|Frequently Asked Questions|
|What is race walking?||GO!||What is the benefits?||GO!|
|What are the rules of race walking?||GO!||Quotes to inspire||GO!|
|Who can do race walking?||GO!|
|How do you race walk?||GO!|
|Is it a sport?||GO!|
|South African race walking?||GO!|
|What is race walking?|
walking, also known as Speed walking, Power walking and ‘The Walk’.
Race walking is a sport that can be enjoyed by anyone, of any age. It
is easy and fun to pursue. Despite the ridiculous look, race walking
enhances the body's own sense of internal rhythm by emphasizing the
harmonious motion of the upper and lower parts of the body. In a very
short period of time one begins to feel the physical and mental benefits
of this rediscovered sport.
Road Walking Races.
Walks with a medal
|What are the rules of race walking? According to the IAAF|
overall governance of racewalking as an international sport is provided
by the IAAF ( International Association of Athletics Federations). In
particular, IAAF Rule 230 provides the formal definition of racewalking
and the rules covering racewalking events.
|Who can do race walking?|
If you can walk you can race walk. you don't have to be or try to be an athlete or fanatic. You need no special instructors, gym, equipment, weights or health clubs - nothing other than a good pair of shoes. It doesn't cost you a fortune, you can do it anywhere. No advanced state of physical fitness is required in order to begin. You can be overweight, old, young, or middle aged.
People who start
race walking are the disillusioned runners, expectant mothers, people
of advanced age, recuperating heart patients, children, dieters and
performers. Potential race walkers include those millions of people
who sought the benefits of running and jogging and found it just too
tiring and too hazardous, as well as those people who walk daily for
exercise and need only to make a few adjustments in their approach and
style in order to become expert race walkers.
|How do you race walk?|
Foot Action - driving foot and front foot acting in a straight line with full extension and flexion of the ankle joints.
Leg Action - smooth, rhythmic strides with continuous contact and a straight supporting leg in the vertical position. A strong rear leg drive.
Hip Action - smooth forward movement with as little vertical and lateral movement as is necessary.
Arm Action - towards the mid-line in front of the trunk, straight back with the elbow high behind the trunk. Arm angled to 90% at elbow.
Trunk Position - upright and relaxed except a slight forward lean as the rear leg drives the body forward.
Shoulder Action - sholders as low as possible and relaxed.
|Is it a sport?|
Race walking is one of the oldest sports originating from the middle ages in Europe, in particular, England. Footmen had to keep up with their master's carriages but without actually running. Soon a sporting tradition emerged. Betting took place by putting one nobleman's footman against another's. It became one of the most popular sports in England, reaching such heights that spectators stood along the roadway eagerly placing their wagers. The race walker became the earliest "pro." in the sport of "Pedestrianism" as it was called then.
Race walking has been part of the Olympic Games since 1908 and features in World Championships at various levels, European Championships, Pan American Games, Commonwealth Games, All Africa Games and other International, continental and local meetings.
The development of race walking can be seen in the winning times of previous Olympics compared to current times. The 1960 and 1968 Olympic 20km walk was won in 1:34:07 and 1:33:58 respectively by Golubnicy of the USSR. Today most competitive world class walkers go sub 1:20:00, with the world record achieved in 2003 by Ecuador's Jefferson Perez standing at 1:17:21.
|What is the benefits?|
One needs not to excel in race walking in order to gain its advantages. Each individual should make his or her own decision as to how strenuously to engage in what; in its ultimate form is a sport which requires the maximum in speed, endurance and technique.
Race walking is in fact an easy way to get you in shape and stay that way. For beginners the goal is to allow yourself to feel as good as you potentially can feel. Beyond fitness and fun, the higher levels of race walking offer a vast new field just waiting for its first heroes and heroines to pave the way. There are race walkers in training right now who have gone from being mediocre joggers to gold medal race walking champions in two to three years.
The aerobic benefits
from race walking are second to no other exercise. Other than this you
will find yourself: sleeping better, enjoying your extra energy flow,
digesting your food better, having a trim lean body, having a healthy
sex life, all round better health, increased awareness and the tendency
to attacks of cheerfulness and downright optimism.
|South African race walking?|
Race walking in South Africa is a very competitive sport and is featured in national championships at all levels and in local road races. Youth and junior walkers are introduced to the sport through school athletics and then developed through the ranks.
