Whether you are exercising overseas, at the gym or not at all, one thing’s for sure: if you haven’t tired racewalking now is the time to discover the technique that provides one of the best whole body exercises available. “You think you can or you think you can’t…YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT.” …Henry Ford.
The summer relays are over; the time for luxury fitness vacations is past and the seasons are changing. America’s favorite minimalist, Henry David Thoreau, wrote “Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each….”.
How can you as a walker ‘taste the fruit’ of the upcoming winter and nourish yourself for next year’s triumph? What can you do in this gray and wet Oregon winter to strengthen yourself, to maintain your motivation and emerge in spring as a better athlete? Look to ‘mother nature’ to provide some clues. Winter is a time of sparseness, of economy. A time when acorns stored in autumn are used to get animals through the cold. A time when plants and grass are working underground. Winter gives us a hiatus from competition, the opportunity to re-group and use our heads, the chance to go “underground” to improve our walking.
Make your fitness resolutions for 1998 before the holidays. Take stock of your progress over the last year. Did you have goals? A goal is an aim or purpose with a time line. Did you meet your goals? If not, what kept you from achieving them? If you didn’t set goals last year, now is the time to write them out for next year. One of the best ways to motivate yourself to maintain your walking is to set specific goals for your walking program. Setting goals enables you to visualize where you want to be, to prepare upcoming events, adventures, or desired changes. Set long term goals as targets, and short-term goals to help attain them. Perhaps you want to do a marathon or do the Portland Marathon faster, maybe racewalk it. The Portland To Coast Walk Relay can be a long term goal or an intermediate goal to a marathon. About 30 years ago, Yale University did a study of its graduating class regarding goals. Approximately 3% of the graduates had written goals; thirty years later, when the classmates were again studied, those 3% had more wealth than the entire remaining 97% of the class. An impressive testament to the power of goal setting.
Fall and winter are the time to plan as the training cycle begins again, unless you have a specific winter goal. Your walking program may consist mainly of building a mileage base, have fun, focus on form and technique, have fun, and incorporate resistance training to increase muscular strength. Do not neglect your flexibility or stretching routines. Get outside, reduce stress, feel good about yourself, and enjoy the time you spend walking or exercising. now is the time to consider doing something differently.
Racewalking is a sport for all ages and body types. It is an excellent cardiovascular fitness sport and an exciting competitive sport. The wonder of racewalking is it feels good and is fun. The reasons people get involved with racewalking: it maximizes the walking workout as it uses all the major muscle groups in the body, is challenging physically & mentally, can be done almost anywhere, anytime. With proper instruction the technique is relatively easy to learn; subtleties and nuances of technique can provide for years of enjoyment and challenge. The technique comprises a rolling low impact movement that makes racewalking a safe, smooth, rhythmic and graceful forward progression. By harnessing the technique, you can walk faster than you ever thought with less chance of injury, than if you were running or even walking as you do now. When compared to other physically demanding activities racewalking will: Be less injury prone…Exercise more major muscle…Strengthen bones & connective tissue…Burn more calories…Build upper body strength…Promote muscular balance…Increase muscle coordination…Provide a greater challenge to mind & body.
Whether you are exercising at home, at the gym or not at all, one thing’s for sure: if you haven’t tired racewalking now is the time to discover the technique that provides one of the best whole body exercises available. “You think you can or you think you can’t…YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT.” …Henry Ford.