RACE WALKING 101  -  AN INTRODUCTION TO RACE WALKING
SCREEN
 T01P02
2 - THE BASICS OF RACE WALKING
 
Race walking is about walking fast ... very fast.  It is both a way of walking and a competitive sport.  As a way of walking, it allows you to develop an ability to walk faster than many people run.  (You can get just as much exercise race walking as you can running.  You just don't move quite as fast--and are less prone to injuries.)  How fast you go depends on how well you learn how to race walk, how well you practice, and hard you are willing (and can) work.
 
Race walking also helps you understand a very important lesson in life.  Life has rules.  When you run, you can run as fast as you can ANY WAY you can.  There are no rules.  When you race walk, however, you can only walk as fast as you LEGALLY can--because there are rules.  If, in your desire to win a race, you start to run to go faster, you will be made to stop because you have cheated on the rules.
 
Race walking has only two rules.
  You must keep one foot on the ground at all times. Breaking this rule is called "lifting."
  You must keep the knee of your supporting leg straight from the time the foot lands until the foot passes under the body. Breaking this rule is call "creeping."
 
During walking races, certified judges position themselves on the race course to observe the race walkers. When, in the opinion of three different judges, a walker violates either of these two rules, the walker is disqualified and removed from the race. (It is important to note that judging is "by the human eye" and not by video camera.)
 
 

 
This is Jefferson Perez, a world champion race walker from Ecuador, walking at about 6-minute per mile pace. While you probably will never walk that fast, remember, there was a day, years ago, when he also took his first lesson in race walking.
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