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Get Ready to Walk

Welcome to Challenge Walk MS!

 

Challenge Walk MS is a fantastic walking adventure and a personal challenge unlike any other. We understand that walking 30-50 miles might seem daunting, but we are here to help you every step of the way. Let’s get you ready for the  journey of a lifetime!  (Remember to also check out Training & Safety Information)

What to Wear

Register. We’re here to support you from the day you register. Once you register, you will have access to information on training and fundraising as well as the support and motivation to keep you going!

Commit.  Once you register, you agree to a fundraising a minimum, meaning you’ve made a personal commitment to end MS forever. Be as committed to getting your mind and body ready for Challenge Walk as you are to our mission of creating a world free of MS.

Get the Gear. Having the right apparel and shoes for your training and during event weekend is critical. Consult with a shoe expert for proper fitting and consider bringing a second pair to Challenge Walk weekend. We recommend against trying anything new Challenge Walk weekend, be sure to give your body time to adjust to your new gear!

Slow and Steady. Follow our recommended training plans (visit Training and Safety for more info) Gradually increase your mileage and listen to your body, don’t over do it! Above all, listen to your body. If you feel tired, stop or slow down.

R.I.C.E: Rest – Ice – Compression - Elevate.  The best immediate response to an injury or sore muscle.

Fuel. Stay hydrated and maintain a nutritious diet. Drink plenty of water before, during and after your walk. Drink water or sports drink every 15 minutes. If you’re walking for more than an hour or two, bring snacks to eat along the way.

Be safe! Walking with others is safer than walking alone. Let someone know where you’re walking and when to expect you home. Bring your ID and cell phone!

Envision the Finish Line. An essential tool to completing your Challenge Walk journey is visualization. Imagine yourself crossing the finish line after working hard raising funds and training countless miles. You have successfully made a direct impact in creating a world free of MS.

Be Prepared

Essential gear for walking

One of the nice things about the activity of walking is that it does not require any fancy or expensive equipment. However, certain clothes and shoes are better suited to fitness walking than others and it is important that you use gear that is designed for this use.

5 Walking Must-Haves

  • Reusable water bottle
  • Sunscreen (for your skin and lips!)
  • Waist pack
  • Running or walking shoes that have been fit to your foot and your stride
  • Small snack or energy bar

Shoes
The average participant training for Challenge Walk MS will take nearly 100,000 steps on the event weekend alone. So it’s critical to find the right shoes. Unfortunately, most shoes sold as “walking shoes” are too stiff and heavy for more than a few miles of easy strolling (on carpet, in a mall, etc.). If you try to wear these clunky white cowhide “nursing shoes” during a long training walk you’ll end up with hot, sweaty, blistered feet. A lightweight, flexible running shoe with a relatively low heel is a much better choice for most walkers.

Look for the following characteristics when shopping for walking shoes:

  • Flexibility: Both in the forefoot and medially (side to side). Your shoes must be flexible enough to allow your feet to “roll” from heel to toe when you walk or you’ll wind up with a very “stumpy” stride and sore shins.
  • A low heel: The bigger the heel on the shoe the more your feet will slap the ground when you walk. With a low heel your feet will roll very easily along the ground.
  • A wide toe box: Make sure there’s plenty of “wiggle room” for your toes to spread out when you walk. Cramped toes will become blistered toes.
  • Fit over fashion: No matter what shoes you choose, the most important consideration is the way they fit your feet. When shopping for shoes, wear the same socks as well as any shoe inserts or orthotics you will wear in training or on walk weekend. Also, your feet will swell during the day so try on shoes late in the day, preferably after a workout when your feet are largest. Don’t be afraid to walk around the store to make sure the shoes fit in action.

Once you've found your perfect shoe, consider buying a second pair. Alternating shoes from day to day will extend their life and ensure that you’ll always have a dry pair. You may even want to try another model or brand for your second pair since different shoes will change your walking mechanics enough to work slightly different muscles.

Socks
Even with the perfect shoe, a cheap pair of socks can cause blisters. Look for thin socks made of a wicking material, and make sure they fit.

Inserts
If you have shin, knee or lower back pain when you walk you might want to consider a shoe insert. Inserts are designed to keep your feet in the proper position when you walk, and give them better support and cushioning than you’ll get from the flimsy “sock liners” that come with most shoes. A pair of arch supports that you can purchase in most stores are better than the ones that come with most shoes, but if you really want to treat your feet right spring for a pair of high-quality inserts available at specialty running and walking stores.

Workout clothes
Your walking attire should be comfortable. Some loose-fitting clothes may cause chafing. When training, test several types of exercise clothing. Some other helpful tips:

  • Dress in layers so you can remove clothing as you warm up, or put it back on if you are cold.
  • The bottom layer should be made from a lightweight, wicking fabric to pull moisture away from your skin.
  • A long-sleeved T-shirt, a lightweight wind/rain jacket on top, and comfortable running shorts and possibly tights on the bottom will prepare you for any type of weather.
  • Don’t forget sun protection! Be sure to pack a hat with a visor, sunglasses and suntan lotion.
  • If your clothes/shoes don’t have reflective materials built in, look for adhesive or clip-on reflectors for safety at night.

Finally, most walkers like to wear a “fanny pack” to carry lip balm, cell phone, keys, food, etc., and a “hydration belt” to hold water and sports drink bottles.

Thank you to our premier national sponsor

Shop Carrot-Top Industries

Thank you to our local sponsors

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