Project: Treadmill Desk, the First Two Weeks


On Friday, I completed week two of Project: Treadmill Desk.  Let me share some stats with you.

  • Total Miles Walked:  98.69 miles
  • Total Weight Lost: 7 pounds
  • Total Time: 35.6 hours
  • Total Cost (minus shoes): $189
  • Total Cost (with shoes): $312

I'm averaging roughly 50 miles/week, or 10 miles/day.  According to RunKeeper, I'm burning around 1,200 calories/day at the pace I've set.  My walking pace is averaging between 2.6 and 3.0 mph.  During that time, I've worked on iOS apps, spent a lot of time on a special project for work, written blog posts, handled the day to day demands of my job and even had meetings.  I'm quite pleased to say that my productivity has not fallen off at all and may even have increased, though that is a subjective statement.

I'm doing something really awesome for my health

Add to that the knowledge that, as I walk so many miles a day, I'm doing something really awesome for my health.  That knowledge has become a very serious motivation.  I recently had a conversation with my wife about a close friend that may be having heart problems.  In the back of my mind I realized that it would be very easy, if I chose to continue my sedentary lifestyle, to be having that conversation about myself.  Conversely, I realized that if I continue walking each day I could be around for a really long time (assuming an asteroid doesn't hit the planet and wipe out the human race...).

So, how does it feel, you might ask?  What kinds of things have you noticed?

First off, I sweat a lot more than I thought I would.  I mean, I'm only walking, right?  But man, you get going at ~2.8 mph for 2 hours and you're going to sweat.  A lot.  I work at home, so that's not a huge issue, but if I worked in an office I would probably need to walk slower.

I've also been surprised at my energy.  I am typically a 3-cup-of-coffee per day kind of guy.  Two in the morning, one after lunch.  That's changed.  I can take or leave the second morning cup (though I normally have it because I enjoy it), but the afternoon cup is getting moved to 3 PM.  Why?  If you're walking for 4 hours and controlling your calories, you can get tired in the afternoon.  If I have a cup of coffee around 3 PM, that can help push me through the rest of the day as I transition from wrangling code to wrangling children.

The more I do this, the more I realize that the human body is designed to move

Besides that late afternoon slump, though, from an all-day energy perspective, I feel awesome.  I definitely have more get-up-and-go and simply moving is easier.  The more I do this, the more I realize that the human body is designed to move.  I can walk all day easier than I can sit or stand all day.

I've also learned that this is pretty extreme, and I had better take care of myself.  Most folks don't log 50 miles a week of anything.  50 miles is a lot of wear and tear on your body, even if it's something low impact like walking.  Something I've learned:  Your feet are important, don't #&*% them up.  Three days into it, I realized that my shoes weren't cutting it.  I had bruised my middle toe on my left foot and was rubbing a blister into my pinky toe on my left foot.  If that kept up, there was no way I was going to be able to keep walking.

Your feet are important, don't #&*% them up

So I went out to my local running store, told them what I was doing (which they thought was cool) and got some proper footwear.  The difference has been phenomenal.  Hurting while you're doing anything just pretty much sucks.  Having the right footwear relieved the stress on my toes and has made my hips and lower back feel better.  Night and day difference.  I'm still getting the occasional blister, which I expect will continue for a while, but they're manageable.  If you're going to do something like this, make sure you have the right equipment.

All in all, I've really enjoyed the last two weeks.  I feel better, I look better (well, I'm not so sure that's entirely possible, but I like to think I look better!) and I'm being both healthy and productive.  it's a bit extreme, but this is really one of the best ways I've ever found to work.