What is racewalking?
Racewalking is an exercise as well as a worldwide sport. Its core element is movement of the legs we call walking. You shouldn’t mistake it with running as they’re different. However, racewalking is not just about fast walking. It has its own rules and techniques to strictly follow. This is the reason why it has become a popular sport and a mean to better health or fitness.
The rules of racewalking
Racewalking has two vital rules. First, a leg must always touch the ground, which means you must keep one of your legs contacting with it. Second, your supporting leg must be straight when it is on the ground. Supporting leg is the leg you use for forcing your body forward. If you can’t keep these basic rules while competing, you’re mostly out. They are like soul and heart of racewalking. If the rules are not practiced, it won’t be racewalking anymore.
Before joining racewalking world
You should consult with your physician, doctor before starting racewalking. Racewalking is not dangerous sport, it is otherwise quite harmless. But it has unnatural motions which are not familiar with human body. Therefore, you don’t know whether your body can cope with the walk or not. That’s when you need a consultant who knows your body better.
You also should start to see racewalking coaches or attend racewalking clinics. Why? Because, it’s always better to learn from live, experienced person than books, videos or tips on the internet.
Note that racewalking clinics are where they train you in racewalking. Amusing name, right?
Warm up and Cool down
Experts suggest that you should do normal walking both for warm up and cool down first. Then practice stretching and flexibility. Don’t forget the stretch and flexibility since they’re vital for your endurance during the walk. And take them seriously since your joints need real warm up before they work hard and cool down after.
Here are some basic motions in racewalking;
- Head: Look about 20 yards ahead. Keep neck and jaw relaxed.
- Arms: 85 – 900 bent at elbows and pivoting swing from shoulders. Keep upper arms straight and parallel with torso while on forward swing.
- Torso: Walk tall and straight. Keep shoulders at ease.
- Feet: Heels landing. Use moderate stride.
- Hips: Rotate your hips forward and back like a little twisting.
- Legs: Always has one leg touches the ground. Leading leg is straight when being the support one.
Mistakes to Avoid
Aside from two big mistakes which is violating the two rules, there are also some common mistakes to avoid;
- Arms are not close with body in the forward swing which result in your hands are too high exceed yours chest. The upper arms are not straight, so your hands reach midpoint direction of the body.
- Using long stride to increase speed of pace. You should focus on speed to increase speed. That means use the force of your body to achieve faster pace.
- Slightly lean your body forward. This technique has been proved to be ineffective.
Attitudes to racewalking
Even though racewalking has been Olympic sport for a long time and loved by many people. But, it hasn’t been always receiving good lines from people. NBC had several insults for racewalkers. Not just NBC but some medias and people comment or mock that It’s nonsense since it’s not real running or real race. Why compete walk faster when you can run?
Therefore, you have to prepare to hear mocking from neighbors or people around. The real reason for this prejudice we don’t know. But we know one thing, every sports which have rules, technique and serious practices are all respectable. Set racewalking aside, not a few sports can make a meaning sense. What’s the point when you can jump high with a pole? So, be proud and confident as racewalking is professional, effective for better health and lifestyle.
Here are some notices you need to know when beginning to join racewalking. Take action and experience for yourself.