I have been a volksmarcher/fitness walker for 15 years now. I thought I was doing fine - then the Portland to Coast Relay showed me I lacked the speed and technique that many other walkers have. With just a couple of tips from a walking coach, I straightened up my body alignment and sped up to 13 minute miles. Then this summer I decided to learn the basics of racewalking to really improve my walking speed and efficiency. It is a very rare walker who can go faster than 11-minute miles without using the racewalk technique, which maximizes the use of your muscles to propel you forward. If you are looking for speed, good body alignment, and a good calorie-burning walking workout, racewalking is the way to go.
Most walking coaches will lead you into a technique that incorporates good posture, arm motion, and efficient foot roll. To transition into racewalking you simply need to add the straight knee (leading leg knee straight from the time the leading foot hits the ground until it passes under your body).
This weekend I attended a racewalk clinic with Dave McGovern. I'll be writing a series of articles on lessons learned from that. It is a great experience and I recommend it to anyone.
Coaching Web Links
- If you have a local racewalk group, they are the most direct source of finding coaches in the area, plus they will have good personal recommendations as to who is a good coach. Searchfor local racewalkers via Racewalk.com.
- Join a local racewalk club/group and enjoy their workouts - they will coach you along!
- You may be able to pick up brochures in local running shoe stores or health clubs
- Ads in local running magazines/club newsletters
- Call nearby colleges and ask if they know any local coaches. Racewalk.com has a list of colleges with active racewalking programs, which should be a good source of contacts to coaches.
- Contact one of the coaches who travel and give clinics (see above), line up a group who want to learn and enjoy!
Racewalking Clinics and Coaching
Our index of racewalking clinics and instructors.
Bonnie Stein has coached over 6000 folks in racewalking techniques.
Hosts clinics and personal training in racewalking.
Dave McGovern's World Class Racewalking
Hosts racewalking clinics.
Where can you find local coaching for walking?
Books: Walking Book Store Great books to learn to do it yourself.