Event weekend is from Friday 20 September to Sunday 22 September 2019. That may sound like the distant future, but we have to stress that you must train for Trailwalker. You need to prepare yourself both physically and mentally for this huge challenge. Whether you are a seasoned walker or a first-timer, the advice you will receive from all past participants is to ‘train, train, train!’

The Training Plan and Compulsory Kit List will be available for download from December.

Taking on the...

...hills

The South Downs Way is hilly and you'll be climbing the equivalent of Ben Nevis and Snowdon combined over the 100km. There’s lots to consider, layers, hydration, walking poles…

...course

The route will be signposted but don't rely on signs alone. You'll receive a Map & Event Guide with directions, but you’ll also need Ordnance Survey Landranger Maps 197 and 198. We can’t guarantee you won’t veer off track, especially when you’re tired. Make sure you learn how to use a compass and can orientate yourself using your map.

...night

This is a non-stop 100km, so you will be walking in the dark for part of the challenge. This requires vigilance on the part of all team members to reduce the risk of injury. Plan one or two team night walks. Do not walk alone and use a route you have done before.

...blisters

Blisters are the number one reason participants don’t finish Trailwalker. Wear in your shoes: whether it's boots or trainers, make sure you use these when training. Use more than one pair to avoid the build up of pressure points, this is also handy if your feet get wet. Remember to regularly change your sweaty, damp socks for clean ones. This helps reduce friction. More

...weather

Over event weekend and throughout your training you must be prepared for all kinds of weather conditions, and for the weather to change quickly! Ensure you have waterproof trousers as well as a waterproof jacket. Think about whether your shoes are waterproof. More

  1. Recommended retail partner

    Cotswold Outdoor

    Cotswold Outdoor is proud to be our official recommended retailer. Participants and support crew can enjoy 15% off* clothing and equipment as well as free in-store boot and rucksack fittings to help the kilometres pass by as efficiently and as comfortably as possible. Stores nationwide. Get your kit at cotswoldoutdoor.com

    *Terms and conditions apply.

Top tips from past teams

  1. Jonny Randall

    Team: Walking Warriors

    • Look after your feet: Good shoes and plenty of socks – I’d say at least 3 or 4 pairs but the more the better and talcum powder on your feet to keep them as fresh and dry as possible every few checkpoints.
    • Your support crew will be the most important people in your lives: Make sure you plan the event together, work out what you want and need from them, let them know when you are ten minutes from a checkpoint so they can prep everything and let them be strict with you – plan your times and let them tell you to get going, when your body and your mind wants to resist. They will make the difference.

  2. Matt Frost

    Team: Intentionally Left Blank

    • Train together at least once, get to know each other’s weaknesses and what pace is going to work.
    • A good support crew makes all the difference on Trailwalker. Rely on their judgement and help as the miles ramps up. If you want to keep the training one.
    • Train on the route so you know what kind of terrain and hills to expect. You don't need extra surprises on the day!

  3. Wesley Meredith

    Team: 20 Field Squadron Team Bravo

    The very first time I took part in Trailwalker I was able to do a leg or two each Wednesday in the build up to the event. This was perfect prep as we were all able to get a feel for the course before taking part. This time around I wasn’t so fortunate but the team tried to get together and run 10-15 miles once a week but train as individuals the rest of the week. I found a good way to prepare the mind was to get on a x-trainer and zone out for a couple of hours. But no training will ever fully prepare you for the event itself. The thing that got me through it was personal pride. I knew I couldn’t let down my donors by failing to complete the course. My advice for the day is to smile and eat plenty.

    Enjoy the views and egg each other on. Each one of us overcame a wobble at different stages but the camaraderie got us through. If you’re in pain let your team know but don’t bring them down with you as they’ll be fighting their own battles too.