Pacing key to healthy walking routine

The long walk is over. Three months on the road and I’ve finally found my way back home, back into the saddle and my normal routine. For those who don’t recall, I’ve made some pretty big leaps, bounds, and increased my fitness level tremendously having walked across America with the Steps Across America program. A few words to describe how I feel: refreshed, rejuvenated, exhilarated, and like a new woman. Seriously!

Before I took off, I walked three to four times a week at most and danced to pump the heart rate up but I never used a pedometer. I also wasn’t walking 20 miles a day two to three times a week. Those two things alone made for the biggest highlights along the way. Learning to mentally push myself through a long six hour walk was another. I’ve discovered the right amount of positive mental energy can get me up and going at the speed of light. This all became natural after the first few weeks, but there were other aspects that still required a certain amount of thought. Pacing was one of them.

Walking may be an easy sport to take part in, but if you’re going for distance you’ll want to make sure you pace yourself accordingly. Just like running a marathon, you don’t want to run out of gas in the first four miles. It may sound silly, but I usually spent my first five miles sort of kicking rocks, soaking in the scenery and just letting my limbs flow naturally in right, left motion. The second set of five I stepped up my game and pace by trying to hit 17 minute miles over 18 or 19 minute miles. The third set of five I stayed with the same pace as the second and the last five is where I pushed it to the max. Waiting to the very end did an enormous amount in getting me to the finish, because it was where my mental training and state started to diminish. So my very basic advice to you if going the distance: Pace yourself and think it through!

Author by Adrienne Wilson