Four Week Walking Challenge

Walking Calendar 9-11I have joined Jen and her friends on the Prevention four-week walking challenge. I’m not actually sure that they call it a challenge – but it is one to me!

Today is my third day… for the second time. I’ve been doing this a week, but I’m repeating the first few days because I’m starting this program from a pretty sedentary, unfit perspective.

Today’s workout was a five minute low intensity warmup, with 20 minutes of interval walking, and five minutes of cooldown. The interval walking helps boost the intensity and build speed – alternating repeating cycles of a couple of minutes of high intensity walking with a few minutes of moderate exertion walking (they call it ‘active rest’).

First, just dragging my chunky butt down the road at all is a notable level of exertion for me. It’ll get easier but I suspect that it won’t be quite the aggressive progression that Prevention outlines.

Second, it was 85 in the sun today on my lunch break, hotter than usual and definitely added to the exertion level.

Third, I live pretty much on the side of a fjord – a ridge of hills that wraps around Liberty Bay. There is just not much walking I can do without hitting some significant hill action! Walking rolling hills could be a form of interval training – but our hills don’t roll, they just go straight up and down – it’s a mile of steady downhill to the main road, and another half mile even steeper grade down to the waterfront and marinas. The other direction is gradual uphill, with only a block more sidewalk before the road narrows to country back road, at 45mph and no shoulders. Today I went several blocks downhill at about the halfway point – and had to climb those several blocks back up at the end of my walk. Embarrassing, I needed to stop and pant a couple of times, it was a lot of work.

I actually would like to get my bike back out and ride it as an alternate exercise, but again, those darn hills are an obstacle! They’re a lot harder to bike up than walk up. I can’t find a flat, five-mile stretch with shoulders or bike paths within about 20 miles of my home – and I’m sure not taking the bike down the big hill! I’d be calling the hub for a ride back up.

Fourth, my doggies would love to go on a walk with me but, as Jen mentioned, they are distractible and don’t help the aerobic part. Two of my three desperately want to walk with me. They pull like miniature sled dogs and don’t walk well together. If I could take just one it might work, but the other would break down the door in desperation to get out with me too. So… I’ve given up and walk without them.

All that said, I’ve been walking for a week. I’m pretty pleased at that and plan to keep it up, rain or shine, and see how it impacts my energy level, mood and weight.

Thanks for the inspiration, Jen! Anyone else want to join us?

2 Responses to “Four Week Walking Challenge”

  1. Jen / domestika Says:

    Yay!!!! I so much appreciate the company, Jeri!

    Yeah, I can’t do this fitness walking with my dogs, either – too old or too lazy or just more in the mood to stop and smell the cow patties (the dogs are, I mean, not us!!) – so looks like we ladies are on our own. (Of course, as soon as I get home, the furry guys are bugging me to go out for adventures…)

    The “intensity” measurement for the walking is one of the things I really like about this program. What’s a level 7 of effort for me would be an easy 3 for my athletic sister, but we all go at our own speed…

    Listen to what the body is saying, right?

    Right now, mine is saying… “You idiot, Jen! You did too much today! Go eat a cookie!”

  2. 4-Week Walk: Day 14 Says:

    [...] don’t know how my walking pals Jeri and Neena are feeling today, but my butt is [...]