March 24, 2019

Walking for Weight Loss: A 12-Week Training Plan

Walking for Weight Loss by Runs for Cookies

First, I'd like to preface this post by saying that this plan is in the "trial" phase--it has not yet been tested to see if it works for weight loss. So many people seemed interested in it, however, that I decided to release it now. I based this plan on the 10K training plan that I made and used to run a personal record in 2016. During that time, I wasn't actively trying to lose weight beyond my goal weight (my goal was 133 pounds at the time), but I pretty easily dropped down to 121 pounds.

I believe this is due to my training plan. I finally did my "easy runs" correctly (keeping my heart rate low) and really pushed hard on my "hard runs". I dropped from 160 pounds and an 11:00/mile 10K race pace to 121 pounds and a 7:54/mile 10K race pace between October 2015 and April 2016.

I had counted calories before, and continued to count while I was following the plan, but I would swear on my life that it was the training plan that allowed me to get my weight down.

Currently, I am having a very hard time getting back into running. I try and try to find the "love" part of my love/hate relationship with it, but it's just not there right now. So many of you suggested that I try walking, but I always kind of balked at the idea of walking for fitness. It seemed too easy, and "not good enough".

However, I hadn't thought to create an actual walking plan that involved more than just 30 minute strolls around my neighborhood. Once I got this idea in my head, I started transforming my 10K running training plan into a "Walking for Weight Loss" training plan.

And I hope that some of you will be my guinea pigs! ;)

This plan starts on a Monday, so I plan to start using it tomorrow. I've been doing my Wednesday Weigh-Ins again, so I will keep you updated on the progress. I'm not going to change the way I've been eating lately (basically intuitive eating, but with a couple of modifications). So, the real variable will be the Walking for Weight Loss plan. Let's see how it goes!

Here is a printer-friendly version of the plan

I do have one small favor to ask... if you share the plan with someone, I would really appreciate a link to this page rather than directly to the plan itself. The reason for this is that I get paid based on the number of page views I have on my blog, and because I offer my training plans for free, it'd be nice to get a little compensation for the hours of work I put in to create this plan.

And PLEASE let me know how it goes for you! If you find it too challenging, too boring, too easy, or just not working out well, I need to know that. And likewise, if you find it to be working out well, I'd love to hear that, too.

I am currently working on a treadmill plan that is similar to this, but with conversions to use incline in order to get the same benefits as speed. I'm really excited about it! It's very different than anything I've done before. So, I will share that when it's ready. For now, though, this plan will work indoors or on the treadmill.

Thanks, Friends! And happy walking :)


32 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this! I also have been struggling to find my love of running again and this may just be the kick in the pants I need to get going again!

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    1. Thank you! I'm hoping it'll do the same for me! ;)

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  2. It’s disappointing to read your elitist snobby comment about walking for fitness not being good enough. Walking has been the cornerstone of my fitness for eight years. In that time I lost over 120 pounds and have maintained that loss without yo-yo’ing more than 5 pounds.
    I realize you said “used to think”, but it’s still slighting to know I’ve followed your journey for years and years and supported your endeavors, only to find out you thought your running was somehow superior to my walking.

    I guess this scenario represents the old adage “how the mighty have fallen”.

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    1. Have you read my running story? If not, I suggest you read the story on the bottom of my running page. While my comment may have come off as "elitist" and "snobby" to you, walking was something that I could do when I was 253 pounds--hell, I walked a half marathon at that weight! But I believe that's the reason I eventually chose running over walking for fitness; running was something I *could not do* when I was that obese. So, therefore, it felt elite to me (something I've mentioned many times, including in my running story). I loved the idea of doing something that I never thought I'd be able to do. Take it for what you will, but I never felt superior to walkers; I just loved that I could do something I never thought was possible for me.

      Also, I suggest you read my most recent report on my Indy Mini race, where I walked instead of ran. I mentioned many times just how difficult walking was, and how sore I was compared to running.

      Call me a snob, but I think I am anything but a snob when it comes to empathizing with others who have lost or are trying to lose weight. Running, walking, swimming, cycling, whatever it may be--we all have our own preferences for our own reasons. Congrats to you on your amazing weight loss and not gaining more than five pounds back over the last eight years. You are most definitely "elite"! Just my two cents ;)

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    2. Wow, there is some serious projection in your comment, Melissa. You took a small comment Katie made and turned it into a personal attack against you. Maybe you should examine why you feel this way.

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    3. Wow is right. Someone woke up with their panties in a bunch. And that last comment is wildly uncalled for. I think you need to spend some time looking inward and fix your own demons instead of knocking down others for being honest and open.

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  3. Thank you so much for this training plan, I'm on board! I definitely have been off the running train for a minute and I've been thinking about walking as an alternative just to keep active, so I'm pretty excited about this idea. Just wondering, from your walking plan, what would you consider "Easy Cross Training"?

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    1. Easy cross training would be something like a leisurely bike ride, or swimming for fun in the pool, playing a fun game of badminton, stuff like that. Just fun activity that gets you moving! :) Good luck!

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  4. Awesome! I dont think you're a snob at all! Keep being honest and helping others! Go Katie!!

