WHAT DO I DO NOW?
Put at its simplest, you walk an average of 2.74 miles a day in 12 months. Today is a perfect time to start.
Put slightly less simply: you invest a bit of time in yourself and start to feel better and better; you join a community (www.facebook.com/groups/walk1000miles) that knows how you feel and is keen to help with any question you might have; you make friends and you share discoveries and delights; you see yourself in print perhaps and feel a giddy glee; you smile a bit more, sleep a bit better and start having naughty thoughts about outdoor gear. You get complimented, wear a badge for the first time since you were six and enjoy rain. It’s weird.
AM I TOO LATE TO START?
Emphatically no. You can give yourself 12 months from the day you start. The best time to start is today. If you were determined to start and finish in 2018 you might be surprised to know how manageable your daily target miles are, even if you don't start until February, March or beyond. Even if you started in April you can hit the required daily mileage in an hour of brisk walking. Have a look at this chart:
HOW DO I RECORD MY MILES?
Any way you choose but our recommended method is by downloading the OS Maps app (iTunes / Android), which has a mileage accumulator feature specially developed for #walk1000miles. Combined with the paper Progress Tracker Chart you get from Country Walking magazine (essential for entering all competitions throughout 2018) you are all set! Otherwise you can use a wearable activity tracker, app on your phone, use a map and a piece of string or with the help of Google Maps. You can see what most people in our Facebook group are using by clicking here, and you can keep tabs on how your daily average target changes by using our instant mileage tracker coming soon to the challenge homepage. Just enter your total miles so far to find out how many you've got to average a day for the remainder of the year. (Tip: miles put in early on really help your motivation later in the year!)
DO I NEED TO SUBMIT/UPLOAD MY MILES ANYWHERE?
No. The main thing is you keep track of them yourself – and the best way is on the official Progress Tracker chart free with the issue of Country Walking out 4 January – preorder it now. But post in the group when you reach milestones and the amazing group member Susan Miller somehow keeps a track of it all and with her help we publish completers lists in the magazine periodically.
WHAT MILES / STEPS CAN I COUNT TOWARDS MY TOTAL?
It’s up to you to set the rules – it’s YOUR challenge, not a competition. Many people, particularly those starting from a lower fitness level, will choose to count every step. Most will count they all the miles they do that they wouldn’t have done before – and whether it’s in your lunch break, skipping the bus, round the block or in the country it all adds up. Some will count only the miles they cover with walking boots on – that's what people mean when they refer to 'boots on' miles. It's up to you, and the only person you’re competing with is the Old You – so as long as you’re walking more than them, you’re winning.
IS THERE A LEADER BOARD?
No. #walk1000miles is not a race to the finish and the only person you are competing with is last year's version of yourself! Your milestones will be celebrated by the community as heartily whether it's 10, 50 or a multiple of 100 you're hitting. The main thing is surprising yourself not impressing anyone else – but we're pretty sure you will do both!
ARE THERE ANY REWARDS?
Oh, only your fitter, happier, sleeker new self! But having said that, if you've signed up and got a progress tracker you'll be eligible for multiple competitions on the challenge homepage, in the monthly newsletter and in the magazine. You will also be able to download free completion certificates, and buy challenge merchandise like the cool stuff we had in 2017. There are also badges (pins if you're from the US) which declare your participation and which have proved highly covetable! There will be 1000 given away free to holders of the March issue (out 1st Feb 2018).
WHERE DO I GET A PROGRESS TRACKER?
The new 2018 double-sided Progress Tracker is available with the issue of Country Walking out 4 January, which you can pre-order now.
WHY DO I NEED A PROGRESS TRACKER?
We've found the Progress Tracker addictive to fill in, and it gives a real sense of common cause, but perhaps as importantly you'll need to upload a photo of your progress tracker to enter competitions to win gear from our partners. This enables us to stop professional competition-enterers winning prizes when real #walk1000miles challengers deserve them!
I'M NEW TO THE FACEBOOK GROUP AND I'M SHY! I'M SURE MY QUESTIONS WILL HAVE BEEN ASKED LOTS OF TIMES BEFORE SO SHOULD I STAY QUIET SHOULDN'T I?
NO! There is now a year's-worth of experience in the group and everyone is delighted to help each other out. Talking is good! Saying that a question had been answered before would be a serious breach of etiquette and would never happen anyway as I'm pretty sure this is the nicest group of people on the internet! Please don't stay quiet. And now the group is so big, posting and commenting is the best way to stay involved in conversations and make friends – there is too much going on to keep track of every single post and person.
WHAT'S A BADGER?
In 2016 we gave away and later sold over 2000 'I'm doing it!' challenge badges. Someone at some point decided people who wore them should be called 'badgers'. Later, some of them started meeting up for the occasional walk, which was fun, and they're still happening. We will make 2018 badges available via Country Walking soon if you'd like to be a 2018 badger! (And by the way, if you see any other words or references you don't understand do ask: we don't want any exclusiveness here, all are welcome on any in-joke!)
WHO'S BEHIND THIS?
Country Walking, the UK's best-selling and fastest-growing walking magazine and which has been continuously published every month for the past 30 years. (It makes a great challenge companion: if you subscribe now you also get a £50 activity tracker and a year's free access to Ordnance Survey's mapping for the whole of the country on your phone, tablet and computer, worth £25.99.) Click the pic to find out more.
I HAVE MORE QUESTIONS!
Head to this 'pinned' post, always available at the top of the group's home page and post your question. If you're really stuck, click 'About us' at the foot of this page for contact details.