Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Training to Walk Faster

This last couple of months has been a experiment in the art of walking fast while keeping legal race walking form. The faster you walk the harder it is to keep all your parts performing like you want.

There is so much to think about, I try to imagine I'm going down steep stairs no matter if I'm on flat road or going up a hill. That keeps me walking with my feet in a straight line and helps get the hip drop right. That hip drop is good for a few extra inches of stride.

Being old and stiff I will never have that smooth rolling gait that you see on the worldclass walkers. But there are things even I can do. Keeping a good, mostly to the rear arm swing is good for keeping my stride flowing and keeping me from feeling like I'm walking on stilts or like a robot. The other is making sure I'm landing heel first instead of getting up higher on my foot. I'm walking with another walker who breaks into a shuffling run when he starts landing more toward the middle of his foot.

The stride has to start from your glutes and hips and not just your legs. When you start trying to go faster this gets harder, you have to start the stride by moving your hip forward with power. I've noticed that when I do a hard race my upper glutes are pumped like when a bodybuilder works on one muscle group. Hip forward and knees raises , not like a runner raising and lowering his knees for speed hip forward and knee is raised as your leg pushes forward not up like a runner.

I've been getting in some good 200m and 400m times but I need to have someone video me to make sure that my technique is as I think it is.

Thanks for reading.

Rambling Panda

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