheap as poor quality footwear will injur you after you walk as many as 1,000 miles.

Begin training slowly, learn to read and understand your body. It will not matter in 2-3 hours of walking, which are easy. Where you need to read the signs or "warning lights" in your body are after 10-11 hours of walking on concrete.

Proper conditioning and foot care weekly will insure a good injury management.

Paperwork: filling out all the forms accurately and paying all the fees for the event promptly.
Don't wait at all...no later than February 1st of that years march.

Anything missed below can spell trouble, lay it all out, papers, gear and insure you have it. You're basically acheiving a military event in a foriegn country.

Checklist:
( ) Adequate sleep
( ) Adequate down time to heal 5-6 days (I trained 1-2 times a week, 20-30 miles each)
( ) Massage appointment after 20-30 mile distances to break up toxins and shortened muscles.
( ) Great diet, fish, chicken, brown rice, greens, fruit...
     no junk food of any excess (cookies, etc)...small amounts.
( ) All gear on the gear page, well maintained and cleaned.
( ) Keeping the training schedule, all 21 weeks of it.

Gear packing list & costs:
$250 Quality shoes, (ie New balence 1063 running shoes - 2 pair) 
$240 Drymax socks (16) pair, best drying socks there are.
$110 Moisture wicking sets of shirts and shorts (2) [Shorts $25 + Shirts $25 x 2)
$68 Quality sunglasses with uva/uvb blocking, prevents sun headache. (2) back-up pair.
$65 Energy bars for the trail, 30+ grams protien. (16)
$65 Kineseo Protective medical grade tape (blue) (5) rolls.
$50 Living Multi organic vitamins.
$45 Quality sandals, lots of use...daily after each practice & the event days.
$48 Web gear waist belt to hold all gear.
$40 Gu packs instant energy gels
$32 Insoles, foam (2) pair.
$29 Small & light folding travel chair.
$28 Underwear, sport boxer shorts, non chafing fabric.(4) 
$28 Gore tex sun hat, breathable, light.
$25 Headlight, night walking (starts 4am)
$24 Back pack to travel there $3 Foot pans (2)
$23 Asics athlete foot powder, (2)
$22 Bio-relief muscle pain relief lotion
$18 Engo guards, anti blister (white ovals on insoles) anti friction patches.(1 box)
$11 Stainless steel 20 ounce canteen
$11 Tiger balm for muscle ache cream
$10 Folding umbrella.
$10 Epsom salts (2) bags.
$10 Clear poncho, (so you can stay dry and see when you put it on.)
$9 Coppertone sports sun block, anti-sweat spray, spf 30. 
$9 Poncho.
$9 Medical flexible edge tape, (in dispenser)
$8 Alcohol wipes, (packets)
$8 Blister treatment patches, Dr Scholls. 
$7 Neosporin anti-septic.
$7 Tincture of Benzoine (tape adhesive) 
$7 'Body glide' anti-chafe.
$6 Sports shield roll on anti-chafe.
$6 'Sports slick' anti-chafing tube. 
$6 Motrin or Advil, or any Ibuprofin. (200mg over the counter)  
$6 Nuun electolite replacement tablets.
$5 New skin liquid, blister sealer. 
$4 Travel wet naps, moist hand wipes.
$3 Gum, to chew prevent dry mouth.   
Total: $1,340.00

All the specialized products are available at runner shops.
*Your average department store cannot provide you with the information you need to accomplish a multi-day ultra event.

*This is my list and you may need possibly - more or less, based on your personal needs.

Clothing & baggage: (other than what you need on your feet.)
Make it easy on yourself...1 carry on backpack only.
(  ) Backpack
(  ) Shorts
(  ) T-shirts
(  ) Flip flops for trip home
*choose your own but pack as lightly as possible, not much room in 1 bag.

*you'll want to pack light and try to fit it all in one backpack that fits in the carry on bins...saves and risk of bag loss or wrong destination. (a thing that could ruin the event)

Organized tour& travel/logistics:
(  ) Completed Training schedule, no down time unless it's just 1 week.
(  ) Gear in good shape and packed organized, know where it all is.
(  ) Parking for 1 week at the airport.
(  ) Plane ticket, flight, best if non-stop (Last year I had 6 flights!)
(  ) Train tickets
(  ) Bus tickets
(  ) Local housing to march, arranged by the organization. (4 Days bed.)
(  ) Marcher Number/ 4 Days Registration Number.

(  )
Be at Wedron on time to register.

( ) European outlet adaptor for your lap-top and camera/phone recharger.

Clothes/Bathroom supplys other than marching all must fit in your 1 carry on bag to simplify things.

~Things to watch out for~

Here is a list of things to avoid, which can cost you 6 months of very dedicated hard work and the completion of the event:
1) Not having a valid passport.
2) Getting sick before travel, take care of yourself as best as possible.
3) Stumbling, tripping, rough sports...injuries in general that will force withdrawl.
4) Not having enough money; you'll need it to eat and get around in a foriegn country.
5) "Toughing out training" ignoring your pain. You don't need bursitis or new blisters before leaving.
6) Sleeping in: missing your plane or starting time on marching day.
7) Bringing your Swiss Army Knife on the plane. Mail it ahead of you to your host family.
8) Skipping sun spray...you can't feel sunburn till it's too late.
9) Not re-filling your canteen often. Some stretches have no re-fill point for 6-8 miles.
10) Not eating enough good food. With 30 mile days, 'bonking out' can happen, cramps.
11) Skipping weeks of training, allowing your feet to get "soft" again. (happens fast)
12) Uneven and poorly maintained staircases, causing you to trip or bend back your toe.
13) Drinking alcohol during the event, leads to cramping.
14) Outpacing yourself trying to go too fast...it is not a race or competition...
      the first and last person both get the same award.

~Weekly habits to prepare for the 4 Day~

1) 3 regular good quality meals a day including all the food groups.
2) Pre-cutting foot tape the night before the march. (if you need it, some don't)
3) Cleaning and checking all your gear the night before, laid out and ready to go before bed.
4) Watching your pace and keeping it even, you must last 9-11 hours a day at the rate you walk.(30 mi)
5) Regular sock changes, even if you don't think you need it, blisters sneak up. (every 1-2 hours)
6) Regular water drinking , dehydration causes blisters and can bring on heat illness.
7) Proper foot first aid methods to prevent infection. Care for blisters immediately. No "toughing it."
8) Epsom salt foot soaks right after marching to harden feet.
9) Sports Massage the same or next day to break up toxins and heal shortend stiff muscles.
10) A few days off to recover between training and train at least every week. 

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williamjh2008@aol.com