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A little while back I wrote about how I’m trying to change shape from something like a sphere to more of an upside-down triangle. I’ve got my tunes all adjusted for the pace How To Make Your Own Workout Music With The Right Beats How To Make Your Own Workout Music With The Right Beats Read More , now I just need my walking routes. It’s been three years since I’ve done any jogging or walking for exercise, so I’d like to start out small. Maybe 3 kilometers a day. In the old days, I would have taken my truck out, drove 1.5 kilometers, found a landmark and then walked to and from that point. Done.

But why do something so mundane when we’ve got all this great technology! A very straightforward yet robust tool I’ve found is Gmaps Pedometer. It’s an interface to Gmaps that allows you to plan walking routes in pretty much any town in the world! You can create your own walking routes, have them autmatically done, count calories, or throw in mile markers for interval training. By the way, interval training is sometimes known as Fartlek training. I just love saying that. “Hey honey, whaddya got your shoes on for?” “I’m doing some Fartlekking.” Tee hee, I’m so juvenile.

Anyway, here’s how to set a route with Gmaps Pedometer.

Step 1 – Go to the Site

Gmaps Pedometer

Seriously, I’ve known people that would miss that step.

Step 2 -Start Planning the Walking Route

At the top of the screen, enter the town of place that you will be walking. Great idea for travelers – plan your walk before you go. I’m going to use Stanley Park in Vancouver, B.C. Canada You should go. There’s a world class aquarium, beautiful botanical garden, right on the ocean. Very nice!


plan walking route

Using the slider on the left of the map, or the drop down box next to the Go button, zoom down a level that focuses just on the area you want to walk.

Step 3 – Create the Walking Route

Click the Start Recording Button to, well, start recording. Now double click on the map the place you wish to start. Look down the road and double click a little further.

Aha! Now you see the red line and you know what the program is doing. It’s creating your route and measuring it at the same time.

Step 4 – Check the Effect

I’ve mapped out a route that is about 2.2 Km. Just fine for my bumpy buttocks. But what sort of damage will that do? To find out, I’ve entered my weight in the Weight field and it automagically approximates how many calories I’ll burn. The calculation isn’t terribly accurate, but it certainly gives you a good idea.

Step 5 – Save the Route

If you are subject to a poor short term memory like I am, you can print the map, save it and put in on your GPS or simple bookmark it by clicking on the Save Route link, or any combination of the three. Then, If you are subject to a poor short term memory…I typed that already didn’t I? Well, now you’ve got your marching orders and there’s only one more step to go.

Step 6 – Get to Stepping

Map in hand, repaced tunes on the iPod How To Make Your Own Workout Music With The Right Beats How To Make Your Own Workout Music With The Right Beats Read More , get out that front door and take care of business. And when your fitness level is up and the route is too easy, come on back to Gmaps Pedometer and make a new route, or several. The problem for a lot of people is that exercise becomes boring and routine. Change it up!

If you want to connect with other walkers, check out Walker Tracker. It’s a fun community of like-minded walkers to encourage each other and track progress.

How do you plan your walking routes? Know of any good ways to add routes to your GPS? Got a success story to share? I need all the motivation I can get. This is a lot of inertia to overcome. Let me know in the comments.

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  1. Rosie
    April 29, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    This is a great site for planning runs/ walks. MapMyRun is also good, but I prefer Gmaps Pedometer as it will follow the roads rather than just drawing straight lines.
    The couch to 5k program is a great one for anyone looking for motivation to get moving again as it provides realistic daily goals which will result in being able to run 5k nonstop
    Good luck with your goal of becoming a triangle shape :)

  2. Saikat
    April 29, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    Just found out that I am not losing as many calories as I thought trudging along every evening. That's a downer but the site's pretty good!

  3. Karen Goodman
    April 28, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    This is great! I have been planning to get started walking again, and I have tons of options given my gridlike community. This will help me gauge how far I need to walk to get in a few miles.


  4. dustov
    April 28, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Great idea! Find an excuse to spend even more time sitting down in front of the computer planning your life; now your walking route. Your old method of just driving (or maybe better = riding bike?) out somewhere and starting to walk was better. More adventure that way.

    • Guy McDowell
      April 28, 2009 at 9:37 pm

      And yet, here you are!

      The point is, I can plan several different routes with the same distance in about 5 minutes, instead of driving around. I can also plan ahead for walks while I'm on a trip.

  5. Simon Slangen
    April 28, 2009 at 10:20 am

    Looks nice, the name's a fail though. Pedometer? :-)

    • Guy McDowell
      April 28, 2009 at 9:36 pm

      Yeah, I know. Weird how Pedometer and Pedophile have the same beginnings. But nonetheless, that's the correct word.

  6. Brainiac
    April 28, 2009 at 6:17 am

    Guy, thanks for the great post. OK, I am off to do some Fartleking :-)

  7. Jean-Noël
    April 28, 2009 at 5:34 am

    what is the comparative advantage with the Google's tool : Draw a line along roads ?

    • Guy McDowell
      April 28, 2009 at 10:57 am

      I just find it easier, plus with Gmaps Pedometer, they will save your route for you and generate a unique URL to get back to it.