The Overnight is your walk- it’s your opportunity to join the amazing community of people who are dedicated to taking the steps to make a difference. We want to make sure that you can safely and comfortably finish the walk, remain injury-free and have the best possible Overnight experience. Anyone can complete the 18 mile route by creating a training plan and sticking with it. Regardless of your current physical condition, it is important to prepare your body and your mind for the challenges you will face during the Overnight Walk. Below are the four fundamentals for following a successful Overnight training routine as you WALK to save lives:
Dividing your overall training schedule into a series of small, manageable goals will enable you to reach your overall goal with ease. Create a monthly, weekly or even a daily schedule for yourself culminating with the Overnight Walk. You CAN make time to train, and we have a Training Program available that will help you develop a plan that works for your lifestyle. Begin by evaluating your current condition: how far can you comfortably walk right now, without pushing yourself? Make this the goal for your first walk and START TODAY. Those first few steps are always the hardest, but once you begin, every step will become easier than the last. Increase your distance and time commitment slightly with each passing week. We also recommend that you consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise program.
Take the steps to care for yourself so you will be fully equipped for the journey ahead. Eating nutritious food and drinking plenty of water is important to maintaining good health on long distance walks. Don’t set out on an empty stomach, and always carry a snack or two. Hydration is essential, and as your walks get longer you should be drinking sports drinks in addition to water. The best thing you can do to help your body move and remain injury-free is to give your muscles a generous stretch before, during and after a walk. It is also essential to invest in a good pair of running or walking shoes and to wear comfortable clothing that doesn’t bind or chafe. Always dress in layers to prepare for unexpected changes in the weather.
Beginning a new training regiment is uplifting, and this sense of empowerment is accompanied by a personal responsibility to stay safe. Never walk alone in isolated areas and always let someone know where you’re going and when you expect to be back. Be alert to traffic created by cars, bicyclists and other pedestrians, and carry identification, a small amount of cash and a cell phone. You don’t always have to walk alone- join a training walk. Our volunteer-led training walks are scheduled throughout the season in many different areas for various fitness levels. It is motivating and inspiring to get in shape with other members of the Overnight community as you work together for the same cause. You don’t need previous experience to lead a training walk, so if you are interested in scheduling a training walk in your area, check out the Training Walks page.
The Overnight is not only defined by the strength of our community, but also by the path of dedication you must walk in preparation for this remarkable night. Training and fundraising are the two key aspects that will determine the quality of your Overnight experience, and it is essential that you stay focused on your continuous accomplishments. For example, if you are behind on your fundraising goal, congratulate yourself for staying on task with your training. Or if you are feeling too tired to train one week, send out a new batch of fundraising emails. You can also combine your training with your fundraising- pick a new neighborhood each week to walk through and leave flyers or Walker donation cards in the mailboxes. You can also leave flyers at your gym, or brainstorm ideas for fundraising events that involve a physical activity. A weekend ski trip, a lunch-hour yoga class or anything you do to enhance your fitness level will help you prepare for the physical challenges of the Overnight and may even provide an opportunity to spread awareness about suicide prevention.
Please read through the entire Training Tips portion of our website for extensive information on the following topics:
We all need extra support and encouragement from time to time, and your Walker Coach is only a phone call or an email away. For any questions or extra tips about training, call 888-THE-OVERNIGHT (888-843-6837) or email Coaches@TheOvernight.org