Category Archives: Nordic/Ski Walking

Two sticks, a pushchair and a rant!!!

Well, in just under a month (and I haven’t been out today…yet) I have covered over 120km training. Most of it was walking due to my back – and some of it was with Alex in his pushchair around the lake. Both of these things keep me in a comfortable stable position and are currently things I look forward to, as normal walking is still leaving me in pain and hobbling along gingerly – I hope the physiotherapy can sort that out, as this joke is wearing thin now!

I noticed on Facebook (an internet social web-group) that there are a small hand full of people who are anti-Nordic Walking (or Ski-Walking, as some people call it).So much so that they have set up and “Anti-Nordic Walking group“… Ha ha ha!!!! Yes… What are you going to do then? Block my way with “Down with that thing you do that we are too thick to understand” banners? Grow up you morons and look at yourselves.

These people see it as some Finnish fad fitness thing like a lot of these diets that come out, and haven’t looked at what it can do for them…. Mind you, they are probably mindless morons who think it is stupid because it is different… and includes having to do something other than watch football and drink beer.

It may look a bit odd to a passer by (somewhat like a hiker who is constantly one pace ahead of his walking sticks) – and that is what some of these morons have picked up on!

Hey look at the guy/girl with those sticks…. HAHAHAHA it’s funny because we know no better…. now lets point and laugh at disabled people and drink cheap lager at the elderly…

Still, what can be expected from the type of people who came from the shallow end of the gene pool?

And so the rant begins…. I guess it might have something to do with Stephen Fry, King Midas and Podgrams…and why it is often a good thing (or bad, if you happen to be the Barber of a certain Midas) to have a rant down a hole…..So this blog entry is that hole…..

So, the idiot thinking behind people who lack the intelligence to understand things that are new to them….The scary thing is, this type of thinking is mainly part of a mob culture – and as such, these low brow knuckle dragger’s just build in numbers… and as they build in numbers they become the majority… and these same idiots have the vote. These same people who have an inability to think for themselves end up being able to vote – and the politicians know they can buy these people with a few promises of what they want to hear. It’s not about what is best for the country – it is about what the politicians can say so that they get voted in again and again…. even if that leaves the UK as a lager land of Burberry wearing work shy idiots.

Yup… a bit of a rant today. I can’t do much due to my back, and on my wanders out I see these work shy Neanderthals, fags in gobs, just lolling around or annoying everyone with their tuned up plastic body kitted cars and dolled up plastic faced girlfriends….dragging around kids who’ll be lucky to not end up brain damaged from all the smoke and cheap booze that their parents force them to endure – pre and post birth.

Why does it make me mad? Well I’d rather be working – I like to earn and do my job, and doing nothing isn’t great (yes – it isn’t through my choice, but it’s still annoying)…. especially when I see that my taxes are being spent on these morons so they can claim benefits and live in houses better than the one I work hard to keep.

Happy place….happy place……

Ah… that’s better….

More data in….

I am so glad I found out about Nordic walking!!! I was going stir crazy not being able to keep up my fitness routine of interval run/walking.

As mentioned previously, my back is causing me trouble, and a lot of pain – I injured it doing something I had done many times before at work, but that doesn’t make it right: Tip – Those manual handling courses and Health and Safety regulations serve a purpose….

Anyway, I read up on the effects of Nordic walking – and the fact that some doctors and physiotherapists use this as way to help people with very serious back injuries (and other injuries) to recover.

There were all sorts of claims as to how it burns more calories – takes the load off of the back and legs – and shares it over the rest of the body – and allows you to exercise for longer as the legs don’t tire so quickly…

My previous post shows a straight 2km walk versus a 2km Nordic walk.

This post shows a full Nordic lake walk versus one of my last C25K Interval (Run/Walk) training before I injured my back. The C25K was around the lake with a 90 second run followed by 2 minute rest, repeating for the full distance.

The kcal burn pretty much speaks for itself – but what you don’t see is the fact that after the Nordic walk I felt like I could just keep going – and I felt comfortable in my back, which is great – as even normal walking around and sitting is leaving me in discomfort at the moment.

