walkDisney, Training for a Better Trip

Have you ever heard of runDisney? I am NOT a runner, so when I first heard that word years ago, all I could picture was a bunch of people at rope drop sprinting towards Toy Story Midway Mania. Disney mornings like that usually leave me exhausted by noon because I am not used to all that running. It turns out that runDisney isn't about rope drop at all. It's what Disney calls their premiere destination race series. This includes nine different marathon and half-marathon weekends that are hosted at the different Disney parks. Since I am not a runner (unless you count being chased by a large flying insect), you will probably never see me participating in a runDisney event.

I applaud those who can commit themselves to running a marathon. I truly admire their courage and determination. Being able to run 26.2 miles is an amazing accomplishment, but it just isn't my idea of a good day. As a matter of fact, a good day for me involves walking down Main Street, eating Mickey-shaped snacks, and watching some fireworks in front of a castle, but let's think about this for a minute...
On average, a full day of walking in the Magic Kingdom is equal to walking more than 10 miles. That means, a week of walking is nearly the same as walking two full marathons!!! 
I know this to be true because some friends of mine were kind enough to measure it for me by using their fitness trackers. I also did a little online research of my own and found the 10+ mile calculation to be true for multiple people. Some reported nearly 20 miles per day! That is madness!

I need to confess a little something about my last trip to Walt Disney World - All that walking wore me smoooth out! It was so hard for me to keep up the pace that my family is used to.  My husband and kids love me and didn't mind slowing down, but I felt like I was disappointing them AND more than that, I was disappointing myself. Admittedly, I was in the worst shape of my life. As soon as I returned home, I decided to lose some weight and work on building up my strength and stamina.  I am determined that the next trip will NOT be like the previous one! Next time, my husband and kids will have to work to keep up with me. Next time, I'll be ready!

So, after some thought, I came up with a plan. I call it "walkDisney: Training for a Better Trip". A healthier body weight helps, but that's only going to help so much. I figured the plan should be super easy at first, because honestly, I am really lazy out of shape! Maybe you are, too. (or maybe you are already in great shape (or even a runner), if so, this plan is probably not for you.) I created this plan for me and my fellow Disney movie-watching, park-loving, couch-potatoes out there. The ones that love to go to Disney World, but need to figure out a way to physically prepare for their next visit to see the mouse. If that's you, load up your favorite Disney playlist, put on those headphones, and let's get ready to walkDisney! Who's with me?!

For best results, plan to walk 3-5 days per week

I know that many of you may have a trip coming up in less than the 20 weeks that are listed. If your trip is coming up soon, just jump in where you are OR modify the plan to suit your needs. Remember that we aren't training for speed, we are training to build endurance and stamina. I think it would be neat to plan a longer walk. You could walk to a park for a picnic or maybe visit an ice cream shop to kind of simulate a visit in the parks. The main idea is to just get moving so that when that magical day arrives, we are more prepared to handle those 10+ miles a day!

Be sure to drink water before and after you walk. Have a small snack about thirty minutes before you begin each day. Before beginning this or any new exercise routine, you should probably consult your doctor.

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