Everyone says how much more difficult it is to walk distances with the pack. Some X-Alps athletes have said that they hadn't trained with the pack on enough, and suffered during the race as a result. I was planning to start training with my pack starting in March, but today also seemed like a good day to take my paragliding gear for a stroll. So I walked this 22 km course in 3h:40, or at 6 km/h average speed - the same speed as I have been walking without the pack, more or less. The course is mostly on paved roads but also included hills, forestry roads, and even some trail. Yet, the hike did not seem any more difficult at all than hiking without the pack. Maybe the bottoms of my feet felt it a bit more than usual, that's about it!
Perhaps my training so far has toughened up my legs. It's a good sign, I hope, letting me know I am doing the right kind of training. In any case, I'll be doing a lot more walking with the pack from now on. Now, if I could only find a good pair of shoes! In spite of purchasing several pairs of hi-tech trail-running sneakers, these are the only shoes I can walk in without some serious blistering occurring. They are about 4 years old and have just about had it!