INSTEAD OF WAITING FOR SUMMER TO ARRIVE TO FOCUS YOUR SIGHTS ON A FASTER RACE FINISH TIME, LONGER STREAK DURATION, OR HIGHER MILEAGE DISTANCE consider framing a goal in steps number. Take full advantage of the season of “brightening” and start now, at the beginning of spring!
Two articles on this topic help explain the difficulties associated with accomplishing the extreme feat of covering 100,000 steps in one day. That’s not to say all challenges must reach for this huge number. Determining an appropriate goal will depend on an individual’s previous “Best Day” record of steps taken, while purposefully walking or running, and the length of time available for training for a new to-be-set record level.
The first piece was written to documentthe running/walking of 100,000 steps by a 38-year old man, Maxim, and was published in a 2016 InkIn.com blog. Maxi’s story informed a 66-year old man, who was inspired to test his endurance after reaching the age milestone when Medicare insurance coverage became his reality. David Paul Kirkpatrick’s articlefor BetterHumans.coach.me was run in January 2019.
Each man considered his individual effort to be an ordeal and a huge physical accomplishment. It was surprising that Maxim did not follow a formal training program that gradually increased steps to prepare for the task, in spite of his acknowledging that the number of steps was comparable to running or walking an ultra-marathon.
Wisely, Kirkpatrick had read Maxim’s piece and decided to break down his step challenge into 4 milestone events: 20,00; 40,000; 70,000; and 100,000 steps. He prepared by walking 10,000 steps most days (about 4 miles for my stride length) in the intervening weeks. His training plan was painstakingly conceived seemed to work well for the purpose of readying his mind and body and building stamina. Fitzpatrick’s plan also did not involve progressively increasing step number each week.
Both men probably were on the right track with regards to preparation, though. Marathon training usually takes runners to a maximum long-run distance of about 20 miles before the race, even though the event is a 26+ miles, because the full distance is so physically punishing that adequate recovery would not allow continued training or even participating in the competition for a month. The scheduling of additional big step days (comparable to long weekend run days) before the actual 100K step attempt might also have been too punishing.
Kirkpatrick describes each step milestone. He admitted that unlike 20K steps, the 40K day left him exhausted, and that lack of attention to the cautionary details outlined by Maxim, about avoiding obstacles and activities that cost more energy, was a mistake. His more organized preparation and tactics for the 70K milestone walk seemed to pay off as he reported it went without incident and without the need for an excessive recovery period.
The full stories of each of the 2 ‘steppers’ are amazing.
However, Kirkpatrick’s recounting is MUCH MORE than a collection of journal entries about completing a fitness challenge. He weaves in the story of growing up as an ‘intentional dreamer’, his nightly construction of an arrow of imagination to propel him toward the future and a career. The retired Disney movie exec explains how he used this practice to imagine himself as capable of the physical 100K-step task ahead. His philosophy of life is revealed too and kindly, he tells readers how we might also become intentional dreamers.
I loved visualizing this part of Kirkpatrick’s story. Because the Earned Runs logo includes a right-pointing ARROW to imply directional motivation and movement toward a goal, and because Earned Runs encourages individuals to identify and train to meet personal athletic challenges that suit their lives and interests. Kirkpatrick’s effort encompassed several months of increasingly difficult exercise. He trained and strategized as an athlete, without needing the affirmation of a social media audience or ‘tribe’.
If looking for a do-able ‘brightening’ challenge, consider today, the first day of the Spring season as the beginning of your planning period for a steps challenge. After working out the details while heeding the advice of both Maxim and David Paul Kirkpatrick, get on your feet and start taking steps. Consider using intentional dreaming along the way.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
*You may want to employ other training ‘tools’ to avoid injury: a mobility routine stretching, foam rolling, and strength work. Checkout the Earned Runs RESOURCESpage for ideas.
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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