Walking for Weight Loss Training Plan
This Walking for Weight Loss Training Plan was written as a “trial” phase, it has not yet been tested to see if it works for weight loss. Several of my blog readers seemed interested in it, however, so I decided to release it now as a testing phase. (As always, please get the okay from your doctor before starting an exercise plan. I am not a doctor)
I based this plan on the 10K training plan that I used to run a personal record in 2016. During that time, I wasn’t actively trying to lose weight beyond my goal weight (my goal was 133 pounds at the time), but I pretty easily dropped down to 121 pounds as I trained.
I believe the extra weight loss was due to my training plan. I did my “easy runs” correctly by keeping my heart rate low and I really pushed myself to the max on my “fast runs”. I dropped from 160 pounds and an 11:00/mile 10K race pace to 121 pounds and a 7:54/mile 10K race pace between October 2015 and April 2016.
This walking plan is tougher than your average stroll around the park. It has relatively high mileage (I wrote the plan in minutes rather than miles, because I believe in the 80/20 method—80% of time spent exercising should be at an easy heart rate and 20% should be hard). The ratio is written underneath each week number on the left. I cannot stress the “easy” walks enough—those are the biggest key to the success of the program. Walking for Weight Loss Training Plan
If you have a heart rate monitor, make sure your heart rate does not go above 180 minus your age when you are doing an easy walk (so, at my age of 37, my maximum heart rate on easy walks would be 143 beats per minute). There is a good reason for this! Please read this blog post to understand why. Walking for Weight Loss Training Plan
PLEASE just trust the plan. I had a hard time believing that running at an 11:00/mile pace would help me get faster, but it was the most effective training I have ever done. So, keep your easy walks easy.
The plan is 12 weeks long, with the long walks peaking at 90 minutes toward the end, and some of the mid-week walks are over an hour. Feel free to shorten these up to fit your lifestyle, but following the plan as written will likely give the best results. You can switch up days of the week as well, but make sure you don’t do two hard walks back-to-back. Walking for Weight Loss Training Plan
On the days that call for “fast” walks, make sure you really push yourself hard. These days aren’t for screwing around—they should be done faster than your goal pace. When training for my 10K, I pushed myself to the max. I believe I was able to do this because I was doing my easy runs how they were supposed to be done, and I had the strength and energy to push myself on the hard days. It’s the same with walking.
When the plan says to walk “fast”, you should be walking nearly as fast as you can. It’s supposed to feel uncomfortable! (Obviously, if you are having health concerns, stop immediately and get medical help). Before you start this plan, or any exercise plan, make sure you get the okay from your doctor. And you may need to modify if your doctor finds it necessary.
There is a key at the bottom of the plan that explains the approximate pace you should be walking if you have a goal pace to reach by the end of the plan. I wasn’t sure if I should base this plan on a goal of eventually walking a certain pace or not, so I decided to go ahead and include that as an option. Of course, you don’t have to have
a goal pace in mind; it’s simply a suggestion. If you enter a race, for example, and there is a time cut-off, you might want to follow the pace suggestions in order to meet that cut-off. Walking for Weight Loss Training Plan
Because this plan is still in a trial mode, I am not sure how well these paces will work for that. So, I welcome your feedback on whether it is too easy or too hard based on your goals. If your goal pace falls outside of the suggested ones I have (22:00/mi, 20:00/mi, 18:00/mi, 17:00/mi, 16:00/mi, and <15:00/mi) then you can adjust based on the ones I have written.
