Vary your workout for the best results.
Dave McGovern developed this weekly schedule to accommodate all types of walkers. This workout plan can be altered to fit your goals. He suggests you maintain a schedule that includes one day of Economy workouts to build speed, two days of Threshold workouts to increase aerobic performance, and a day of distance workout to increase endurance. Remember to include a rest day and easy walking day in your schedule.
Monday: Rest day. No walking of significant distance or intensity.
Tuesday: Economy Workout. Warm up for 10 minutes at an easy pace. After 30 seconds, drop down to an easy pace for 2 minutes. Repeat the 30 seconds speed/2 minutes rest 8-12 times. Cool down with a 10 minute easy pace walk.
Wednesday: Recovery. Easy 3 mile walk at 65-70% of your max heart rate. This is a pace at which you can easily maintain a conversation but are breathing harder than at rest.
Thursday: Threshold Workout #1: Speed. 10 minute warm up at easy walking pace. Walk fast for 8 minutes or 1 kilometer at 85-92% of your max heart rate. Then slow down to an easy pace for 2 minutes. Repeat this for 3-4 repetitions. Cool down for 10 minutes at an easy pace. The threshold pace is strenuous, but one you could maintain throughout a 10 kilometer/6 mile race. You will be breathing very hard and able to speak only in short phrases.
Friday: Recovery. Easy 3 mile walk at 65-70% of your max heart rate.
Saturday: Threshold Workout #2: Steady state or tempo workout. Warm up for 10 minutes at an easy pace. Walk 20-30 minutes at 85% of your max heart rate then cool down with 10 minutes easy pace.
Sunday: Distance Workout. 8-12 kilometers (5-7 miles) at 70-75% of your max heart rate. This is a conversational pace.
The key to these workouts is not to exceed your lactate threshold - working out so hard and long that your body builds up lactic acid in the muscles. This occurs when you workout at 90% or more of your maximum heart rate for more than 50 minutes. By knowing your Maximum Heart Rate and using a heart rate monitor, you can ensure that you are working out at the right pace for the various workouts.