• Hard yakka on the Kokoda Track.
    Hard yakka on the Kokoda Track.
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When New Zealand's most famous mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary said: "It is not the mountains we conquer but ourselves", he knew what he was talking about. So in the spirit of Sir Ed here are ten top tips for going the distance.


1. Break down the walk into realistic and achievable goals that you can 'tick off'.
2. Create incentives to reach each of your goals and follow through with the reward when you meet them eg. food, a sit down, fresh socks etc.
3. Be pro-active with your emotions: remember that your brain is more than capable of regulating them if you give it the chance.
4. When you’re hitting 'the wall', remember this is the toughest part and it will get easier. The body has ways of dealing with it and you just need to give it time to take effect.
5. Don’t think or worry about the whole distance: your mental dialogue needs to be about moving forward, not about the next 50km, as that's too overwhelming. Worry about putting your foot down for the next step, the next 10 steps, the next corner etc.
6. Tell your mates or group leader when you're having a hard time: let them talk you through it and be ready to talk them through challenges too.
7. Keep talking yourself into finishing by appreciating how far you’ve come, not how far you have to go.
8. Prepare for the mental challenge with realistic expectations. Have little slogans ready in your mind that will help you at the lows.
9. Take advantage of the emotional high points in your walk and use them to boost morale and encourage your fellow walkers.
10. Laugh when you can! Laughing releases feel-good endorphins and can also break any tension that may have been building within your group.

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