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  5. Thanks for sharing this! I also cannot seem to get into the running grove. Like you, I always thought I had to run and that walking wouldn't provide enough of a workout. My back went out a few weeks ago so I'm super excited to see this plan and do it along with you, as I can! Thanks for being awesome.

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  6. Thank you for this! I have been having a really hard time getting back to running and it’s making me feel terrible. I’m in! :)

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  7. I will try it! I've been a long time follower, never commenter for some reason.... You are very inspiring to me, thanks for your realness and honesty! I used to be a runner, but 4 kids later.... I'm not, so this walking plan sounds great! Thanks!

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  8. This looks great. I don't know that it is reasonable for me, as my most accessible walking area is logging roads, which, between the hills and the uneven surface, makes the walk a lot harder to control in terms of intensity. Some areas are much too uneven to safely walk fast, while others are so steep you (or at least I) need to walk slow, either to not fall on the downhill, or to even make it up the uphill at all. I can see how this would be great for people with flatter or more predictable terrain, though!

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  9. Thank you so much for this amazingly detailed plan!

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  10. Thank you so much for doing this. I’m in and VERY excited!!

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  11. I'd like to try it but I also want to watch shows on the treadmill...have you found it difficult to keep track of when to speed it up/ slow it down and still pay attention to whatever you are watching?

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    1. Speechsteff - I find it difficult to keep track of fractions of minutes, but not so hard to keep track of full minute increments. I also tend to watch HGTV when I am on the treadmill, so it isn't like I will miss a huge plot point with divided concentration. Hopefully that helps!

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    2. Thanks! I'm watching Ms. Maisel and I'm only allowing myself to watch if I'm moving...and I don't want to miss anything...it's so good! Maybe I need to find something else :)

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  12. Thanks for the plan. I need a kick in the pants, too. As of today, I'm on a 361 day exercise streak (yep--almost a full year)- I only took one day off when I was legit sick (fever/chills/in bed), otherwise I did a Minimum 30 minutes every day. I've varied with walking, biking, swimming, circuit training, yoga. I love love walking. I know I've lost inches and about 20 pounds. But I need to up my intensity going into my second year. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  13. Everybody knows you're not a snob. This is what I think will happen when the walking plan is used for a while... Your all going to get back into running right away! I just think running is better for us and burns a lot more calories. As long as we get our exercise in, whatever way we do it, we feel tons better. Take care.

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  14. Thank you for sharing this! I appreciate the work you put into it.

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  15. You’re a fucking rockstar. Love, me :)

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  16. I have sent the link to this specific post to two friends already. Thank you for writing it up. You are the furthest thing from a snob or elitist. I have enjoyed reading your journey and the email chats we have had. You have helped me in more than one way and I appreciate your help. Thank you!

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  17. I'm excited to give this a try - I need to get my butt moving again :)

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  18. I agree with the others above - you are definitely not a snob or elitist. In addition, you were very clear to explain that you were thinking "leisurely stroll" rather than walking intentionally for fitness.

    I am currently in decent running shape (I ran a half marathon at the end of February) but have always included walking as part of my fitness routine. I did the week 1 Thursday workout on the treadmill last night (I can't think in fractions of minutes on the treadmill) and it was certainly challenging!

    I will definitely be sending the link to a good friend as well.

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  19. Thank you for the walking program. I thought I should jump into a running program since I have a long was to go and needed a "kick in the butt" but on my first run I realized that it was too much impact on my joint and I felt defeated. Seeing your walking program was exciting, I enjoying walking leisurely in my neighborhood but it was never enough to increase my fitness level. Glad to have soon guidelines, Thank you so much...I'll let you know how it goes!!

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  20. Thank you for the walking program. I tried running lately but it was too much to start with...I should have known. I enjoy walking leisurely in my neighborhood but I was never enough to build much fitness. Now, with guidelines I feel more confident. Thank you, I let you know how it goes!!

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  21. Thanks so much for sharing. I'm in too!
    I know it can be hard to put yourself out there and you can't please everyone but you are courageous. Keep up the great job blogging .spring is in the air and no matter if you walk run or job your blog inspires. I appreciate you taking the time to write and share your plans.

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  22. So excited to see your Walking for Weight Loss Training Plan! Always on the lookout for ideas to help me become the healthiest I can be. You've been an inspiration to me my entire SparkJourney (6.5 years and counting) because I found your goodness there and it led me here. You're proof it can be done and that one-size/way-does-not-have-to-fit-all. Thank you for being a great role model. <3

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  23. Thank you for creating this plan, Katie! I've gained a ton of weight since having twins four years ago, and now I run so slowly that it's just demoralizing. This year I've given myself permission to walk instead, and I feel so much more intentional with a training plan! :)

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  24. Thank you for this! I came across your "Walk Your First Marathon" couple months back, because to be honest, with a name like "runsforcookies" you had me! I had a good walking base already so I doubled the times since I pretty much was walking 1 hr 6 days a week. Looking at this new plan for weightloss, it looks closer to what I am doing. I really have to focus on the rest days, so going to give it a try! Kind of meshing the two together...not sure how wise that is LOL. But thanks for a great starting point. I am trying to get under 16 min miles walking since that tends to be cutoff for most half marathons. I'm recovering from a stroke last July, so walking it is!

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