Category Archives: Goals

The grand exercise plan: getting to 3 miles

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I am a planner – especially when planning allows me to procrastinate.  And since I have tons of grading that I don’t feel like doing right now, what better time to map out routes for slowly building my endurance to 3 mile walks?

After posting my walking goals for the next 3 weeks, I was inspired to keeping going on RunKeeper, figuring out a number of routes that gradually increase by approximately .2 to .3 miles.  If I can manage to add that much distance every week (is that overly ambitious??? I honestly don’t know), I can get to 3.16 miles in 10 weeks, using the following plan:

Week 1, starting 9/13: 1.07 mi, no hill
Week 2, starting 9/20: 1.10 mi, moderate hill
Week 3, starting 9/27: 1.32 mi, steep hill
Week 4, starting 10/3: 1.53 mi, moderate hill
Week 5, starting 10/10: 1.78 mi, steep hill (after this, they all build off this same route with the steep hill)
Week 6, starting 10/17: 2.05 mi
Week 7, starting 10/24: 2.31 mi
Week 8, starting 10/31: 2.64 mi
Week 9, starting 11/7: 2.90 mi
Week 10, starting 11/14: 3.16 mi

My intention is to walk at least 5 days each week.  I’m hoping that’s enough to acclimate me to each distance so that I’m ready to add a bit the following week.  If not, I can always do two weeks on each route before bumping up if I find that I need to.  A formalized exercise plan like this is new to me, so I don’t know if I’m biting off more than I can chew.  However, I know that my first walk, taken just 10 days ago, was .75 mi and today I easily did 1 mi.

So I think this is reasonable, but if it’s not, all I need to do is slow the progression a bit.  The key is that I have the routes mapped, and I can move on to each new one as I’m ready.  Now here’s hoping for a mild fall and no big snowfalls that throw a wrench in my plans!

Exercise plan for the next three weeks

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Living in Colorado can be a bit challenging for a novice walker.  (A novice fitness walker, I should clarify – I imagine any terrain is challenging for a novice walker.)  Although we don’t live in the mountains or even the foothills, our neighborhood is still filled with small hills.  Or at least they seem small from the comfort of a car. 😉

I am lucky that the area immediately to the west of our house, which also happens to be the direction we need to head in for school each morning, has only a small grade but no real hills.  However, if I walk the basic route to school and home, I only hit about .85 miles.  I really want to get in a full mile, but most of the routes that get me up to that distance also include a hill.

I have managed these routes twice in the last week, but I can tell I’m not ready for them quite yet.  My thighs were so sore after Friday’s walk that I didn’t walk again the rest of the weekend.  (Although a lot of that just had to do with it being the weekend.)  I did another today that wasn’t quite as bad, but I can still tell I’m going to suffer again tomorrow.

However, at some point, I have to be able to tackle these hills.  I’ll never get a decent walk in if I don’t, unless I just repeat a small loop several times over, and that would get incredibly boring.  Plus, I know the hills are good for my overall fitness level.  So I’ve studied the maps on RunKeeper and found some routes that will help me build my endurance to the point where I can tackle the hills.

Week 1 (the rest of this week): I managed to find a single route that clocks in at 1.07 miles and has no hills, so that’s what I’ll do for now.

Week 2: A 1.1 mile route, but with a moderate hill.

Week 3 (and maybe Week 4?): A 1.32 mile route with a steeper, but shorter hill.

The good news is that the Week 3 route can easily be extended out to a main road that will allow me to add all kinds of variations to keep gradually building my distance.  My ultimate goal is to add a bit of distance every 1 to 2 weeks until I hit 3 miles!

(Edited to add: This post inspired me to keep going on my route-mapping quest to figure out a 10-week plan to achieving that goal.)