Walking or running a thousand miles in a year can sound pretty intimidating. Breaking your larger goal into smaller goals makes it easier for you to wrap your mind around achieving it. When asked how to eat an elephant, the old adage says that you should eat it “one bite at a time.” These smaller goals help you prevent having mental barriers about the larger goal. Mental barriers can prevent you from even getting started.
This overall distance in a year as a larger goal can be broken down into quarterly, semi-annual, monthly, bi-monthly, weekly, and daily periods. If you wanted to flex your arithmetic skills, you could go all the way down to nanoseconds. We would not recommend goal setting for walks and runs for periods less than a week because it may be too granular and reduces your flexibility in your schedule. A slight slip-up can make it seem challenging to get back on track.
To find out how many miles you would have to walk or run, simply divided 1,000 miles by the number of the periods in a year. It would take you walking 84 miles per month (rounding up) in a year to achieve your larger goal because 1,000 miles divided by 12 months is equal to 83.3 miles per month. Now, this seems more achievable. You will notice that we will always round up to ensure that we hit our goals.
If 84 miles per month is still a little intimidating, break it down to the number of miles you will need to walk in a week. Divide 1,000 miles by the number of weeks in a year. Each week, you will need to walk a total of 20 miles (rounding up). You could break the periods down to the number of days and lower to find if you walked 3 miles per day (rounding up), you would also achieve your goals. If you did break it down to the day, you would never have any days off. This is why we do not recommend breaking your goals down lower than a weekly schedule.
It is essential that you build rest into your schedule to allow your body time to relax, recover, and recharge. Not only does your body need these, but your mind does as well. I have included sample schedules below for walking or running your 1,000 miles. We have also included some resources to plan for your first 5K, 10K, half-marathon, marathon, and more under the resources section of the site.