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If you’re looking to try something different or a new challenge, while getting fit, then race walking could be for you!

Walking as fast as many runners, that’s race walking! Starting out, you can think of it as basically fast walking. As you improve, the challenge is to follow two main rules:

  • One foot must look like it’s on the ground at all times, and
  • The lead leg must be straightened as soon as the foot touches the ground until it’s gone under your body.

Once you’ve mastered the technique, like running, race walking can give you a great heart-pounding workout, with race walkers achieving VO2 max values comparable to runners but with a reduced risk of injury. This is partly because one foot is on the ground at all times, reducing the impact to one-third the force of runners. Race walking technique builds both full body strength and can improve coordination and flexibility.

You can use race walking to supplement your other sports or pursue it as a competitive event that has been in the Olympics since 1904. Elite racewalkers can walk a 5km race in less than 20 minutes and a marathon in just over 3 hours. The Race Walking Association and England Athletics is keen to support more athletes to take up the sport, providing training and competing opportunities. Practically anyone can walk and we welcome all abilities. Competitions take place on either roads or on running tracks, over distances of 2km to 50km for seniors.

Winchester’s Race Walkers are a friendly group of teenagers to veterans. We aim to improve technique, fitness and get faster in a supportive friendly environment. We compete at all levels from local to international. We typically train twice a week, Wednesday on-track and Saturday off-track. With the Hampshire Championships coming up in May and the Vets league soon to be here start now and give it a go! Contact Clare Mitchell at racewalking@wadac.org.uk to find out more.