So on to those figures…. The top two tables show the data and training heart zones from the C25K interval training. You can see my heart did get into a higher (red) zone – which has certain advantages – but the best zone to be in (for me at the moment – and people exercising in general) is the orange zone. In the lower two tables you can see that for almost the whole distance I was locked into that one zone for the duration – and I didn’t do that on purpose – that’s just as it happened.



Yup…. that’s only 56 seconds outside of my optimum zone!!!!

When it comes to equipment, you need poles and good trainers (not stiff bottomed hiking boots – you need a flexable sole) the poles have special binds on for wrist support and ease of pole use – It is a glove like design that keeps the pole between your thumb and first finger. Hiking poles just have a wrist loop – and this is no good. As for shaft design: Some people say go for one piece poles due to safety, but this is rubbish! A telescopic pole from a reputable company (tested and certified) is just as safe. The choice between telescopic and fixed length should be due to what you will use the pole for – and nothing to do with safety.

For me though, on an engineering point of view I know what I am looking for in a two part telescopic pole mechanism. Lets face it – sometimes you need a pole that can be shortened to be stored or carried in a back pack. The problem is that a poorly designed telescopic pole lock mechanism and/or a mechanism that hasn’t been tightened properly can cause pole collapse – not a great thing, as you can imagine…(a problem some people have if they just don’t have a good vice like grip when tightening the lock!)

Having yourself checked out for the correct running trainers is also a very important thing to consider – just like for running and jogging. The wrong equipment can end up causing you long term future problems.

My Bad Back

After moving a heavy machine from the back of the company car I damaged my back. It doesn’t seem to be too serious, but it’s taking a while to fix. This has been driving me crazy, as sitting is painful, twisting is painful, carrying even light loads is painful…. brilliant. I’ve got pain killers which help – and the Doc’s advice is a mix of rest and gentle exercise (yay for painkillers!). Sleeping is a nightmare, as I can’t get comfortable, and if I roll in the night I end up waking up. Gah!!!!

Even worse is I can’t carry on my running programme or even shoot – I’ve already missed a shooting competition.

Luckily I stumbled on some information about Nordic Walking. This is like cross country skiing, but without the skis or snow….

It keeps the body in a more stable position whilst walking, and burns around 30% more calories than normal walking. With the new trainers that correct my foot fall and the Nordic Poles, I have found I can take a reasonable walk without causing any more back pain – which actually helps keep me active and helps with my back recovery!

Normal walking caused me discomfort – but this has almost been eliminated when I use the poles to walk. The painkillers still allowed me to feel what was happening around my lower back, but reduced the pain itself. This is how I found that the poles helped reduce the strain on my back. The main trouble now is getting up and sitting/laying back down again – but once I get up on my poles I feel a darn site better. Hmmm… that means I can either be horizontal or walking with poles… I’m having soooooo much fun at the moment.

Any way…. here’s a bit about the Nordic walking, and the advantages of it. The Doctor had said I should walk around, so I took some painkillers and set of to do 2km without the poles, and then another 2km with the poles.

This is a comparison test over the same route for 2km. The pace I set was simply a comfortable pace to walk at in both straight walking and Nordic Walking. Due to the extra push from the poles, the comfortable pace was a little higher for the Nordic Walking.

After the tests I felt more exercised from the Nordic walk, but I also felt like I could go on for further than just plain walking, due to the distribution of the effort throughout my whole body – as the poles give your arms and chest exercise whilst they help share the load on your back, knees and legs.

If you have a long hike to go on, then I’d say get some pole practice in, as it will help you sustain yourself.

Anyway…. The top chart in the following cases show:- Heart rate, speeds, kcal burn etc… The second chart shows the time my heart rate stayed in the specific training zones.
(More on the zones at the bottom of this post!)

You’ll notice that the use of poles raises the heart rate and gives almost 30% more kcal burn for the same distance as straight walking.





These zones relate to the effect the heart rate has on your body – the percentage is calculated from my maximum and resting rates – so the actual BPM that I have in these zones will be different to anyone else – BUT it is the percentage of a persons max heart rate that effects the zone range, and not the numerical BPM itself.

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