TreadmillReview’s Guide to Racewalking

running on a roadRacewalking is an athletic event that is faster paced than walking, but lower impact than running. Unlike running (or on a treadmill for that matter), in the sport of racewalking, one foot must be in contact with the ground at all times. The two main rules of racewalking are: 1. The heel of the front foot must be on the ground before the toe of the back foot can leave the ground, and 2. The forward leg must be straight at the knee at the same time it touches the ground and must remain straightened until it passes under the hip.

Racewalking was originally developed in England in the late nineteenth century. These long distance walking competitions were called Pedestrianism. The races were judged by the same rule today that a person had to remain in contact with the ground at all times. Racewalking is now an Olympics event, which made its first appearance in 1904. The current Olympics events in racewalking are the 20 kilometer race for men and women, and the 50 kilometer race just for men. Please view the following resources for additional information on the sport of racewalking:

A Biomechanical Comparison Between Racewalking and Normal Walking – A study that compares the kinematics and kinetics of racewalking versus a regular walking stance.

USATF Racewalking – USA Track and Field website discusses racewalking as a competitive event.

World Class Racewalking – Dave McGovern, an Olympic trials qualifier, created this site on racewalking.

Racewalking for Runners – Racewalking can be a great fitness activity for runners. Bonnie Stein wrote this article about runners who racewalk and have benefited from its positive fitness results.

High School Race Walking – An all time list of famous high school racewalking rankings.

Race Walking Record Magazine – The Race Walking Association’s monthly magazine for racewalkers. The magazine provides new, fitness advice and tips, product reviews, and more.

Basic Walking Training – Runner’s World guide to basic walking training for any distance or speed.

Everything You Never Needed to Know About Racewalking – A good history of racewalking and an overview of everything else you need to know about the sport. Also, provides two videos of racewalkers to show how its done.

Racewalk Australia – Provides racewalking competition results for Australia.

Racewalking Animation – An animation showing the proper technique of racewalking.

One Step at a Time – A New York Times article about the difficulty of judging the sport of racewalking.

Racewalking: The Benefits of Running Without the Pounding – