Intermediate Walking Workouts

It’s time to step it up! Whether you’ve already completed the Beginner’s Walking Program or are an experienced exerciser who wants to build more walking stamina, this intermediate walking program will help you build even more endurance over the next 12 weeks. With longer workouts and more workout sessions per week than a beginner’s walking program, you can follow these workouts, whether you walk on a treadmill, track or other outdoor venue. 
 

Getting Started


Use the FIT (Frequency, Intensity and Time) Principles for a safe and effective workout!
  • Frequency: Try the walking workout listed at least three to five times per week as indicated by the chart below.
  • Intensity: Walk at a brisk—not leisurely—pace. Don’t worry about what your pace really is, but do pay attention to your overall intensity, aiming for five to seven on a scale of one to 10. You’ll find a full explanation of the one to 10 Intensity Scale (known as RPE) below the workouts.
  • Time: Try to follow the suggested workout guidelines to the best of your ability, which means that you'll gradually increase your walking time by five minutes most weeks.
And remember, always warm up and cool down. Warming up at a slow pace will help prepare your joints, muscles and heart for exercise. Cooling down will prepare your body to return to a resting state, help prevent muscle soreness, and prevent illness and injury.

Intermediate Walking Workout


 

An Explanation of Using the RPE Method to Measure Intensity


Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) may be the most versatile method to measure exercise intensity for all age groups. Using this method is simple, because all you have to do is estimate how hard you feel like you’re exerting yourself during exercise. RPE is a good measure of intensity because it is individualized—it’s based on your current fitness level and overall perception of exercise. The scale ranges from 1 to 10, allowing you to rate how you feel physically and mentally at a given intensity level.


An RPE between five and seven is recommended for most adults. This means that at the height of your workout, you should feel you are working "somewhat hard" to "hard." The guidelines given for this specific workout program reflect an intermediate intensity level.
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I used to be a walker, until I became a runner. I have been a runner for 10 years, and two years ago I PRd a 5k at 23:15...not world class, but I could win my age group (54 at the time) or even Clydesdale group in most local races. I got my weight down by about 45 pounds or so...then had a minor but difficult injury for running. Then I had prostate cancer and surgery to deal with it. 6 months ago, I sprained my ankle while moving. Now I’m back to walking, but I can’t get into that 5-7 RPE range or even a “moderate” heart rate zone while walking. Mostly, right now, it’s because my ankles still hurt, but even before that, for me to get to a speed where I could get to a moderate heart rate or 5-7 RPE, I’d have to at least break into a jog...I’m not even breathing heavily. It’s great being pretty fit, to the point that walking briskly doesn’t even phase you anymore. But, it is a real struggle when you are recovering from injury to try to get to the moderate zone but cannot. What this means is that my fitness is going away, right before my eyes, and there isn’t much I can do about it. That said, I have been able to start back to a “slog” (slow, very slow jog) a couple times a week for about 3 weeks now, for a couple miles each time. My HR does get into moderate, but I cannot go to far because of the pain. Report


 

About The Author

Jen Mueller
Jen Mueller
Jen received her master's degree in health promotion and education from the University of Cincinnati. A mom and avid runner, she is an ACE-certified personal trainer, health coach and medical exercise specialist, with additional certifications in behavior change, functional training and senior fitness. She is also a RRCA-certified running coach. See all of Jen's articles.