Top Ten Tips for Rory’s Miles 2 Mayo

Top Ten Tips for Rory’s Miles 2 Mayo

As rugby legend Rory Best takes on the Rory’s Miles 2 Mayo 330km endurance challenge across Ireland, our friends at Kingsbridge Private Hospital, who are one of our biggest supporters, have given us a few tips to keep everyone participating in good health.

The walk commenced on Tuesday 16th May from the Aviva Stadium in Dublin and will finish at the new Daisy Lodge site in Cong Co. Mayo on the 25th May. Over 10 days the trek will raise money to support children and young people impacted by cancer.

Dr Roger Brown, is one of the private GP’s at Kingsbridge and is a huge advocate of getting fresh air and walking daily.  He and his colleagues at Kingsbridge want to share top health tips for a safe trip for Rory and any special guests and supporters that may join him on the route.

  1. KEEPING HYDRATED This is a particularly important thing for us all to do on a daily basis. However, it is even more important when exercising and breathing harder or panting with effort, and as Rory will be exercising constantly for hours on end, he will need to keep up drinking fluids for the whole journey. We all should be taking in fluids appropriate to our body weight. If you work out your weight in pounds, then divide by two this will tell you how many ounces of water you should require in a day. There are roughly 8-10 ounces of water in an average glass. (Remember that other fluids do count towards this total, but at least half of your intake should really be water).
  2. EATING PROPERLY Essential if walking on average 30km a day. We need calories for our normal activities, even brain activities. So, sitting thinking about a problem at work will be burning calories!  Numerous studies have attempted to work out how many calories we need to walk for a certain period and on average it is 340 calories per hour for a 70 kg male. If you have built up muscle through training in professional sport, you will burn more. If Rory is walking 30km on most days this will take a minimum of 6 hours and he will burn at least 2000-3000 calories alone, not counting what he needs for normal metabolism.  He will need to take on board extra calories to fuel the engine and get him from one destination point to the next. Fast burn calories from carbohydrates will be an important additional extra for him e.g., Pasta, rice, potatoes, bread.
  3. BE PREPARED FOR THE WEATHER In Ireland we can get all sorts of weather and often on the same day!  Cold, windy, wet weather can soon be replaced by fine, hot, sunny weather an hour later. This will mean that Rory and his team will need to keep an eye on what the weather forecast is predicting. Someone with his fitness will not struggle in either extreme in Ireland as we have a moderate climate and in May it is not likely to be so cold or so hot that it will trouble him. He will need to be prepared for all eventualities. Insulation and waterproof clothing if it is cold and wet, and cool loose reflective clothing for hotter dry days.
  4. UV RAYS EVEN ON OVERCAST DAYS If you are out walking like Rory all day and are totally exposed to light radiation then you need to take care of exposed skin, including your scalp, head, ears, nose and face.  It would be recommended that you wear a head covering or cap and apply SPF factor 50 sunscreen to those areas not covered.
  5. WALKING THROUGH THE COUNTRYSIDE Rory will be walking through a lot of rural areas – in the countryside there are a few other things to be aware of. The roads often do not have footpaths and road surfaces may be a little uneven. Being traffic aware is also important. You may also encounter cows being herded from one place to the next.  Thankfully, Rory has a farming background so is well aware of all of these and other potential hazards of rural life.
  6. INSECT AWARE There could be insects like midges in bogland areas, and in May he could also encounter wasps as it is late April and May that the Queens start looking for their base. Clegs( horse flies) are later in the season so hopefully there will be none of these to worry about. It might still be a clever idea to have some insect repellent just in case.
  7. HAY FEVER SEASON This is certainly a time when hay fever starts to become a problem, especially for those who suffer from it the most.  Spring grasses and blooms produce different pollens and therefore different allergies to the pollens produced by trees in the summer and the spores produced by the Autumnal trees and plants losing their foliage. Hay fever is not only a seasonal thing but several “seasons” producing different allergens in one season! If Rory or anyone walking has allergies, we would advise an antihistamine that can be taken daily. There are different types, and many of the newer ones do not have side effects of drowsiness which might affect his performance. Hopefully, a gentle breeze which is often present in Ireland might mitigate against some of the symptoms!
  8. FEET FIRST Good footwear is essential when walking these distances. Without the proper footwear and support for the feet, walkers could not only develop foot, but ankle, knee, hip, back or neck problems all because they do not have the correct footwear. Rory and his team will be putting their bodies under a fair bit of stress and pressure during this marathon walk, so wearing the correct footwear will certainly prevent a few problems or injuries that could stop them achieving their goal.
  9. SLEEP IS ESSENTIAL Adequate sleep is essential in preparation for this type of Marathon. The body needs sleep. Less as we get older, but most people require between 6 and 8 hours of quality sleep every night to be able to function properly. Let us hope that the fresh air and exercise will help him sleep well.
  10. MENTAL HEALTH You have to be ready for a challenge such as this as every day will be both physically and mentally challenging. The good news is that this sort of outdoor exercise will benefit most of us in our mental health…Rory’s challenge will be the distances that he is planning to cover every day and we all wish him and the team the very best. 

Thanks so much to the team at Kingsbridge for this fantastic advice which will help Rory go the distance for children and young people impacted by cancer.