Finally, this plan is NOT for the beginner walker. The first walk on the plan is a 45-minute easy walk (basically a nice walk around the park while you chat with a friend). If you aren’t able to walk for that long of a period, I suggest you start by working your way up to being able to walk for 45 minutes straight (do what you can, and add a little each time—ideally, five days per week). That should get you in shape enough to follow this plan. Walking for Weight Loss Training Plan
You do NOT have to follow the pace suggestions in this plan. It is simply a guide. Ideally, you would base your easy walks on your heart rate (keeping it below 180 minus your age) and the rest of the walks would be based on effort level. If you truly have no idea where to start, here are some suggestions:
|Goal Pace||E – Easy Walk||M – Moderate Walk||F – Fast Walk|
|Effort Level||Very easy; stroll; HR < 180 minus your age||Slightly uncomfortable; Can say only 2-3 words||Faster than race pace; these are shorter intervals|
To read the plan, “30 min E” would mean to walk 30 minutes at an easy pace. To read a more complicated workout, like:
10 min E;
4 x (5 min F; 2 min E);
10 min E
For that workout, you would walk 10 minutes at an easy pace; then walk 5 min fast followed by 2 min easy—and repeat (the 5:00/2:00) 4 times (which is what the 4 x stands for. The number before the x is how many times you repeat what is in parenthesis). Then finish with 10 minutes easy. The easy portion following the fast portion is to
recover from the fast walk. So, make sure you walk very easy in order to push hard for the fast portion again. You only repeat the parts that are in parenthesis, not the 10 minute warm-up or cool down. Walking for Weight Loss Training Plan
Runs for Cookies’ “Walking for Weight Loss” Training Plan
MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
|Easy/Cross Train||Speed Work||Rest||Speed Work||Rest||Easy||Long Walk|
|Week 1 80/20||45 min E OR Easy Cross Training||10 min E 10 x (45 sec F; 45 sec E) 10 min E||Rest||10 min E 6 x (2 min F; 1 min E) 10 min E||Rest||30 min E||45 min E|
|Week 2 77/23||45 min E OR Easy Cross Training||10 min E 10 x (45 sec F; 30 sec E) 10 min E||Rest||10 min E 4 x (4 min F; 2 min E) 10 min E||Rest||30 min E||45 min E|
|Week 3 80/20||45 min E OR Easy Cross Training||10 min E 10 x (60 sec F; 30 sec E) 10 min E||Rest||2 x (10 min E, 10 min M), 10 E||Rest||30 min E||50 min E|
|Week 4 74/26||45 min E OR Easy Cross Training||10 min E 4 x (5 min F; 2 min E) 10 min E||Rest||10 min E 10 x (45 sec F; 45 sec E) 10 min E||Rest||30 min E||50 min E|
|Week 5 79/21||50 min E OR Easy Cross Training||10 min E 6 x (2 min F; 1 min E) & 4 x (1 min F, 1 min E) 10 min E||Rest||10 min E 12 x (45 sec F; 30 sec E) 10 min E||Rest||30 min E||60 min E|
|Week 6 82/18||50 min E OR Easy Cross Training||10 min E 6 x (2 min F; 1 min E) & 4 x (1 min F; 30 sec E); 10 min E||Rest||10 min E 12 x (60 sec F; 60 sec E) 10 min E||Rest||30 min E||60 min E|
|Week 7 82/18||50 min E OR Easy Cross Training||10 min E 6 x (2 min F; 1 min E) & 4 x (1 min F, 1 min E) 10 min E||Rest||2 x (10 min E, 10 min F), 10 min E||Rest||30 min E||70 min E|
|Week 8 75/25||50 min E OR Easy Cross Training||10 min E 4 x (6 min F; 2 min E) 10 min E||Rest||10 min E 12 x (60 sec. F; 60 sec. E) 10 min E||Rest||30 min E||70 min E|
|Week 9 79/21||60 min E OR Easy Cross Training||10 min E 5 x (4 min F; 1 min E) 10 min E||Rest||2x (15 min E, 10 min M, 2 min F); 10 min E||Rest||30 min E||80 min E|
|Week 10 78/22||60 min E OR Easy Cross Training||10 min E 4 x (6 min F; 2 min E) 10 min E||Rest||10 min E 12 x (45 sec. F; 30 sec E) 10 min E||Rest||30 min E||80 min E|
|Week 11 80/20||60 min E OR Easy Cross Training||10 min E 5 x (4 min F; 1 min E) 10 min E||Rest||2x (15 min E, 10 min M, 2 min F); 10 min E||Rest||30 min E||90 min E|
|Week 12 81/19||60 min E OR Easy Cross Training||10 min E 4 x (5 min F; 2 min E) 10 min E||Rest||10 min E 12 x (45 sec. F; 30 sec E) 10 min E||Rest||30 min E||90 min E|
|Goal Pace||22:00||20:00||18:00||17:00||16:00||< 15:00||Effort Level|
|E – Easy Walk||26:00||24:00||22:00||21:00||20:00||19:00||Very easy, enjoyable HR < 180 minus your age|
|M – Moderate Walk||24:00||22:00||20:00||19:00||18:00||17:00||Slightly uncomfortable; Can say only 2-3 words at a time|
|F – Fast Walk||20:00||18:00||17:00||16:00||15:00||14:30||Faster than race pace; these are shorter intervals|
Walking for Weight Loss Training Plan
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