Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Steps Challenge

My company has a wellness program in which participants earn points for various activities. Those points are tracked and used to determine what wellness incentives the employee earns at the end of each year. They have just announced an opportunity to get another point, and this triathlete in training has picked up the gauntlet.

They are calling it the Pedometer Challenge. Participants were offered pedometers for $2, which is actually a pretty decent deal. In addition to normal daily steps, participants can count lap swimming, biking, and water aerobics. Therein lies the challenge.

The highest "target" they have is 10,000 steps per day average. Using a relatively low 1500 steps per mile running, a 30 mile running week would be 45,000 steps. That would leave few steps remaining to hit the 70,000 weekly mark. So, I have arbitrarily decided that running doesn't count for triathletes in training.

That means that all my "steps" must be accomplished in the pool, on the bike, or through normal walking activities. This should be achievable given the "conversions" they are using.

Lap swimming is converted to steps using 172 steps for each minute swimming. That means my average weekly pool time of 2 hours will net about 20,600 steps. Two hours of biking at 148 steps per minute will raise that to about 38,400 steps. That will leave about 31,600 steps per week, or 4500 per day. The lowest target they have is 1000-5000 steps per day. So, after discarding my swims, bikes, and runs, I will target the high end of that goal.

All I can say is, there is something seriously wrong with me. Not because I'm taking this challenge. And not because I'm taking this challenge without counting my runs. It's that I went through the math to calculate all that out. Sometimes, my math background just keeps rearing its ugly little head.

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