In this study, we examined the effects of a supervised, heart rate intensity prescribed walking training programme on cardiorespiratory fitness and glycaemic control in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus. After receiving local ethics approval, 27 individuals (21 males, 6 females) with type 2 diabetes were randomly assigned to an experimental ("walking") or control group. Participants completed a Balke-Ware test to determine peak heart rate, peak oxygen consumption (VO(2peak)), and peak gradient. The walking group then completed a 7-week (four sessions a week) supervised, heart rate prescribed walking training programme, whereas the control group continued daily life. After training, participants completed another Balke-Ware test. Fasting blood glucose and glycosylated haemoglobin were measured at rest. The results showed that walking training elicited 80% (s = 2) of peak heart rate and a rating of perceived exertion of 11 (s = 1). Peak heart rate and VO(2peak) were higher in the walking than in the control group after training (P <0.05). Based on the peak gradient before training, the respiratory exchange ratio was significantly lower (P <0.05) and there was a strong trend for VO(2) (P = 0.09) and heart rate (P = 0.09) to be lower after training at the same gradient in the walking compared with the control group. These improvements increased walking peak gradient by 5 min (s = 4 min) compared with the control (P <0.05). There was no change in fasting blood glucose or glycosylated haemoglobin after training. Despite no change in glycaemic control, heart rate prescribed walking improved peak and sub-maximal cardiorespiratory responses. The beneficial adaptations support the use of heart rate monitoring during walking in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus.