Ultimate Walking Challenge: Part 3

Get moving this summer with part three of Weight Watchers Magazine's Ultimate Walking Challenge, and learn about how to keep your motivation strong at the halfway point of the challenge.
Ultimate Walking Challenge: Part 3

Go the Distance

  • New to the Ultimate Walking Challenge? Get started with Part 1 or Part 2. Or proceed to Part 4 when you're ready for the next level.
  • Get tips and motivation from others who are taking part in this challenge on our Walking Challenge message board.

If you joined Weight Watchers magazine's Ultimate Walking Challenge in January, you're almost halfway to your goal of walking a half marathon!

Here, June Kahn, Reebok master trainer and walking instructor in Colorado, devised an 8-week plan to get your motivation soaring, plus plenty of tricks to keep you walking over that midway hump.

The midpoint of any journey signals triumph, but at the same time you may feel as if you're on a never-ending road trip—are we there yet? How can you keep focused on the finish line? Remember this motivational strategies, try our tips and step into our third walking challenge installment.

Motivating Trick #1:
Remember your goals.

Reminding yourself why you embarked on our Walking Challenge can renew your focus and nudge you back on track when you feel like slacking. If you like, print out our motivation list, circling the items that apply to you. To personalize the list, add three entries of your own.

By completing this challenge, I want to:

  • See my family and friends watch with pride as I cross the finish line
  • Prove to myself that my body is strong
  • Establish the habit of being active
  • Get a good report from my physician
  • Be able to take fewer medications
  • Turn heads at a class reunion
  • Hold my head high when I wear a bathing suit
  • Live longer to see my kids or grandkids grow up
  • Give up my sedentary lifestyle
  • _______________________________
  • _______________________________
  • _______________________________

Motivating Trick #2: Give yourself a daily dose of techno-vation.

  1. Ask your partner or best friend to e-mail you a note of encouragement; save it in your in-box and read it as soon as you log on each morning.
  2. Download a free inspirational screen saver (for example, a shot of marathoners crossing a finish line) from screensavers.com.
  3. Set your cell phone to ring with the Rocky theme song (or whatever will motivate you to climb a steep staircase). Better yet, create a motivating playlist for your MP3 player.
  4. Keep a countdown clock on your desk and watch the days, minutes and seconds dwindle as you prepare for the big day.
  5. On an online calendar, use a fun digital icon or picture to mark each day that you walk.

Motivating Trick #3: Make a game of it.
Try these fun ways to pass the time as you walk.

Count sheep (or dogs).
Before heading out, choose an object you're going to tally up as you walk. For example, count the number of dogs, red mini-vans or houses with green shutters.

Dream up a story.
When you walk by a house that you love—or one that's just quirkier than the others on the street—create a story about the people who live there and the way it's furnished.

Use mailboxes as mini-goals.
When you feel your motivation waning, tell yourself you'll walk past a certain number of mailboxes. When you finish your walk, set a new mailbox goal for the next day; aim to increase your goal each day.

Count down your workout time.
If your treadmill or stopwatch has a countdown feature, use it to boost your motivation. Seeing how much time you have left to go—instead of how much time you've already walked—can be the inspiration you need to keep moving.

Walking Planner: Weeks 17 to 24
Congrats! You've made it to the third 8-week installment of our walking program. The goal is to build your endurance and increase your speed and mileage. You'll have two days off (Wednesdays and Sundays) to help your muscles recover, and if you're tight on time, you can spread out your walking sessions over the course of the day.

Tip: Click "Print" at the top of this page for a portable copy of the plan.

Week 17
Monday 2 1/2 miles in 50 min.
Tuesday 3 miles in 60 min.
Thursday 2 miles in 40 min.
Friday 2 1/2 miles in 50 min.
Saturday 4 miles in 70 min.
WEEKLY TOTAL 14 miles
Week 18
Monday 3 miles in 60 min.
Tuesday 2 1/2 miles in 50 min.
Thursday 3 1/2 miles in 65 min.
Friday 2 1/2 miles in 50 min.
Saturday 4 miles in 80 min.
WEEKLY TOTAL 15 1/2 miles
Week 19
Monday 3 miles in 60 min.
Tuesday 3 miles in 60 min.
Thursday 4 miles in 70 min.
Friday 2 1/2 miles in 50 min.
Saturday 5 miles in 90 min.
WEEKLY TOTAL 17 1/2 miles
Week 20
Monday 2 1/2 miles in 50 min.
Tuesday 2 1/2 miles in 50 min.
Thursday 3 miles in 70 min.
Friday 2 1/2 miles in 50 min.
Saturday 3 1/2 miles in 80 min.
WEEKLY TOTAL 14 miles
Week 21
Monday 3 miles in 60 min.
Tuesday 3 1/2 miles in 70 min.
Thursday 2 miles in 40 min.
Friday 3 miles in 60 min.
Saturday 4 1/2 miles in 90 min.
WEEKLY TOTAL 16 miles
Week 22
Monday 3 miles in 60 min.
Tuesday 2 miles in 40 min.
Thursday 4 miles in 70 min.
Friday 3 1/2 miles in 70 min.
Saturday 5 miles in 100 min.
WEEKLY TOTAL 17 1/2 miles
Week 23
Monday 3 1/2 miles in 70 min.
Tuesday 3 miles in 60 min.
Thursday 4 1/2 miles in 80 min.
Friday 3 miles in 60 min.
Saturday 5 miles in 120 min.
WEEKLY TOTAL 19 miles
Week 24
Monday 3 miles in 60 min.
Tuesday 3 miles in 60 min.
Thursday 3 miles in 60 min.
Friday 4 miles in 75 min.
Saturday 3 miles in 65 min.
WEEKLY TOTAL 16 miles

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

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