“My personal chart says I’ve burned 4.3 muffins and lapped Wembley Stadium 14.9 times (not bad since I haven’t eaten a muffin for weeks!).” Walking Heads blogger Fay Young charts her progress on the first week of the Great British Walking Challenge.
Week 1: I get an email on Friday from Living Streets telling me participants in the Great British Walking Challenge have collectively walked from John o’ Groats to Lands End six times. That’s a total of around 7, 200 miles. The top walker has covered 65 miles, the top workplace team (Tesco Bank Glasgow by the way) clocked up 73 miles. And how much did I contribute?
Well, my personal chart on Living Streets website says I’ve burned 4.3 muffins and lapped Wembley Stadium 14.9 times (not bad since I haven’t eaten a muffin for weeks!). Or to put it another way, I’ve walked just under 25 miles in 6 days.
Which means I wouldn’t have got much further than Thurso if I was really on my way from John o’ Groats. But 25 miles is a lot more than I usually walk in a week. Like most people I know, I spend a good deal of the day sitting in front of a screen. `(You can cover a lot of miles on Google, meet a lot of people on Twitter.)
My first week got off to a dodgy start on Tuesday as the pedometer jammed half way round Edinburgh Comedy Tour and I didn’t notice until I got home after 2 hours of non-stop walking – on Google maps I reckon it must have been at least 3.5 miles. Wednesday was better: 4.5 miles and some of them almost vertical – up and down tenement stairs encouraging people to vote in the local elections next day.
Don’t worry, I’m keeping politics out of the Great British Walking Challenge but it’s worth remembering that local councils are responsible for the state of streets and pavements – something Living Streets is campaigning to improve.
The rest of the week I tried to stretch journeys to and from business appointments, going the long way round to the shops and post office, walking back from my night class instead of getting the bus. So far I haven’t managed to reach 5 miles in one day: the coveted 10,000 steps we are all supposed to aim for at least three times a week.
Even so, I have already doubled my average weekly mileage and I’m pretty sure I feel better for it even if my calf muscles are aching. Tomorrow I’m off on a four-day trip of the Highlands and Islands. Booked long before I signed up for the Great British Walking Challenge but I’m hoping to put the new waterproof walking boots to good use. Under no pressure, none at all.