4 Steps to Train for Long-Distance Walking

Woman Walking in Park

Long distance walking events are a great way to motivate yourself to start a walking program or to give yourself and your fitness a new boost of energy.

Having a goal will increase your sense of purpose and help you keep consistent with your walking program. Completing a distance event is an accomplishment that builds confidence and an overall sense of empowerment.

You can feel even better about your event if you follow the steps below to make the most of your training. If being healthy and fit is one of your goals, make sure that you don't create unnecessary hardship on your body. Getting injured or ending up in pain and discomfort is not going to help you maintain long-term fitness.

Following these steps will ensure that your event is a benefit to every part of you: your body, mind, and spirit.

Step 1

Set your goals. Decide why you want to do a distance event and write your reasons down. These goals will remind you of your bigger purpose and help keep you motivated. Examples of some goals are:

  • To lose weight
  • To support a cause
  • To keep strong and healthy
  • To have fun
  • To be part of a group
  • To compete with yourself for better times
  • To challenge yourself

Step 2

Choose an event wisely. Choose an event that fits your goals, is the right level of challenge for you, and gives you plenty of time to train properly. You want to be at peak conditioning for your event. You don't want to commit to a half marathon in eight weeks if you don't have a solid walking program already in place.

Rule of thumb is that your long walk should not increase more that 10% per week, with the goal of walking at least 85 percent of the total length of the walk two weeks before the event. Do the math, and only choose an event that allows you to train well with plenty of time.

Step 3

Create or find a training program. For most distance events, you will want to train four or five days a week, with one of those walks being a weekly long-walk. The weekly long-walk will be the gage to make sure you are doing enough distance to complete your event comfortably.

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