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* For those plan to walk from San Ramon or further away: If you aren't already practice of walking for two hours (~6 miles) or more at a time, you will need to practice for 4 to 6 weeks ahead of time. Plan to walk additional 45 minutes (3 miles) for every week. Increase time till you reach desired mileage of walking. Normal walkers will cover 20 miles in 5 to 6 hours time.
* Dress comfortably like you do for hiking, dress up in layers as the temperature various during the day. In the past we had intermittent rains. Please be prepared with ponchos.
* Backpack any essentials and refillable water bottle.
* Look behind and to both sides before changing course.
* Eat smaller meals.
* Smear your feet with Vaseline, Neutrogena foot cream or GLIDE before you walk. You will be amazed how much difference it makes.
* Do not have a pedicure before the walk; you want to ensure your feet are as ‘toughened’ as possible.
* Clip your toenails short. Lots of long-distance walkers lose toenails if they are too long.
* Along the way, stretch and move muscles that you don’t normally move as you walk. For example, when you are stopped at a light, roll your shoulders a few times forward and backwards. Also, in a standing position hug each knee to you chest to stretch your behind.
* While walking be sure to hydrate at least every 10 minutes. DO NOT LET YOURSELF GET THIRSTY. If you do, it is too late.
* Never finish your walk without a cool-down. The extra few minutes of stretching are really worth it. They will help avoid future injuries.
Keywords: Thaipoosam or Thaipusam or Thaipusa Walk, pathyathirai, padayatra from San Ramon Central park