My Walking Challenge

Beginner 4 weeks 2x/week
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Feel like easing yourself gently back into sport? This programme's made for you!

Take up fitness walking: a gentle sport that builds up your cardio fitness if you do two sessions a week for a month.

You'll improve your breathing during exercise, while toning up and energising your legs and glutes,
and find the motivation to keep progressing!

This training programme has been approved by Professor François Carré, cardiologist at the CHU of Rennes and cardiovascular physiologist and specialist at Fédération Française de Cardiologie (French federation of cardiology).

Ready? Get walking!

You need to have Decathlon Coach application to launch this program !

Week 1 - Give yourself a gentle start

As we all know, the hardest part is starting.

In the first week, you'll find out that once you're on the way, nothing can stop you!
To help you find the right pace, here are 4 pictures that might help you:
- Slow walking is like an easy stroll, as though you're walking around a town as a tourist, taking in all the details.
- Day-to-day walking is the pace you go at every day, neither slow nor energetic.
- Active walking is the pace you pick up when you're just getting to the train platform and the train's leaving in three minutes and you don't want to miss it!
- And finally, fitness walking doesn't come naturally at all, it gets your arms swinging widely and puts you out of breath almost instantly!

  • 01. Introduction to the sport
  • 02. Managing your exercise

Week 2 - Improving step by step

You've already learnt the various walking paces. This week, your goal is to manage these paces over longer exercise periods.

My advice: Try to feel the flow of your exercise. That's something you have to concentrate on. Connect with your experience, notice your sensations (breath, arm swing, force under your feet, tiredness in your thighs).

You might get a stitch, which is an ache in your abdomen due to the desynchronising of respiratory muscles.
If that's the case, don't panic! Put the session on hold, walk slowly and take a few deep breaths, exhaling fully.
Shall I tell you something? Although breathing and walking are surely the two things that come most naturally to us, sometimes they need a little tweaking!

This week, you're going to find your own pace!

  • 03. Working on your endurance
  • 04. Increase your power

Week 3 - Swing your body into action!

You've now had your first taste of fitness walking.
You acquired some experience of it in the last 4 sessions.
Your arms are swinging more naturally now, and you've adopted the proper foot movement, unfolding the whole foot along the ground.
You're pacing yourself correctly through the different walking speeds and you can manage varying durations of exercise.
You're doing just great! Now, I'd like you to take things a step further.

Pay attention to 3 details that can change pretty much everything:
- stay hydrated throughout the session
- work your abs a little as you walk
- propel yourself straight from your toes.
Think about these 3 points from time to time!

  • 05. Further and further
  • 06. Better and better

Week 4 - Keep up sustained efforts

You now know how to handle intensity of effort and you also know your own endurance pace. You've pushed your limits ever further and your technique is getting better all the time.

This week, it's time to try out two new things:

Your course: Change it if you can. Allow yourself a few diversions, new paths or maybe obstacles such as small hills along the way!
Your posture: try to blend in a touch of flexibility and fluidity.

How to make your overall movement more elegant?
Add a slight hip movement to every stride.
When your right foot hits the ground, your right hip goes forwards and out, while your left shoulder turns to face forwards.
Try to feel that as you warm up, and you'll gradually increase in technical fluidity.

  • 07. Approach the thresholds gradually
  • 08. Nothing can stop you now!

Coach advice

"If this programme sounds like just the thing for you, you're most probably either new to sport or getting back into it after stopping for whatever reasons life has thrown at you. I'm sure you're feeling motivated, impatient to get started, and also a little apprehensive of throwing yourself into a new sport. So I'd suggest you go for a test run (a test walk!) to see if you like it. Then, if you decide to keep at it, you'll find yourself improving rapidly... The only danger is wanting to do too much too soon. I like to put it this way: "Do a little but do it really well.""
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