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I'm signed up for a 26 mile sponsored walk in September 2012. I enjoy walking but don't have experience of walking for longer distances.

I am planning on taking progressively longer walks. Is there any other training that I can do in a gym or at home which helps to build stamina for longer walking distances?

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Why would you not train solely by walking? If you're able to do additional training next to walking, you probably are able to walk as well. Besides, its better not to hasten too much, if you can't walk more, you probably need the rest –  Ivo Flipse Feb 17 '12 at 12:35
    
I'm interested in any training exercises which build stamina faster than the equivalent time spent walking. Walking for long distances takes a long time which I don't always have during the weekdays. –  stark Feb 17 '12 at 14:49
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Nothing is going to prepare you for being on your feet for long periods of time like being on your feet for long periods of time!!

I know that might sound like something out of a National Lampoon movie, but it's true. There are many things that can improve your strength, flexibility, endurance, cardiovascular health, etc, but if you are going to be walking, I'd start walking.

Also, you could spend some time swimming or biking, or doing various leg exercises.

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That's pretty much what I thought - no short cuts! –  stark Feb 20 '12 at 10:04
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In training for marathon walks (I have done 2 on purpose, and several others inadvertently) I did 32K walks in preparation.

It can get a smidgen boring, so I suggest bringing a friend to keep you company and chat. If they are not interested in a 30K walk, perhaps ask three friends, in 10K chunks to join you.

I walked a 5:09 marathon as a race and as slow as a 9:24 in 2011 NYC, guiding a disabled athlete. (Alas my other marathons still include far too much walking).

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IMHO - You can cheat some, but not too much. You'll have to put in lots of time. Everyone I've talked to who has done marathons (walking or running) says they wish they did more distance, because their legs gave out. Doing lots of reps of low weight leg lifts can help with the endurance, but not replace the long walks entirely. Don't forget your hamstrings and calves - lots of people go crazy on squats, but the hamstrings and calves are vital for walking too.

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Thanks for the specifics on the leg exercises! –  stark Feb 20 '12 at 10:04
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