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Discussion Forum - Local Groups - Social Walks

Posted: Fri 29th Feb 2008, 15:32
Joined: 2006
I am surprised to read some of the comments in this section.Over 15 years ago, as new members of the LDWA, I remember my first LDWA social walk well. I was 11 years old and my dad and I spent the morning of the walk running about 1/2 mile behind the rest of the group trying to keep them in sight. It wasn't until lunch time, when we eventually caught them up and the group decided to split, (the faster ones went ahead) that it actually turned out to be a very enjoyable day. Its funny what you remember really isn't it? It's scary to think that this sort of thing still seems to be happening. Please don't be put off. I am a member of The Irregulars, High Peak and Sherwood, and you will never meet a nicer bunch of people. Dont let this put you off. I am sure that whichever group you decide to walk with will welcome you with open arms.
Author: Nicky Wood
Posted: Thu 28th Feb 2008, 23:44
Joined: 1993
Local Group: Lakeland
I know, I know, funny little brackets in my previous comment. I was experimenting and what I meant to say was.....

take care of and nurture

There, isn't that pretty!
Author: Nicky Wood
Posted: Thu 28th Feb 2008, 23:32
Joined: 1993
Local Group: Lakeland
Tamsyn it's ok really you don't have to run!! Social walks are designed to be just that - sociable. Sure they are also meant to be good and long and challenging but if the leader and other long standing members of a group are worth their salts then they will [colour = red} take care of and nurture [/colour] anyone new or a bit slower.

We were all new LDWA members once, so most of us remember that it takes a bit of getting used to and we want to encourage new members.

Sure we don't want the stronger members of the group to feel they are hanging around but there is usually a middle ground to be found. Up here we have a handy trick - anyone looking too fit gets sent up an extra hill - that soon settles em down!

Come and see us sometime, I promise a warm welcome. Come on local groups, give this lady the encouragement she needs.
Author: Eileen Greenwood
Posted: Wed 27th Feb 2008, 18:40
Joined: 2002
Local Group: Yorkshire Coast
Yes it is difficult to find an average speed for social walks. But sometimes it is nice to be flexible as it all depends on who is in the group and what the terrain and conditions are. But regular walk leaders usually know their group and area and hence speed. But as i said before it is good to be flexible if someone new turns up. And also in the summer on a gorgeous day it is great to stop for a longer picnic by some beauty spot and admire the view and munch the sarnies! And it is nice to be able to take some photos without being hurried along! What is the rush on lovely days like these? If you are out for a walk on a long distance like 20+ miles then you can expect to be out all day and best not to plan too much for the evening! As an irregular walk leader i aim for 3 miles/hour then add on an hour for stops. it is a good speed and there is time to stop to watch the steam trains/views etc. Just relax and enjoy the day and views is my motto! Go as fast as you like on the challenges then!
Posted: Thu 15th Feb 2007, 16:27
Thanks John, I'll do that. It would be nice to walk in company sometimes if we can keep to the pace of the group
Author: John Knight
Posted: Wed 14th Feb 2007, 12:51
Joined: 1999
Local Group: Anytime Anywhere
Tamsyn: don't be discouraged by some of the comments that have been made here. If you can average anywhere near 3mph, you'll have no problem on most social walks. If you fancy any walk advertised by your own, or any other, local group, just phone the leader in advance and ask their advice on pace, level of difficulty etc. You'll be made very welcome.

Posted: Tue 13th Feb 2007, 16:18
Oh dear. I don't think we'll be joining any social walks for a while. Whilst I agree that 2.2 mph is too slow, we currently walk about 18 minute miles on fairly flat courses, so with breaks or cross-country would rarely average faster than 3mph. I guess we'll stick to shorter challenges for now then.
Author: Steve Jelfs
Posted: Tue 2nd Aug 2005, 22:09
Joined: 1998
Local Group: Heart of England
we have some one at the back who knows the route and has a walkie talkie with them so any slow walkers can stop at the back at the pace they wan;t to go at .we also leave a car at a spot we think people might want to drop out at .on my last walk (very hot day )we started with nine and ended up with four .so i think it's up to the leader on the day to think as the day goes on .
Author: Merrian Lancaster
Posted: Tue 7th Jun 2005, 17:56
Joined: 1996
Local Group: Beds, Bucks and Northants
If you start Norman's 22 mile walk at 9:00 and use the 2.2mph pace that Carole's had on walks then even my maths says it'll be a long day. I don't think it's a big problem tho', just something interesting to discuss.
Author: Norman C Corrin
Posted: Tue 7th Jun 2005, 17:19
Joined: 1981
Local Group: Beds, Bucks and Northants
Surely the idea of social walks is to socialise. If you want to go out and break a record then do a challenge walk. Most of our group's social walks are 18-22 miles which I think is far enough.

