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Tips From the Pros

by Bonnie Stein, M.Ed.


Each month I get a dozen or more calls from walkers or runners who want to learn how to racewalk.  Sometimes they're lucky and live in an area where there is a racewalking instructor I can recommend.  Sometimes they're in an area where I'm going to be doing lessons in the near future.  Sometimes, they're even planning a trip to Florida and will stop by the Tampa Bay area for a weekend of private instruction.  More often, they're disappointed by the lack of racewalking instruction in their area.

If you've been looking for racewalking instruction, there may be a solution in the DVD, How to Walk Faster - Tips From the Pros.  It isn't often that I recommend a racewalking video or DVD - the last time was the summer of 1997 when I spoke about Martin Rudow's Racewalking to Win.  There aren't many racewalking videos or DVDs available, and even less that are effective.  Yet, if you’re a visual learner, or if there's no racewalking coach in your city - here's a welcome addition to your media library.

How to Walk Faster - Tips from the Pros was written and directed by Elaine Ward, Director of the North American Racewalking Foundation.  The NARF supports our Olympic Racewalking hopefuls by helping to fund their training at the Olympic Training Center in  Chula Vista, California.   The DVD features Coach Enrique Pena and the National Racewalk Team. There's also good racewalking footage of Jefferson Perez, the Olympic Gold Medalist at the 20K Racewalk in Atlanta.

The DVD is broken down well for instruction into several sections including Fast Walking Techniques, Fast Walking Aids, and Fast Walking Training.  Each of these sections is further divided.  For example, "Fast Walking Techniques" shows correct and incorrect arm movement.  It also goes over "do's and don'ts" for the hips, legs, and knees.  You can find the answer to almost any racewalk technique flaw as well as suggestions for improvement. There's a good review included with many excellent side view and front view shots of our top American racewalkers.

In the section called "Fast Walking Aids" the DVD highlights flexibility and strengthening specifically for racewalkers.  It covers hip rotation, back flexibility, abdominal strengtheners, hamstrings, shins, and exercises to make your feet faster.

Naturally, no DVD instruction can take the place of having your own racewalking coach in person to guide you.  Yet, How to Walk Faster has some great advantages.  For visual learners, the appeal is having the extended footage of Jefferson Perez and our national team demonstrating smooth and fluid racewalking style.  New racewalkers will also appreciate seeing other "normal" racewalkers on screen.  The DVD includes some average racewalkers, ages 35-78, as well as our top athletes.  Having the technique broken down into bite-size pieces is also extremely helpful for new racewalkers or those with specific technique concerns.

The only negative I could see with this DVD is the slight language barrier - Pena's weak English.  Luckily, he does very little speaking and instead leaves the instruction up to the American athletes.  Each racewalker takes a turn at giving instruction.  Olympic star Curt Clausen teaches us proper racewalking arm action, while 50K champion, Philip Dunn, instructs us regarding the hips.  Al Heppner goes over knee straightening, and Tim Seaman, winner of the Indoor National 5K Racewalk, reviews the proper foot motion for fast walking.  With this DVD in your library, you'll be learning from our top American racewalkers the skills they learned from one of the top racewalking coaches in the world.

To order How to Walk Faster, send $23 to Bonnie Stein, 209 East 176th Avenue, Redington Shores, Florida 33708.


If you’re a racewalker who likes to learn by watching, then you’ll be interested in the racewalking instructional DVD called, “Racewalk Like a Champion” by Jeff Salvage.

The Race Walk Like a Champion DVD set is like a coach in a box. Spanning two DVDs, the set brings the descriptions from the book to life while explaining all aspects of racewalking in DVD quality video. The benefits of the DVD format do not end there; the interactivity makes it a coach in a box. Its friendly menus allow you to watch exactly the section you wish, over and over, with no rewinding!  Have a technique that you want to work on? Just drill down through the interactive menus and your ever-present coach is there to assist.

Here's what each volume has to offer:


The first DVD starts off with a definition of the rules that govern racewalking. Once you know what you have to do to be legal, the DVD then presents every aspect of racewalking technique.

Your shoes are your single most important piece of equipment. The DVD demonstrates all aspects of good and bad racewalking shoes, so that you can make an educated decision about your shoe selection.

Add in the audio/video photo stories of the all-time best racewalkers in America along with a documentary of the top athletes training at the Olympic Training Center--many of whom will be part of our next Olympic Team--and you will have a new appreciation for our sport. Learn all the lessons this set has to offer.

Once you know the techniques, you'll want a training program. Our detailed, day-by-day schedules are customized to your goal race pace. Pick a distance, then a time, and a three-phase day-by-day schedule is presented.


The second DVD contains all the stretches, drills, and exercises to make you a complete racewalker.  Walking alone isn't enough. Without warming up properly, improving your range of motion, stretching, and strengthening the proper way, you will not reach your full racewalking potential. The step-by-step instructions contained in Volume II are sure to help you on your way to being the best racewalker possible.

Nowhere before have so many detailed training schedules (over 100, from 5K to 50K) been available at the click of your remote. Simply select your race distance and then your race time, and a day-by-day training schedule appears. The DVDs guide you from the first steps of a base phase all the way through your race day.

A wonderful documentary is included on the racewalkers training at the Olympic Training Center at Chula Vista, California. Many of our current Olympic racewalkers are included in the documentary.

To order your 2 volume DVD, send a check for $43 (regular price is $56) to Bonnie Stein.
209 East 176 Avenue
Redington Shores, FL 33708

This page was last updated on 06/04/2007 05:17:08 PM -0400

© 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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