South Africa has been represented all over the world at various events, a highlight being Cecil McMaster at the 1924 Olympics in Paris winning a bronze medal. South Africa has produced world class walkers like Chris Britz - multiple SA record holder, Stanley Valentine, Johan Moerdyk, Susan Vermeulen and lately Nicolene Cronje, first SA woman race walker at the Olympics (Athens 2004). South Africa also won several medals and obtained good placing in African and Commonwealth events through the years.
In the Master age groups we have world champion medal winners at various World Master Championships and numerous world record holders. Some Masters include Barbara Nell, Brenda Nooy, Anna Vilet, Jurgen Spencer and Izak Nel. Our current crop of Senior and Junior walkers are progressively taking steps to make South Africa a competitive force in international race walking circles.
Since 2002 South
Africa has been represented at the Olympics, Commonwealth Games, All
Africa Games, World and African Junior Championships and the World Race
|Quotes to inspire|
“What you have to do is to learn how to do ordinary things in such an extraordinary way that everything takes on a meaning and a glory" Patience Strong.
"Walking is the most efficient exercise for improving overall fitness. It uses more muscles in a continuous uniform action than most other forms of exercise, and it remains accessible to you throughout life - this natural exercise can change random rambling into the best life assurance policy you'll ever have" - Readers Digest.
"The sum of the whole is this: Walk and be happy, walk and be healthy - the best way to lengthen our days is to walk steadily and with a purpose. The wandering man knows of certain ancients, far gone in years, who have staved off infirmities and dissolution by earnest walking - hale fellows, close upon ninety, but brisk as boys." - Charles Dickens.
"Don't lead with your chin, your belly and your bunions" - Prof Arthur Steinhaus.
"Take long steps when you walk, feel the good, rewarding "pull" in the muscles of your legs and buttocks, feel your shoulder go up, your neck straighten to carry your head proudly" - Gayelord Hauser.
" We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle.
" I know of no more encouraging fact than the unquestionable ability of man to elevate his life by conscious endeavor." - Henry David Thoreau.
" Deep within man dwell those slumbering powers; powers that would astonish him, that he never dreamed of possessing; forces that would revolutionize his life if aroused and put into action." - Orison Swett Marden
" I am not discouraged, because very wrong attempt discarded is another step forward." - Thomas Edison.
" The secret of success is learning how to use pain and pleasure instead of having pain and pleasure use you. If you do that, you're in controlof your life. If you don't, life controls you. - Tony Robbins.
" There is nothing training cannot do. Nothing is above its reach. It can turn bad morals to good; it can destroy bad principles and recreate good ones; it can lift men to angelship." - Mark Twain.
" The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to go beyond them into the impossible." - Arthur C. Clarke
A few quotes from American middle distance legend Steve Prefontaine and Bill Bowerman.
“I don't just go out there and run (walk). I like to give people watching something exciting."
"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the GIFT."
"The greatest improvement is made by the man who works most intelligently"
"I'm going to work so that it's a pure guts race at the end, and if it is, I am the only one who can win it."
"If you have a body, you are an athlete"
"Some people create with words or music or a brush and paints. I like to make something beautiful when I run (walk). I like to make people stop and say, 'I've never seen anyone run (walk) like that before.' It's more than just a race, it's a style. It's doing something better than anyone else. It's being creative."
“You have to wonder at times what you're doing out there. Over the years, I've given myself a thousand reasons to keep running (walking), but it always comes back to where it started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement."
Visualise what it will look like and feel like to win. Get the taste of loss out of your mouth. Replace it with what you want to have happen, what you expect to happen, not what you hope doesn’t happen.
But first you have to work at abandoning the mind games that we all play, the little tricks that we spring on ourselves to try to ward off pressure, a long list of silly superstitions that are no more useful than wearing garlic to scare off vampires.
To often the thing that we are really afraid of is failing to live up to other people’s expectations.
It might be the ability to embrace pressure, to understand it, to draw it in, to make it your own and to use it to your advantage.
Minimising the risks does nothing but minimise you and the things that you can accomplish.
Recognise pressure for what it is: a reflection of your own ambition. You claim the pressure for yourself, internalise and make it yours.
The closer that I got to the day of the race, the quieter I got. I just shut down, planning the race in my mind.
It’s about who can handle the hardships the best and find the strength to keep going.
Things take place there is a confluence of events and circumstances, and we can’t always know their purpose or even if there is one. But we can responsibility for ourselves and be brave.