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Why Racewalk?

The first step to any fitness program is to evaluate WHY you are doing it. Unless you are motivated, you will not stick with it. Racewalking is not a magic bullet which will make you fit without time and effort. Even if your goal is just basic fitness, if you haven't made time to walk several times a week already, why will this change after you learn to racewalk? What will you do differently from today on to reap the rewards and benefits of being fit?

Good intentions are fine, but it will take good actions to become and stay fit. There is not much better use of your time than the few hours a week it takes to become fit. The good news is, however, that you do not have to exactly follow all the rules of racewalking just to walk faster. If you are not planning to compete, then just approximate the form and your daily walking speed and thus your fitness will increase.

Form

The drawings above show the proper technique of racewalking. There are two main rules of the sport.

  • One foot must be in contact with the ground at all times, and;
  • (Here I am very close to a violation. My heel must reach the ground before my toe lifts off.)

  • The knee must be straight when your forward heel touches the ground and must stay straight as the leg passes under the body.  (Note the straight leg as I am ready to place the heel down.) Staying on the ground is usually not a problem early in your walking unless you attempt to go much faster than your form and conditioning allow. A good way to check yourself is to watch your shadow and see if your head is "bouncing" up and down. Proper walking keeps the head steady.