Most people who know me know I am a walker. With very few exceptions I walk a lot. Over 10,000 steps everyday. And I enjoy the art of walking. I enjoy listening to podcasts (the Dan LeBatard Show is a favorite) and I also listen to a lot of music. But outside of not breaking my steps per day streak I have been having a hard time setting goals. We all know that a good goal can be motivating and fun. As a former runner I definitely understand that. Training for a half-marathon was the goal and I did that three times. Then I got hurt and running became less appealing. So back to this goal.
The idea came up when a friend on social media posted this story from the fitbit blog:
It seems the Mt. Everest of walking feats (pun intended) is to walk 100,000 steps in a day. For most of us that is about 45-50 miles in a day. Fairly daunting. But I was immediately drawn to it. Seems like a great goal and something to work my walking up to. To date the most I have walked in a day was on May 29th when I walked 42,742 steps during a trip around New York. That day I completed 20.74 miles and burned 2,596 calories. And I can attest I was smoked at the end of the day. My legs burned and my thighs were a bit chaffed. I know that if I want to make this work I will need to train and I need a target date.
My target date is Saturday, November 17th. That gives me 14 weeks to work up to that length by making Saturday my long walk day. Like long distance runners I am going to wake up early on Saturdays and take a nice, long walk. While I am already a 10,000 steps a day walker I am going to start with a 10,000 steps in a single walk, walk. Each week I will add 5,000 steps in the morning until I reach a training topline of 70,000 steps on Saturday, November 10th. That gives me what ultra-walkers call the “leap” where I suddenly take a day and go for it.
Why Am I Doing This?
I know for some there will be a question of sanity and my only response is; because it seems like fun! I know fun can be relative but I do find comfort in this idea of long distance endurance. I have been advised by my back doctor to limit long distance running but he has signed off on long distance walking. He even feels it can really work to strengthen my back long term. Also, I find peace in the solitude of walking. I think it is the yoga of cardiovascular activity.
As for updates, I will be listing them on Twitter as I accomplish my goals. You can follow me @mprest13 and after each walk I will post some thoughts and feelings about the walk. So until then – keep on walking.