This is Part Three in my MOVE Series: So you’re thinking about moving more intensely – are you eager and excited? If not, check out this post Should I Move More? first.
Now that you’re ready – let’s begin where you are now and go on from there.
If you’ve followed the How Do I Start to MOVE plan, then you can walk 60 minutes a day or swim 60 minutes a day or do something for 60 minutes a day. But you feel that you need to work harder or else you aren’t making the progress that you want to make. Great – increasing your level of effort, without increasing the time you put into it makes a lot of sense. And is a more efficient use of time than increasing the time that you are already spending. While that’s fine for one day a week, most days of the week I just don’t have time to spend more than an hour on exercise.
What I did instead was to begin to gradually increase my level of effort. With walking it was easy: I have a treadmill and I started to crank up the speed by 10% each week until I got to my goal. Then when I was ready, I set a new goal and worked on that for a while. I learned that I didn’t always have to be working towards a new goal. That once I got to a goal, it was actually a good idea to stick there until I was, well, bored with it. Until I WANTED to go faster or further or harder.
I’ve gone from almost no walking to walking for seven or more miles in two or three hours. I did it gradually, but just kept going. I did the same thing when I decided to run a 5k. I used the Chubby Jones podcasts for Couch to 5K and started running 30 seconds at a time, walking to recover and then running again. The first week, you only run for a total of 2-3 minutes. Eventually I was able to run MOST of the 5k I did. It was much more hilly than I’d expected, so there were a lot of sections that I ended up walking. But I finished in a respectable time of under 38 minutes and I’m happy with it.
Now that I’m training for a half marathon power walk, I have a new plan to increase my walking speed and endurance. I started with 5k/3.2 miles and will be increasing to slightly more than 13.2 miles by May. Here’s my schedule:
|Half Marathon Training Schedule|
You probably noticed that in mid-February, I am not planning to make any progress. That’s because I know that my schedule during that time will be erratic due to some personal committments. So I’m planning for that and the goal is to maintain where I am when it starts, then make some progress after it’s over.
You can create your own schedule in Excel. Just put the date for where you start (today for example: 01/15/20111) in A1 and then in the cell below, A2, put in this formula =A1+7 – that will add 7 days or one week to the starting date. Then in B1, put the measurement for where you are starting – for example 3 if you can walk 3 miles. Then in B2 put the formula =B1*1.1
This will calculate the 10% increase you want to achieve. If you are trying to increase your speed, then in C1, put your current pace. For example, 20 if I can walk a mile in 20 minutes. Then, because I want to increase my pace very slowly while I’m increasing my endurance, in C2 I’ll put in the formula =C1*1.05 to increase my pace b y 5% each week. Then all you have to do is select all three rows with formula’s A2, B2 and C2 and copy them. Then highlight rows 3 – 20 and paste. You now have a customized plan like the one above and a goal to work towards.
Then copy and paste that formula down until the result is the target you want to achieve. Don’t worry if you take longer to get to your goal. The important part is that you are exercising every day with maybe a few days a month that for whatever reason, you just couldn’t get to it.