Every Monday will be dedicated to a theme for a period of a month. This month’s theme will be related to a step challenge that I partook in March. This will also allow me to open up a bit about walking and my love-hate relationship towards it as a runner. Enjoy!
In my place of work, there was a company-wide step challenge in March. Now walking and counting my steps are my bread and butter, so I thought I had a pretty decent shot at winning the challenge. I had missed out on last years challenge as I had joined just as the challenge finished, so I waited, patiently, for my chance to shine in the bright lights of walking glory.
The eve of the event my little pedometer arrived and all the joy and excitement I had for the challenge quickly evaporated as when I tried to make the pedometer work… It wouldn’t, faulty! I was devastated but quite relieved as the pedometer in question was one of the older versions (think something like a pager) so having to rely on my trusty (if slightly broken) Samsung S7 to track everything was my only option as I was not overly keen on taking another broken pedometer.
Before the challenge, I had set myself the aim of walking 20,000 steps a day. With my running, I was almost always crossing the 10,000 mark early in the day and so I thought I would try and push onto a tougher target. So when working out what I needed to do to win the challenge I figured a little bit more than my targetted 140,000 a week would be possible. I had a few races lined up throughout the month so I knew that large step days were on my horizon.
With me, I need to start things strongly, to help my motivation for the long haul, this is usually a bad thing for my running, but it is something I am trying to resolve! I love figures and statistics so I knew I had to break things down to the simplest form. I decided upon a daily target of around 25,000 steps a day should be enough to win me the challenge.
7000 steps were how many it took for me to walk to work, which is a little under an hour for me as there are what feels like billions of traffic lights, stopping me. Right away that is a great chunk, if the weather is kind then that would be another 7000 steps knocked off my target, so already, thanks to just work I would have 14,000 steps done and dusted, but where was I going to find the other 11,000? In my place of work, the role is quite sedentary, so I knew I would at most get just 2000 steps done in and around work. So the other 9000 steps would be taken up from going to the gym and exercise from that (hello stepper) and also from running (you will sadly know that I love all things running related). To top this off I would go to the shops once a day and that might take up a cheeky 1000 steps to help cross that line.
I finished the first day with a total of 34,750 steps!! This was mainly due to a long run that I had which crossed me over the line easily. A pretty good start I thought! On my next day, I knew I had to get to 25k as I had a long 10-hour shift and I might lose some steps. The total week will be good fun and I will provide you with an update on how it went next week!
Now to chat a little bit about my love-hate relationship with walking. This week I will mention a few of the Love’s.
The views – There is nothing more than I like that walking around and looking at my surroundings. One of my favourite things is walking home from work at night or from a midnight workout. The lights and calmness of the evening are quite soothing.
The health aspect – Walking is good for you, no doubt about it and knowing that walking instead of getting the bus is doing benefit to me is brilliant. My legs getting that little bit of a stretch before a potentially long day sitting down is great and walking home to restretch those legs before bed is always welcome.
Cost saving – Saving those few pennies from not having to get the bus or a taxi home really adds up throughout the week. For example, If I got a day or return ticket every day to work it would cost me around £20 a week. But sometimes I work until late and the buses are over for the day. So a taxi home might be required and from my work that would cost around £7. So already a day’s travel is almost potentially costing me £10 A DAY! By walking home at night I am eliminating that right out of the gate and that is great for the cheapskate that I am!
Challenges – As you have read, I love a good challenge, but with walking, I break it down even more. The runner in me see’s everyone else walking and almost few it as a race. Try and get past that person before a certain point lad, I would say to myself. I am a weirdo I know! Speed walking, burning more calories. Good stuff!
Music appreciation – With all that walking, I am not going to happily listen to the cars going by me for over 3 hours a day. So it is the perfect time to throw on some music and enjoy the walk even more! This calms me a lot and yes I do periodically sing away when a great song comes on my phone or iPod. Sorry to all those in my close surroundings who hear that! Next week I will talk about some of the bands I listen to on my walk. Though that may become a seperate post on its own as it might get lengthy!
What are the things that you like about walking? Have you started any challenges lately? Most importantly, what is your favourite song or band to listen to when you are out walking. I am happy to take suggestions for the next walk!