October 20, 2010

Walking workout

This morning, I decided to try out something a little bit different for my routine.

In an attempt to get more sleep, I skipped my evening workout (okay, some of that was laziness too). However, I ended up getting 7 hours of sleep, waking up before my alarm went off, and feeling a lot more energized than usual when I woke up.
Hitting the gym, I started with 45 minutes on the elliptical, using a heart rate program that automatically adjusts the intensity based on your age, weight, and heart rate (my target was 140). It definitely gave me a kick in the pants – I have a bad habit on the elliptical of just setting a fairly easy resistance level and plugging away at it, without really getting a good heart rate going.
But after I was done on the elliptical, I moved one machine over to try out the treadmill. I normally don’t use the treadmill (if I’m going to run, I’d rather do it outside), but today was a day that I wanted to focus on strength training for my legs, and the weight equipment in my current hotel gym really sucks – there are no free weights, and the only machine available is only for arm work (though I suppose I could prob do squats while holding the lat pulldown bar for resistance or something). On the treadmill, I opted to keep it at a slow 3.0-4.0 MPH pace, but kick the incline all the way up to 15.0. I was surprised to find that on that regimen, my heart rate was between 130 and 145 the whole time! I was definitely getting a good workout in, and having that kind of incline experience will probably help me a lot when it comes to my hilly marathons.
My only issue was that I had to hold on to the treadmill in order to get my heart rate, and with that steep of an incline, it was really hard to have my hands on the heart rate electrodes without hanging on (which of course means you’re burning fewer calories than if you were just walking/running on your own). Later tonight, I’d like to try wearing my heart rate monitor strap from my Garmin and seeing if I can get that to sync up with the machine – I know some machines have that capability. It would be great to be able to pump my arms as I go, and that would get my heart rate to climb still further.
Anyone else ever try a walking workout?

1 thought on “Walking workout”

  1. I like the walking workout too – I tend to overheat while running on a treadmill, and in turns out to be mentally a bit easier to keep my HR in the right zone without overheating if I’m walking on an incline as opposed to just running. (Mixing it up is good too – something like change every 2 minutes, incline or speed or what have you.) You can wear your Garmin indoors, just turn the GPS off; but the protocols used by most gym machines will only work with Polar technology, not the ANT+ signal the Garmin uses. I agree with you that walking on an incline is probably for most of us a better workout than the elliptical, unless we’re pushing really hard there.

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