Walk With Me

by Volker Weber

Ben found this great story on walking and it resonates well with my experience of the past year. I started walking because I needed to. Then I developed an interest in fitness trackers, and finally (and most importantly) I befriended a dog.

Frau Brandlinger: "Ich wäre so weit. Wir können dann los!" #brandy #dog #Bessungen #Darmstadt

A photo posted by Volker Weber (@volkerweber) on

The more I walked, the more productive I became. If I want to talk to somebody I ask them to walk with me. This week I walked with Max, twice. He knows everything about Pebble and quite a bit about iOS development. I walk with Ute a lot and she tells me what happened in her work day. And I walk alone. Time to think, hardly any distractions, aside from alerts or the occasional phone call.


The weather was brilliant this week. And on Wednesday I set a new goal: walk four Marathons. That's 4 times 42 kilometers and 195 meters. 168 kilometers and 780 meters for the whole week. On Saturday I needed to take some night shots with Lumia cameras - that is another story. Since I started too early, I had to wait for moonrise. Waiting meant walking. 35723 steps is a new record, up by about 4000 from last Thursday. On Sunday I had exceeded my goal for the week.


This week was extreme. If you push yourself to new levels once in a while, you start building more strength. More strength equals more muscles. Muscles burn calories. I am going back to my 100 km routine tomorrow, which puts me back into the 1000 calories active burn range. That is 700 calories more than I had before walking. Every single day. And that's why weight loss happens. If you know me, you can see that it was significant.


The changes over the last eleven months have been very uplifting. I am stronger, leaner, and I feel younger. Walking is a very mild exercise. Almost anyone can do it. And everybody should, at least 30 minutes a day.

Initially I could hardly walk at all, due to an injury at CeBIT 2014. Six weeks after the event I started with just a walk around the block. Then two, then three. First you build up strength, then endurance. Take your time, don't start too quickly. For a long time, my goal was 6500 steps a day. And I did not meet it every day. When I did, I raised it to 10000. And when I made that every single day, I added another goal: 100 km a week. 19 weeks in, I have not missed that goal.


Today I passed 3 million steps on Withings Health Mate. That is about the same number of steps I walked with the UP24 band I used before Jawbone added an "intelligent coach" -- think Clippy -- to their software. 6 million steps in less than a year. If you would have told me a year ago, I would have called you a dreamer.

By now, I could walk a Marathon a day. Walk, not run. After about one year, building up from zero. Come walk with me.


Nice work :) I started walking two years ago but have now rediscovered cycling.

Over 20 kg lost, but 20,000 km gained.


Justin Knol, 2015-03-08

Congratulations, Justin. Both on the exercise and the weight loss. It probably does not really matter, what exercise you do. Find what you like and then stick to it. I know somebody who swims three kilometers a day.

Having said that, did you read the article I linked to? Walking is a mild exercise that has other benefits as well.

Volker Weber, 2015-03-08

Very inspirational - thank you for sharing your progress and your thoughts on walking in general! Now with the sun out everybody should feel (even more) encouraged. I ride my bike all year around to work and back which is my daily workout. In additiona I run but I will pick up walking as well. And like you, I always feel encouraged by measuring my activities. My standpoint is this: every piece of technology that encourages one to be more active is fair game (i.e. money well spent). I walk with you...

Markus Dierker, 2015-03-08

The list is not complete:

Martin Funk, 2015-03-08

A marathon does take 4h+ plus for the average trained. So much how long do you walk (with all doggie pee breaks included)? :)

Ingo Seifert, 2015-03-08

Well, I haven't. I said, I could. I figure it would take me about seven hours. The dog can always keep up with me, no matter which service breaks she has to take.

Why haven't I done it yet? I have enough strength and endurance. But my body says "don't". And I listen very carefully.

Volker Weber, 2015-03-08

Oh, do not get me wrong. I did not want to motivate you for a marathon but it is your decision anyway. I just never walked 42k... and was interested how long it took you.

Ingo Seifert, 2015-03-09

Normal walk is 5 km/h, brisk walk is 6. I made it to 7 but would not be able to for hours on end. I'd probably rest every two have hours for 10 minutes.

Volker Weber, 2015-03-09

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