Ultimate Walking Challenge: Part 1

Get moving with the Weight Watchers Ultimate Walking Challenge.

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Ultimate Walking Challenge Part 1
If a friend suggested that you sign up to walk a marathon, would you laugh a little–or a lot? Okay, so even if you're not ready to cross a finish line tomorrow, walking a half marathon (about 13 miles) may be within your reach.

The key is to break down the big goal into smaller, achievable goals (a familiar trick for those following the Weight Watchers Program).

The success you gain by setting and reaching realistic goals fuels your motivation to stick to your plan and succeed.

Weight Watchers magazine's Ultimate Walking Challenge embraces this proven idea of setting mini-goals. Every other month, we'll give you a new 8-week plan that can easily fit into your schedule. Ultimately these plans and helpful ideas will lead you to finish a half marathon by year's end (if a 5K- or 10K-walk is your goal, you'll get there too). Along the way we'll provide you with insider tips. To kick things off this month, Lon Wilson, director of the Healthwalking program for the New York Road Runners Club, designed an exclusive walking routine (below).

Get moving!
If you follow this 8-week plan, you'll be one step closer to reaching your half-marathon goal. To get your miles in, find flat terrain, stroll the mall, walk indoors on a treadmill (set at a 1.0 incline), or stride to a walking DVD if the weather is bad. Note that Sunday is a day off. You'll burn about 420 calories the first week and build up to about 850 calories by the end of week 8. (Estimate of calories burned is based on a 150-pound person.)

Ready to brave the cold and get started? Read Winter Walking: Making it Work for tips on surviving the winter weather.

Get tips and motivation from others who are taking part in this challenge on our Fitness Challenge message board.

Tip: Click "Print" at the top of this page for a portable copy of the plan. And if you're ready to move ahead and tackle the next installments of the challenge, check out Part 2 and Part 3.

Week 1
Monday 1/2 mile in 10 min.
Tuesday 3/4 mile in 13 min.
Wednesday 3/4 mile in 15 min .
Thursday 1 mile in 20 min.
Friday 1/2 mile in 10 min.
Saturday 1/2 mile in 10 min.
WEEKLY TOTAL 4 1/2 miles
Week 2
Monday 1/2 mile in 12 min.
Tuesday 1/2 mile in 10 min.
Wednesday 3/4 mile in 15 min.
Thursday 1 mile in 17 min.
Friday 1 mile in 17 min.
Saturday 1 1/2 miles in 30 min.
WEEKLY TOTAL 5 1/4 miles
Week 3
Monday 3/4 mile in 15 min.
Tuesday 3/4 mile in 15 min.
Wednesday 1 mile in 17min.
Thursday 1 1/4 miles in 25 min.
Friday 1 mile in 17min.
Saturday 3/4 mile in 15 min.
WEEKLY TOTAL 5 1/2 miles
Week 4
Monday 1 mile in 17min.
Tuesday 1 mile in 18min.
Wednesday 1 mile in 17min.
Thursday 1 mile in 18min.
Friday 1 mile in 17min.
Saturday 1 1/2 mile in 30 min.
WEEKLY TOTAL 6 1/2 miles
Week 5
Monday 1 mile in 20 min.
Tuesday 1 mile in 17 min.
Wednesday 1 1/4 miles in 22 min.
Thursday 1 1/2 miles in 30 min.
Friday 1 1/4 miles in 22 min.
Saturday 3/4 mile in 15 min.
WEEKLY TOTAL 6 3/4 miles
Week 6
Monday 1 1/4 miles in 22 min.
Tuesday 1 mile in 20 min.
Wednesday 1 1/4 miles in 25 min.
Thursday 1 1/4 miles in 22 min.
Friday 1 1/4 miles in 22 min.
Saturday 1 mile in 20 min.
WEEKLY TOTAL 7 miles
Week 7
Monday 1 1/4 miles in 22 min.
Tuesday 1 1/4 miles in 22 min.
Wednesday 1 1/4 miles in 25 min.
Thursday 1 1/2 miles in 30 min.
Friday 1 1/2 miles in 30 min.
Saturday 1 1/4 miles in 22 min.
WEEKLY TOTAL 8 miles
Week 8
Monday 1 1/4 miles in 25 min.
Tuesday 1 1/2 miles in 30 min.
Wednesday 1 1/4 miles in 30 min.
Thursday 1 mile in 20 min.
Friday 1 1/2 miles in 30 min.
Saturday 1 1/2 miles in 30 min.
WEEKLY TOTAL 8 1/2 miles

This article is excerpted from the January/February issue of Weight Watchers magazine. Subscribe today to get great features like this one delivered right to your door!

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