July 11, 2006
The track meets at San Pedro High School are back. I’m pretty excited, because I rarely run the short distance races. This year, they are also hosting racewalk clinics, and doing a Racewalk race, complete with judges so people can try out some different things.
I am of the belief that racewalking is very helpful to keep you moving in a long race because good technique will help you move more quickly even if you are not ‘race’ walking, but just walking.
In the 400, I manage 1:13 (which isn’t my best, but that translates to a 4:52 mile).
In the 1500, I run 5:39, which is a PR (probably just a tad under a 6-minute mile).
In the Mile Racewalk, I am given a warning for breaking form, but pull of a time of 9:32. Just for comparison, the world class racewalkers can complete a 10K in around 42 minutes… walking. 9:32 translates to around an hour. Fast, but not crazy fast.
A short word about Racewalking. Most people assume that racewalkers need to keep contact with part of their foot at all times, and that’s it. It’s not quite that simple. There is a certain form you need to keep BESIDES keeping contact with your foot at all times. I think it would be difficult, though, to keep the form AND run, though the world-class racewalkers do ‘tread’ a thin line between running and walking.
The correct form is your lead leg must be locked and straight when it hits the ground. It cannot bend until it passes vertical. Then your trailing leg (now your leading leg) follows this same pattern. If you try to walk like this in a straightforward manner, you will find it VERY awkward. And thus, this is why racewalkers sway their hips so deliberately.
If you swivel your hip as you place your foot, then the movement is less awkward… and also the turning is conducive to proper arm swaying as well.
In any event, I find it difficult to concentrate on keeping proper technique, and that slowed me down considerably toward the end of the mile.