100,000 Steps in One Day – Is it Achievable?

November 20, 2017 — Leave a comment

Is it possible to achieve 100,000 steps in a day?  Is it possible for a guy over the age of sixty to achieve 100,000 steps in a day?

Omada Recommends 7,500 Steps A Day

In the last few years, I have done a fair amount of traveling around the world with  friends.  At some point in the course of the day, the question rises from myself or my travel companions: “How many steps did you do today?” Eyes instantly shoot to the screens of the  smart watches, fitbits, or smart phones.

In today’s  techie-metaverse, we talk about walking (rather than driving), in steps, not miles.  I belong to an online community, Omada, which helps people with genetic tendency toward  hyper-tension and Diabetes without the dominant  usage of meds.  Omada recommends that each of us should do 7,500 steps a day for an “active life”.

Shape up America says that 6,000 steps can be reached in a casual gait every hour. That would mean that, at a casual gait, it would take about 17-18 hours to walk 100,000 steps.

In the early part of the summer when I got back from a 40 day tour of Scotland (where my top step day was around 20,000 steps), I thought it would be interesting to look at a 100,000 step day.  It seemed that 50,000 was within reach, but  that 100,000 would be tough. I grew up during the space race. I always loved the quote  President John F. Kennedy made in 1962.  “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” This 100,000 step thing would be hard, but hopefully not too hard.

Surprisingly, when I started to investigate, I could find only one person who had actually done it. He is a thirty-eight year old American  male, who has been practicing CrossFit for the last year-and-a-half. “Pay attention to seams,” he writes, ” take extra caution (!!!) when cutting off the labels. You have no idea how abusive one little label  can be on your tee collar.”

Dying Hard

To me, the most revealing aspect of the blog was his admission during the last quarter of his adventure. He writes, “I want to tell you more about my emotions at 75.000 steps as it was my breaking point. Once my brain realized that I still had to make 25.000 steps, my daily average goal, the only thought I had was to stop. How on earth was I  supposed to walk another 25K after all I’d been through?! I wanted to give up, my motivation dropped, and I was close to bursting out of tears like a little girl, calling my wife for picking me up or whatever – as long as this was all over!

“I sat on the bench, massaging my exhausted calves, and thought what to do next. I knew I had gone so far, but the worst part was just about to begin. In  a few minutes the shock was gone, I pulled myself together and started figuring out the route. Since each curb or stairs made me suffer more, I had to rethink my initial path. So I made a decision to get back to the stadium, run until roughly 90K and then take a longer walking route back home.”

The Challenge

I’m not a masochist, but I think it is important to push through adversity, especially at this stage in the life cycle.  So I called my friend, Thom, from Chicago. He and his wife, Debbie, and I have traveled together to Spain and to Scotland. We are familiar with the “How many steps did you do today?” conversations. I told him about the 38-year-old CrossFit  guy crying at the curb at 75,000 steps.  I said it would not be easy, but either was going to the moon 🙂 Thom said he was in. I live in Massachusetts. He’s in Illinois but we could plan it together to walk on the same day.

We were going to do it this summer with lots of daylight. But you know how it goes…summer turns to fall, and winter is on the horizon. I told him we better do it before the snow hits. So I started my ramp-up training in 18 degree weather two weeks ago. Thom wasn’t really listening to me.

I can push to do 20,000 on a good day, but could I push to 40,000? That was my goal for my ramp-up. I did it during that 18 degree weather…but at least it was sunny. Here  I am at the 40,000 marker two weeks ago at the Quabbin Reservoir.    

I sent a screen shot to Thom but he didn’t  really respond other than to say “impressive”.  He does 40,000 all the time. I don’t think he believed I was truly, really ramping up in training, something you should really do after fifty, certainly after you hit sixty.

It Looks Like I Am Doing This

But if I can do 40,000, can I do 70,000, and if I can do 70,000, can I do 100,000? And can I do 100,000 this Friday? It looks to be sunny and it is Black Friday and so the footpaths shouldn’t be too occupied.

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