SUMMER CHALLENGE IV: WALKERS ‘SERIES SWEEP’
What’s the definition of a sports championship series sweep? It’s one team winning 4 straight games of a 7- game series, without a loss, and the championship awarded to the team that first wins 4 games total.
Why is this summer challenge for WALKERS called the “Series Sweep”?
It starts with science. In 2004 Dr. Hiroshi Nose at the Shinshu University Graduate School of Medicine in Matsumoto, Japan led a team of researchers who studied the effects of a high intensity interval walking program on the fitness and health of older adults.
There were 3 groups, averaging 63 years in age, comprised of 60 men and 186 women: 1) non-walking, 2) walking at a continuous moderate level 5 pace (on a scale of 1-10 in intensity), and 3) an experimental high intensity interval group walking at a level 4 pace for 3 minutes, followed by 3 minutes of a harder level 7 pace, for 5 or more cycles. Each group was instructed to walk at least 30 minutes, in total, during these sessions, and to do so at least 4 days each week.
In the high intensity walking training (HIWT) group there were significant increases in isometric knee flexion and extension (measures of thigh muscle strength) and in peak aerobic capacity for cycling and for walking, as well as a reduction in resting systolic blood pressure. These were the findings when results for HIWT group were compared with those of the moderate intensity continuous walkers.
Taking the findings of this research into account, the SUMMER CHALLENGE IV was constructed for people who enjoy walking for exercise. It copies the study protocol that lead to improvements in aerobic capacity, thigh muscle strength, and blood pressure. Walkers are challenged to walk high intensity intervals, over at least 30 minutes each day, for most days of the week.
Committing to this SUMMER CHALLENGE IV can provide motivation to work towards a goal that helps walkers become stronger and healthier. To SWEEP this ‘championship series’, by Earned Runs RULES, means committing to the minimum 30-minute HIWT protocol on at least 4 of 7 days of the week, EACH WEEK from July to September without any ‘losses’ (skipped weeks). That’s only 9 weeks!
By the way, the original research paper by Dr. Nose and his research colleagues was published in 2007. A follow-up paper in 2014 showed that middle-aged and older persons were able to adhere to this protocol successfully for 22 MONTHS!!!. Although the Earned Runs SUMMER CHALLENGE IV requires commitment, it is do-able by young and old, and a reasonable goal, proven by scientific research!
REQUEST FREE EARNED RUNS BIBS NOW; you’ll receive 4, which allows you to ask someone in your family or at work to join you. Or, keep all 4 yourself and encourage the others to request their own free bibs. There will be a limited number of FREE stickers to those who make a request for the SUMMER CHALLENGE IV STICKERS (available after June 27). Keep track of the days you followed the protocol on your bib or on the calendar.
SUMMER CHALLENGE IV: WALKERS SERIES SWEEP
Perform the High Intensity Interval Walk (HIIW) Protocol 4 of 7 days each week,
July 1 - September 1
Warm-up: 5 minutes easy walking
Cycle 1 High Intensity Interval Walking (HIIW)
First 3 minutes: walk at LEVEL 4 PACE (on a scale of 1-10 in intensity, 10 being highest intensity)
Next 3 minutes, walk at a harder, LEVEL 7 PACE
REPEAT Cycle 1 at least 4 more times (for a total of 5 or more cycles),
to equal at least 30 minutes HIIW
Cool-down: 5 minutes easy walk!
You can do this! Try for every other day at first, as your legs may be a bit sore afterward. The protocol and a calendar are available for download, and also on the RESOURCES page.
NOTE: Runners can adapt this walking protocol to a running protocol.
RUN AND WALK HAPPY!
Easy to read article on this research in the NY Times WELL blog:
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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