Taking 100,000 steps in one day may sound insane—heck, some of you doubt that it can be done at all—but the truth is, 100K in a day is a milestone that many Fitbit users have managed to hit. So many, in fact, there’s even a Fitbit Badge to commemorate the accomplishment.
To find out what it really takes to rack up this kind of mileage—and inspire more people to try—Fitbit reached out to three users who wrote about their 100,000-steps experience in the Fitbit Community forums and asked them to elaborate. Below, in their own words*, these walking warriors explain how they did it—and how you can, too.
The True Stories of 3 Fitbit Users Who’ve Taken 100,000 Steps in One Day
Date of completion: June 24, 2017
How long did it take? 15 hours and 15 minutes
How she did it: I completed 50,000 steps a week without issue and was logging an average of 17,000 steps per day for a few weeks (with some 25k and 30k days in there, too) before I attempted 100K. On the day I set out to take 100,000 steps I started walking at 5:30 a.m. I knew I would be walking for about 50 miles give or take, carrying my phone in my hand, sunglasses and a hat on my head, and a credit card, photo ID, and chapstick in my pocket. I wore an old pair of sneakers, comfortable shorts, a loose tank top, a sports bra with no tags, and good running socks. I planned my route so that I was never walking more than 3 hours straight without a destination spot, such as a coffee shop or gas station. It helped to have destination points to focus on, as it would have driven me nuts to do this on a treadmill or by walking in circles around a neighborhood. My lunch break was the longest amount of time I stopped—about 20 minutes. Each of the few bathroom stops were less than 10 minutes, sometimes just five. I did not sit down except at breakfast, lunch, restroom breaks, and supper.
Best piece of advice? Overall, it helped me to just decide to do it, and get it finished with as little stopping as possible. Don’t get into that frame of mind where you think, ‘I’ve walked so much, I can just stop now.’ If I had stopped at 80K, I would have had to do 80K all over again just to get back to that point, and I didn’t want to do that.
Date of completion: March 14, 2017
How long did it take? 16 hours and 30 minutes
How he did it: The week I turned 70, I set out to walk 70,000 steps in one day, which I had been planning to do for months. But once I was well into my walk, the lure of that magic 100,000-steps goal was too great, so I pushed on to achieve it. I had been building up my steps over the previous months, but found it to be more of a mental battle than a physical one. I’m a very determined person though, and once I had been walking for a couple of hours, there was no way 70K wasn’t going to be done, even if I had to finish on my hands and knees. I broke the walk up into sections and took a short break after each section at different cafes. I brought plenty to drink on the walk and listened to music. If I didn’t have my music, I don’t think I would’ve been able to walk that much. I got a blister on my left foot after 70K, but I just taped it up, put on a spare pair of walking shoes, and didn’t stop until I reached my goal. I’m pleased that I achieved 100,000 steps in one day, but I will never do it again. I didn’t find it easy, but then again, I am 70 years old. As long as you have done the prep you should be all right.
Best piece of advice? Pick a date far enough off in the future that you can slowly build up your step count and not put yourself under too much pressure. Just keep chipping away at it and you will get there. You’ve got to really want to do it, and you have to be mentally geared up for it. If there’s any doubt, then you won’t achieve it. I nearly gave in, but I fought through.
Date of completion: July 8, 2017
How long did it take? 13 hours and 30 minutes
How she did it: The first time I attempted 100,000 steps, I failed. I was in the mountains and there was a lot of elevation change. The second time I attempted it, I knew I had to do it on a flat surface. But on this attempt, I ran out of time. I was only 3,000 steps short! The third time I attempted the challenge, I knew I had to get an early start so that I wouldn’t run out of time. I did it on a vacation day when there was nothing else to do. I didn’t really plan out the route—just that it would be flat. I walked 50K in one direction, and then turned around and walked back. I took food and cold drinks—a sandwich, fruit, lots of water—with me and kept refilling a water bottle up and pouring it over me. I ended up changing my shoes halfway through (from walking shoes to walking sandals) because of blisters. But I didn’t stop once—not even for a little break. At 11:30 p.m. I had successfully completed 100,000 steps.
Best piece of advice? Figure out how to accomplish 100,000 steps without running out of time. Start early and don’t do hills!
*Responses have been edited for brevity and clarity. Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of users.
This article is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.