Walking 30 Miles a Day Routine?

Posted by walkamileortwo @walkamileortwo, Jan 29 1:55pm

I am currently planning a one-and-a-half-month-long hike from Shasta-Trinity National Forest in California to the Black Hills of South Dakota. I've planned out my route, and have come up with a daily walking routine I think is reasonable; however, I'd like a second opinion. My current plan is to walk for six days of the week to a hotel/motel, and stay there for a day and rest for the next leg of the journey. The distance between hotels varies between 111 and 168 miles. I've planned my route to be in the middle of the US, away from the overly-hot and overly-cold areas, and I plan to start the walk in mid-March, after winter is over.

I've been training for the walk by doing 3-mph and 4-mph one-hour walks a few times a week. Considering that I'm in my mid-20s, 130 lbs, 5' 10" tall, walk comfortably at around 3 1/2 mph, and have no health issues, would the following daily routine be reasonable?

5:00 AM Wake up, wash, breakfast – 60 minutes
6:00 AM 4 mph walk – 60 minutes
7:00 AM Rest – 10 minutes
7:10 AM 3 mph walk – 60 minutes
8:10 AM Rest/Water – 10 minutes
8:20 AM 4 mph walk – 60 minutes
9:20 AM Rest – 10 minutes
9:30 AM 3 mph walk – 60 minutes
10:30 AM Lunch – 60 minutes
11:30 AM 4 mph walk – 60 minutes
12:30 PM Rest – 10 minutes
12:40 PM 3 mph walk – 60 minutes
1:40 PM Rest/Water – 10 minutes
1:50 PM 4 mph walk – 60 minutes
2:50 PM Rest – 10 minutes
3:00 PM 3 mph walk – 60 minutes
4:00 PM Dinner – 60 minutes
5:00 PM 3 mph walk – 60 minutes
6:00 PM Rest – 10 minutes
6:10 PM 3 mph walk – 60 minutes (if feeling well)
7:10 PM Set up tent, wash, etc. – 50 minutes
8:00 PM Bed

This equates to 31-34 miles a day maximum.

Hello @walkamileortwo and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. First, congratulations on your decision and planning efforts. You seem serious about this endeavor and very committed. I know you are here to see if this is a reasonable schedule/plan.

While we wait for other members to join in the conversation and provide feedback, can I ask if you are comfortable sharing your motivation for putting this together?

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@amandajro

Hello @walkamileortwo and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. First, congratulations on your decision and planning efforts. You seem serious about this endeavor and very committed. I know you are here to see if this is a reasonable schedule/plan.

While we wait for other members to join in the conversation and provide feedback, can I ask if you are comfortable sharing your motivation for putting this together?

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I turned 66 last July and have gained weight and I am always tired. I need to get motivated and start walking. I still work but now it’s remote and I am not moving. I don’t feel well and feel depressed.

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@amandajro

Hello @walkamileortwo and welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. First, congratulations on your decision and planning efforts. You seem serious about this endeavor and very committed. I know you are here to see if this is a reasonable schedule/plan.

While we wait for other members to join in the conversation and provide feedback, can I ask if you are comfortable sharing your motivation for putting this together?

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Hello @amandajro, I have family near both areas and have heard good things about both National Forests. I'm also one that doesn't enjoy sitting for long periods of time (or for short periods, really), so a cross-country trip in a vehicle doesn't at all appeal to me. Moreover, I very much enjoy walking, and before COVID, I used to go for daily walks in my city park. I have many family members and friends involved in track, cross-country sports, and serious nature expeditions, and from their experiences, I feel that this would be very enjoyable to me. Finally, I need a change of pace from being stuck in the same building since COVID, and this seemed like a great way to start a new year healthy and happy.

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@scabadabas12

I turned 66 last July and have gained weight and I am always tired. I need to get motivated and start walking. I still work but now it’s remote and I am not moving. I don’t feel well and feel depressed.

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@scabadabas12, while you probably don't want to dive into a 30 mile a day challenge like @walkamileortwo, I'm proud of you for getting started with a walking plan. Here's a simple one from Mayo Clinic to help you started: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/walking/art-20050972

Do you have any underlying health conditions that would be causing you to be tired?

I also work at home. It can be hard to get in enough steps or to be reminded to get up from the desk and move a bit. I have a Fitbit step tracking watch. It reminds me to get up once an hour. I find that really helps. Have you considered getting a step tracking device?

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@walkamileortwo thank you for sharing more background on this impressive plan of yours. It sounds like you are in good health and have thought this through with rigor. I don't feel qualified to critique your plan, personally, as I have never attempted anything like this.

I'm wondering if you are inquiring more with regard to stamina for the 30-day duration or if you have any concerns with regard to any other factors prompting you to seek feedback?

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@colleenyoung

@scabadabas12, while you probably don't want to dive into a 30 mile a day challenge like @walkamileortwo, I'm proud of you for getting started with a walking plan. Here's a simple one from Mayo Clinic to help you started: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/walking/art-20050972

Do you have any underlying health conditions that would be causing you to be tired?

I also work at home. It can be hard to get in enough steps or to be reminded to get up from the desk and move a bit. I have a Fitbit step tracking watch. It reminds me to get up once an hour. I find that really helps. Have you considered getting a step tracking device?

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Thank you for the feedback!

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@amandajro

@walkamileortwo thank you for sharing more background on this impressive plan of yours. It sounds like you are in good health and have thought this through with rigor. I don't feel qualified to critique your plan, personally, as I have never attempted anything like this.

I'm wondering if you are inquiring more with regard to stamina for the 30-day duration or if you have any concerns with regard to any other factors prompting you to seek feedback?

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In thinking it through, I believe I'm most interested in answering the following questions:
1) Can (or rather, should) a person in good physical condition complete ten hours of walking a day (in this case, 31-34 miles)? Or should it be capped at closer to eight hours?
2) What is the appropriate length of time to rest between hour-long moderate-intensity physical activities? I have it at ten minutes; is that too long, or too short, or should it be split into five-minute breaks every 30 minutes?
3) How often should I be eating and drinking to prevent dehydration? I currently have it planned to drink a cup of water every two hours and eating every four; should it be more?
4) Is it enough to have a single rest day per week, or should I have two?

REPLY
@scabadabas12

I turned 66 last July and have gained weight and I am always tired. I need to get motivated and start walking. I still work but now it’s remote and I am not moving. I don’t feel well and feel depressed.

Jump to this post

I am in a very similar situation. What has really helped me are the fitness apps. The one I like the best is the Peleton app because you don't need any equipment and they have lots of different sessions from yoga to pilates to HIIT to walking. The sessions can be as short as 5 mins so easy to get started and fit into your work schedule.

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Perhaps it would be helpful to contact someone who has done something similar for their advice. Peter Jenkins is the author of an excellent book, A Walk Across America. He has a Facebook page and I bet he would enjoy talking with you. If you do this, consider keeping a journal and remember it is just as much about who you meet along the way as the physical effort to complete the journey. Good luck to you.

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