Walking 45 Minutes – The Ups And Downs

For the past few weeks, I’ve been walking 45 minutes a day.  I find that all of my walks tend to follow the following pattern -

1.  I have to convince myself to actually pull out the treadmill and start walking.  On most days, I’m successful, but on a few, I’m not.

2.  Once I’ve plugged in the treadmill and grabbed a bottle of water, I start walking.  The first five minutes always feel – weird?  I set the speed very low and then every two minutes, I increase it.

3.  Minutes 5 through 25 always feel great.  I get into a rhythm and I start working up a sweat.  During these minutes, I’m always super-happy that I’m walking.

4.  Between 25 and 35 minutes, I hate walking.  I’ve been following this program for almost a month, and it never fails.  I hit the 25 minute mark and I want to quit.  And, I don’t mean quit the session – I mean quit walking all together.  Why?  I have no idea – other than the fact that MAYBE I’ve burned up all of the fuel in my stomach and the body is transitioning to fat burning?  Just a thought…

5.  Once I make it to 35 minutes, I’m golden.  In fact, as I move towards 45 minutes, I don’t really want to stop.  I just want to keep going and going.  And, from time to time, I do.  Today, I walked and extra 2 minutes.  A few days ago, I walked a total of 60.

6.  After I finish walking, I feel awesome.

There’s the breakdown.

Today, I walked 47 minutes, covered 2 miles, and burned 250 calories.  I don’t walk very fast and I don’t worry about distance.  I just set the treadmill, plugin my headphones, and get moving.  Over time, I’m sure that my speed will increase (as will the number of calories burned), but for now, I’m just proud of myself for actually getting on the treadmill!

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10 comments to Walking 45 Minutes – The Ups And Downs

  • Those are really interesting observations. I walk 60 minutes everday, and I haven’t found those sorts of patterns for myself, but I did experience them when I was into bicycle touring a few years ago. The most astonishing thing to me was the magic 60 mile mark. Once I rode 60 miles, I could seemingly keep riding forever. In fact, my body felt the same after a 60 mile ride as it did after a 120 mile ride. The human body is a fascinating thing.

  • Recently I read that any exercise program is 10% physical and 90% mental.

    I’ve been treadmilling it since May 2005. And I am finally seeing results. I can run/jog 3 miles in 32-33 minutes. So, progress has been made. Yet, every day I climb on the treadmill and have a mental dialogue with myself about quiting and pushing on. Like having a devil and an angel inside me.

    I’ve talked with others and this never goes away.

    I wanted to share, that when I started with the trainer my treadmill time was slashed into 2 20 minute work outs. This was to build endurance and speed. And to stop my body from getting used to my work out patterns.

    Also, in case you wish to mix it up and see results, try adding inclines. Alternating up .5 every 2 minutes. Try to do this maintaining speed first. Once you feel like you have that increase your speed a little each time.

    When I was in the 2-20 sessions, I would spend one going as fast as I could. Always trying to increase the overall speed. Then the other with a steady speed and incline.

    The “as fast as you can go” for 20 minutes, makes the lower speeds seem easier. The inclines make the 20 as fast as you can go easier too.

    Good luck to you.

  • For me it is more than 90% mental… Some days I have such a hard time just getting started exercising…

    Once I get over that hump I am ok…

    I think it is important to understand yourself… That we you are prepared for the internal argument that makes you want to stop walking…

  • Does your treadmill have an incline? You can move your calorie burn through the roof by walking hills instead of flats. I lose 41 pounds in 13 weeks by walking ‘random’ hills on a treadmill (at the maximum level, at a speed of about 4.4mph). I wrote about the technique here, if you’re interested.

    Other good tips to keep a walking treadmill workout interesting – and it can be very boring, let’s face it – is:

    1. Make sure the music you listen to is upbeat and that all the songs are no longer than about four minutes. Slow or depressing music, or very long songs, make time seem like it is dragging. Punchy, listener-friendly songs whiz by and make the time go the same way.

    2. Put a towel over the treadmill screen. ‘Clock-watching’ makes the workout go on forever. You don’t really need to know the time at all – cover it up!

    Best of luck with your fitness pursuits. As for me, I’m currently trying to run every single day for an entire year – it’s day #32 today! :)

  • for some reason it is STILL hard for me to get cardiostarted even though some days, like you, Im ready to keep going when my time is up.

    M.

  • Hey, who cares how many cals you’re burning – the important thing is that you’re walking! I’ve been a trifle injured these past couple months and unable to swim or run, so I’ve also been walking every day around our neighborhood park. 2-3 laps. Yeah, it’s hard to get out the door sometimes. I invented a game… see how long it takes me to do the first lap, then try to beat it the second time around… and maybe the third. Having a good podcast helps. So does having a walking partner! Good work, keep it up!

  • The hardest part for me is just starting the exercise!

    I also make myself NOT look at the clock. Time seems to drag on if I look at the clock when I’m exercising on a machine!

    45-min walk a day is excellent! Great job!

  • LOL…I have the exact same experience! Not exact…my “hate walking and want to quit” stage starts at 5 minutes and goes to about 25…but same pattern.

    I think it’s great that you know this pattern so well. I think knowing what’s going on in your head is the first step to actually being able to control it…so if you KNOW that endorphin rush is coming, it may make it easier to get through that first drudge-stage. At least, some of the time. :-)

    Great post. Keep up the good work!

    V.

  • Oh boy, you just described most of my workouts!

  • When I go running the first few minutes are no good, then I feel pretty darn good for a couple miles, and then by the end I’m running high and feel great. Once i stop i stiffen up and and feel like I’m going to die, but it still feels good because I know I’ve gotten in some good exercise that day.