There is such a thing as too much walking, at least for me. I’ve been using the Garmin Vivofit for over a month now and have been learning a lot about my body, my energy, my ability and even, yes, my competitiveness.
During the last four weeks I participated in the Garmin Connect challenge for walking which paired me each week with eight other users. During the first two weeks I was in the 55K Challenge based on 55,000 or more steps, then the 90K Challenge, and finally, last week, the 100K Challenge. I came in first in all three. The last one was too much.
As you can see I managed to walk 180,000+ steps. At a stride of 2.5 feet that works out to about 85 miles. 85 miles!
Okay, so I’m not going to be walking around the island in short order, but still 85 miles is a chunk of change.
Here’s the problem…it just took too much time. I didn’t have any real problems with the walking itself, though I have to admit that after about 2 miles it does become a bit troublesome in my right knee, though not enough to keep me from continuing at the same pace.
No, the problem is that pretty much all my time between things was eaten up by walking. For instance on Monday I walked home after work, dropped my stuff and changed clothes, then had to leave almost immediately to walk to a volunteer gig. On my moped I could have hung out another hour and fifteen minutes, on my bike I’d have had at least an hour.
I like a little down time.
What about the positives? Well I got to see parts of the city I wouldn’t normally see, not even on my bicycle. I also felt pretty good about myself, after all, 85 miles in a week on a new hip shows I’ve recovered pretty well. Further, even though walking isn’t hugely calorie burning, it still does an excellent job and I could eat a bit more than otherwise.
And finally, the real downside was my reaction to competition. I didn’t realize how competitive I can be. Basically I tried to walk enough to win before the end of the week. I wanted the other folks to give up after a few days. It seemed, at least with the limited feedback available, that they did. Mostly I’d be just a few steps ahead till around Thursday or Friday and then the other participants would pull back, perhaps sense I was simply a bit obsessive. A bit?
In any case, after four weeks of wins I pulled out this week and decided I didn’t want to participate at that level any more. Instead of 25,000 steps a day I’m back down to about 14,000. That’s a reasonable investment in time. In addition I can bicycle again. Yeah!
On the whole it was a good experience, one I’ll probably repeat next year for a month, just to see what’s what, but something I can live without for now.