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About Race Walking

July 14, 2011 | Comments: 0 | Views: 133

Race walking is much faster than regular walking and differs from all other track events since correct technique is essential for successful performance. The Olympic events of 20 kilometres and 50 kilometres are both extreme tests of endurance and as such the training reflects that of all other endurance athletes.

Race Rules

There are two key technique-based rules that race walkers must adhere to.

The first is that the walker must always be in contact with the ground, which means that the toe of the rear leg must not have lifted from the ground before the heel of the front foot has landed. They need to retain great shape and are usually punished for bending the particular knee while it goes beneath the body or possibly having the feet not touching the ground.

Secondly, walkers must ensure that their leading leg remains straight (not bent at the knee) from the point when the foot hits the ground, until the leg has advanced under the body beyond, the point where it is vertical.

During races, judges will be positioned on the course to ensure that the rules are adhered to. If a judge deems that a rule has been broken a red card is issued, which is positioned on a board that is visible to walkers so that they are aware that an offence has been committed. If walkers are issued with three red cards during a race, they are disqualified. However, the red cards must be issued by three separate judges, since no single judge may issue more than one red card to the same walker during a race. In international competitions, the red cards must also be issued by judges from different countries to avoid accusations of national bias.

Stride Rate

A combination of aerobic work and speed endurance training are essential components of a race walker's training programme. You will need to work on specific drills to develop stride rate (cadence), since race walkers' stride length is significantly shorter than that of runners due to the technical restrictions of the events. Pace is increased most effectively, and legally, by increasing cadence, not overstriding, and a rate of around 200 strides per minute is not uncommon among top race walkers. Similar rates are observed in 400m runners, while top Marathon runners will have a cadence of around 150 strides per minute, figures that emphasize the importance of rapid stride rate for walkers.

Correct technique is critical and closely monitored by judges during a race to prevent infringements.

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Source: EzineArticles
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