Walk 1000 miles…

on the Routeburn Track, New Zealand

Okay, you’ve probably seen the title to this post and rolled your eyes. Seriously? I’m using the word miles when everyone knows it should be kilometres…

Walking one thousand miles sounds so much catchier than walking one thousand six hundred kilometres – it doesn’t quite have the same ring, does it? The real answer though is that this is a UK-based challenge and they talk in miles. 

But why am I telling you about it? Well, because I’m doing it, of course, the thousand mile challenge, that is. 

I went through this dodgy, angsty, antsy sort of period back at the end of March and beginning of April when we were all in the middle of various stages of lockdown. I had, you see, been training (and I use the word in the loosest of terms) for a distance walking holiday in the UK in April next year. When all the borders closed and the planes were grounded I began to wonder what I was training for and what there was to look forward to. Break out the violins.

The thing is, I’m not that person (although at times I wish that I was) who can train or embark on something for no reason other than, well, for no reason. I am, I’m sort of ashamed to say, outcome-based rather than journey based, although certain journeys absolutely have their own attractions – that’s for another post. It’s why I like to see the results, or the date in the calendar or the tickets booked. The tangible steps, milestones or numbers help me focus on what I need to do.

another from The Routeburn Track

I love my walking – it’s my preferred exercise – but I love it more when I can tell myself that I’m training for something in particular. With my purpose in doubt (the 2021 walking holiday) I found it harder to pull on my trainers every morning at stupid o’clock and every afternoon when I log off. And yes, I know I should be thinking of all the other benefits of walking…and I do, really, but … anyways, that’s when I found the #walk1000miles challenge. 

While the original idea behind the 1000 mile challenge was to encourage people to walk daily – it takes less than an hour walking a day to hit 1000 miles in a year – there’s no time frame within which you should achieve the target and no right way to do it. You can start whenever you want and the only person you’re competing against is yourself. I love that – the perfect blend of structure, flexibility and challenge. So I signed up. If you’re interested, it’s free and the link is here. You can have access to the Facebook group and there’s this cool little logging chart (I’m also that person who has to see the numbers to see the progress) and a magazine that tells you a bit more about the challenge.

I began logging my actual boots-on kilometres, but given that I work from home with very few incidental steps, I just use my Fitbit as my mileage tracker (see what I mean, kilometre tracker doesn’t sound right, does it?). I took a quick poll on the Facebook group and it seems most people just use their tracker – after all, the whole point is to encourage you to move more.

I signed up at the beginning of April and have been averaging about 79kms a week (that’s about 50 miles) and as at this morning, I’m just a few miles short of five hundred miles. I guess that means that now I can say that I’ve walked five hundred miles and I will walk five hundred more… (groan…sorry… you knew that was coming, right?)

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Author: Jo

Author, baker, sunrise chaser

12 thoughts

  1. Hi Jo – a bit of a bummer about the trip, but still good that it gave you the incentive to start pounding out the kms. I was surprised at how much it all adds up to at the end of a year of 10,000 steps a day – and it helped me understand how I wore through the soles of my very expensive sneakers in 12 months! Keep on walking girl – and sharing your photos along the way xx

    1. It certainly does add up! We’ll get there, but maybe not in April…and when we do I’ll be ready to pound out the miles.

  2. 500 miles – sounds like a Seekers song. I was supposed to climb Mt Kosi a few months ago which got cancelled just the week before. I was supposed to be in training for it beforehand but as it turned out I only managed to walk up Red Hill twice in preparation, so perhaps it was just as well it was cancelled. I was planning to get really in the last week, which was probably not the greatest strategy. Oh well – turned out it didn’t matter!

    1. It’s actually a Proclaimers song but when I sang it today my daughter said it didn’t sound like a Proclaimers song. We did Kosi when I was beginning my training for Milford & had done very little prep – and it showed! You’ll get to it.

  3. I can’t help thinking about “I would walk 500 miles” song, Joanne.

    OMGosh, wow on doing the thousand mile challenge. I briefly looked at the link and I bookmarked it to investigate further. As I read further, I see you write about “the song.” Your photos are stunning. You are inspirational, Joanne!

  4. Shame about your trip. I had to cancel a holiday too. You impress me with your commitment to getting up early every day and walking. I did exactly that during 2016 – never missed a morning and then something happened and spell was broken. I too used to take the most stunning sunrise pics. Now this Walk 1000 Miles thing sounds like something I should do. I need incentive to get me out walking. I’m getting slack. I’m not walking daily. I make excuses and I’m paying for it in kg’s cos I can feel it. Just clicked on the link and it opened it a new tab for me to read later!

  5. Hi Jo-

    I love to walk, too. Like most things that are truly beneficial to me, I struggle to get started. Then, when I am actually outside, walking, I wonder: “Why didn’t I want to do this? This is great!”

    I nearly always walk my dog around my neighborhood. We do at least a 1.2-mile route every morning, then again in the late afternoon or early evening, after work. These daily walks, past the same scenery, seem to be the highlight of my dog’s existence. I am grateful for her enthusiasm. Frequently, when I have no desire to leave the house, I see the dog willing me to pick up her leash, and guilt forces me out the door.

    Happy walking!


    1. No matter how hard it might be to get out the door, you always feel better for doing it don’t you.

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