Have You Had Your Walk Today?
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 Bonnie Stein

          Bonnie Stein, M.Ed.

Want To Race Faster?
Racewalk Training for Advanced Racewalkers

By Bonnie Stein, M.Ed.


Dan Pierce, the 100K Racewalk American Record Holder, is also a former National Racewalk Team member who is currently a racewalk coach in Denver, Colorado.  He has a suggestion for a type of workout for racewalkers who wish to improve their racing times.

This workout is intended for racewalkers at the advanced level.  New racewalkers should be concentrating more on technique improvement, not on speed.  This workout is for racewalkers who have been racewalking for at least a year, have experienced some races, wish to race faster, and are willing to do the training thatís necessary.

You should already be consistently doing the two types of workouts per week that I've suggested in the past for advanced racewalkers.  Those two workouts include 1) A Long Walk - Once a week, racewalk double your race distance at two minutes per mile slower than your race. 2) Anaerobic Threshold workout - Once a week racewalk 20-30 minutes 15 seconds per mile slower than your 5K race pace.

The third workout to add, according to Dan, is an interval type of workout.  Once a week to once every other week, racewalk ten seconds per mile faster than your 5K race pace for a total of about 20 minutes.  Take rest periods between the repetitions.  Examples are two times a mile if you can racewalk a mile in 10 minutes.  Otherwise - two times 10 minutes, three times 7 minutes, three repeats of 3 laps on a track, four times 5 minutes, four times a half mile, etc.  The rest part should be easy walking for about five minutes.  As you become more fit, the rest period will become shorter, maybe as short as two minutes.

The above workouts should be done with at least 36 hours and preferably 48 hours between them (i.e. "hard day, easy day").   The two faster workouts should have a good warm-up and cool-down of 10-20 minutes each.  The other days of the week should be easy days of no more than 30-50 minutes at a pace about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes per mile slower than your 5K race pace.

If you race a 5K or a 10K as a workout, that would take the place of the 20 minute sustained workout.  Longer races count as the long workout.  Shorter races, such as a 1500 meter or a 3K count as the hard, fast day.

Dan says that the key to improving is being consistent.  "You want to be fresh for hard days and stress your body.  Easy days must be easy for maximum improvement to occur.  The hard workouts give your body the ability to get stronger, but your body gets stronger during rest, not during the hard workouts."

© 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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