How many prospective new members have been lost by walk leaders treating a social as training for the next big event? I always tell people who come out on social walks for the first time with us that the aim is to enjoy it and that we want you to come back again having enjoyed your day with us.

Finishing between 1630 and 1700 is time enough.
Author: Julie Welch
Posted: Wed 1st Jun 2005, 18:07
Joined: 1996
Local Group: London
Would it be a good idea to specify in Strider what pace a walk is going to be? i.e. fast/moderate/slow. Some groups do that already - others don't.
Another possibility might be to have a group rota, changing at the start of each month, whereby one member is asked to look after slow walkers/beginners. Most people get faster once they've done a handful of walks, but they don't come back to do those walks if they feel left behind/humiliated/not up to it.
Author: Chris Chorley
Posted: Tue 24th May 2005, 20:11
Joined: 1982
Local Group: Norfolk & Suffolk
Well, the slower ones seem to pick the longer walks out of the calendar. So it's quite easy to say 'try a shorter one next time' when they are tired at the end. Of course, shorter doesn't always mean slower. Most newcomers who come back for more are already just about there on fitness/speed anyway. I'd say about 20% of the slow ones (ie 3 mph or less) get fitter and come back. Maybe. We have done walks advertised as slower/shorter a couple of times but they attract existing members who like that kind of walk instead of potential new members (who pick things like 40 mile linears !)
Author: Merrian Lancaster
Posted: Tue 24th May 2005, 18:48
Joined: 1996
Local Group: Beds, Bucks and Northants
Author: Chris Chorley
Posted: Tue 24th May 2005, 18:32
Joined: 1982
Local Group: Norfolk & Suffolk
Our social walk speed (Norfolk and Suffolk) is about 3.3 mph. That is in fairly flat countryside, but crossing a ploughed field will slow walkers as much as a Pennine hill (our field are not small - prarie farmers...). That said, we occasionally have fast leaders (say 3.6 mph) and slow leaders (3 mph). In all cases I'm calculating the speed from walking time, subtracting morning, lunch and afternoon breaks, which total about an hour in a 20 mile walk. Most people are happy with our speed, but sometimes we get newcomers who don't realise how far/fast it is. In those cases, if we (Bobbie, Parsley and I) are on the walk, guess who finishes the walk an hour or two after the rest ? We walk with the slowest two or three, and that way the main walk goes at the normal speed. Last time this happened Bobbie ended up carrying a dog for a few miles; it wasn't used to the distance and was recently ex-rescue and thin. One other time I walked at the back of our Poppyline Fifty marshals' walk with a slow walker, who finally caught a train at 25 miles. When I say 'the back', the rest were about 3 miles ahead. So we cater for slower-than-average walkers by splitting the walk. It has always been an LDWA problem and always will be !
Author: Carole Elizabeth Engel
Posted: Tue 24th May 2005, 10:38
Joined: 1998
Local Group: Calderdale
Being on the receiving end of two VERY slow walks recently (2.2mph), all I can say is, its a nightmare. Sadly they were both on my own group's walks (Calderdale), where I try, whenever possible, to support my friends/leaders. I am now filled with dread should this happen again and especially so on my own walk in August. I feel that an acceptable overall pace (that includes stops!) for a social walk is 3mph and would expect to finish most walks (which should be no LESS than 20 miles in length) between 4.30 and 5.30pm - some of us have a social life as well. That said, I would hope and expect Kinder Dozen (23/7) to be significantly slower, having 10,000' ascent and being 50% off path - I have no plans for that evening!
Author: Merrian Lancaster
Posted: Tue 24th May 2005, 9:04
Joined: 1996
Local Group: Beds, Bucks and Northants

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