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Shape Up: Walking Plans for Every Ability

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Committed to Walking Plan

Goal: Walk a 5K

If you're already walking several times a week at a steady pace, you'll need to give your routine a nudge up to melt more fat. Power intervals (you'll walk in short bursts fast enough to make talking in full sentences difficult, and recover with periods of slower walking) will jolt your body into better shape and help prepare you to walk in your first 5K (3.1-mile) race.

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Week

X/Week

Walking Workout

1

4

Easy: 15-20 min.

2

4

Easy: 10-15 min. Brisk: 10-15 min.
Total: 20-30 min.

3

4

Easy: 15-20 min.
Power Intervals: Power: 30 sec.  Easy: 1 min. Repeat 4-6 times
Easy: 3-5 min.
Total: 24-34 min.

4

4

Easy: 10-15 min. Brisk: 15-20 min. 
Total: 25-35 min.

5

5

Easy:  35-40 min.

6

5

Easy: 10 min.  Brisk: 5-10 min.
Power Intervals: Power: 30 sec. Easy: 1 min Repeat 6-8 times
Easy: 3-5 min.
Total: 27-37 min.

7

5

Easy: 15 min. Brisk: 30 min.
Total: 45 min.

8

5

Easy: 45-50 min.

"I feel better when I walk, both physically and psychologically."

This plan is perfect for Amy Harris, 44, a teaching assistant from Manlius, New York, who walks almost every day. "I go with friends, and we cherish the time we spend together catching up on life," she says. The mom of two teen boys has never followed a walking plan or participated in an organized event and looks forward to training for her first 5K.

Gear to Get You There: Brooks Adrenaline GTS 11

Keep your feet—and shins, knees, and hips—happy by replacing your walking shoes every 300 to 500 miles (about six months). Changing them regularly will help prevent pain and injuries. This Brooks model uses a cushioning material that conforms to your foot's shape and disperses weight evenly with every step.

 
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