Have You Had Your Walk Today?
Inside This Site
 Bonnie Stein

          Bonnie Stein, M.Ed.

Want So, You Only Have 30 Minutes?
Get a Big Workout in a Little Bit of Time

By Bonnie Stein, M.Ed.


National racewalk team member, Sally Richards-Kerr is creative when getting in her daily racewalking workout .  A mother of four children (ages 3, 4, 14, and 15) she'd have a legitimate reason for complaining about a lack of time to train.  Weather conditions in Evergreen, Colorado, where Sally lives, might prove another inhibiting factor.  Yet, you'll never hear Sally complain about her lack of time or training conditions.  Instead, she says that "any amount of time walking is like money in the bank - - - it all adds up."   Sally plugs in 30 minutes when she can fit it in.

Sally says that very few American athletes, even national team members, have ideal training conditions.  With job and family constraints, one often must catch a workout "on the run."  Fitting in workouts hasn't hindered Sally's accomplishments.   In the mid-90ís she was the fastest woman master's racewalker in the United States and at 41 years old, was the only woman over 40 on the National Racewalk team at the time.  She's also was the world record holder for the women's master's 10K distance.

Ten years ago, when Sally was a single mother of two young children and a middle school French teacher, "catch as catch can" was how she fit in her workouts.  She recalls going to school with her shorts underneath her skirt.  She'd teach during first and second periods, then during her 45 minute third period break, she'd change her shoes, head outside, hide her skirt in the bushes, and do a hard 30 minute speed or hill workout.

She'd leave enough time at the end of her workout to grab her skirt, hit the bathroom for a quick wash-up, and head back into her classroom for the arrival of her fourth period class.  Some days when an hour workout was on the agenda, she'd repeat the workout at lunch time.  Two half hour workouts were better than nothing according to Sally.

Many racewalkers, who have progressed to the point of  being able to walk an hour or more at a time, mistakenly believe in the "all or nothing policy."  If they find themselves with only a half hour to spare for a workout, they often skip it since  they don't have time to do their whole hour walk.

Those half hours can prove quite valuable.  Done correctly, short workouts can boost your cardiovascular fitness and even increase your walking pace.  They can even relieve boredom from doing the same workout day after day.

Try these 30 minute walking workouts:


If you are near a track, you can do "Straights and Turns."  After a good warm-         up, speed up on each straight part of the track and do a recover pace on the          turns.  Twenty minutes along with a good cool-down makes an ideal short, but intense workout.


Another workout for the track would be drills.  These are meant to adjust certain technique flaws.  You can do cross-overs  (crossing both feet over opposite sides of the line on a track.)   This drill encourages more hip flexibility. Windmill arms  coordinate the arms with the hip action of racewalking.  Move the arms backward, one at a time, like a windmill as you     walk the straight line of a track.  Make sure you are warmed up well before you do drills.  Ten or 15 minutes of drills are a strenuous workout.  Allow time for a good cool down.


Use hills to increase the intensity of a short workout.  After a good warm-up, (hills are hard on the hamstrings) racewalk assertively up a hill and do a recover pace on the way down.  Repeat for the duration of your 15-20 minute workout.  Then, do a good cool-down.


Even without access to a track, you can do a quick workout in your neighborhood.  Speed up between mailboxes or light poles.  For example, do two mailboxes fast and recover for four mailboxes.  Repeat for 20 minutes. Along with a warm up and cool-down, you've got a great interval workout right outside your front door.

If I haven't emphasized it enough, always to remember to warm-up and cool-down.  Don't do more than one of these intense workouts per week.  Never do an intense workout if you have an injury.  Don't skip a chance to get in a good workout because you're short on time.  Lastly, don't leave your clothes in the bushes.

© 2007 by Bonnie Stein. All Rights Reserved.

LIMITS OF LIABILITY AND DISCLAIMER - The authors and publishers of this newsletter have used their best efforts in preparing the articles and information contained within it. Additionally, you are advised to consult with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. The authors and publishers make no warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, and shall not be liable in the event of incidental or consequential damages.

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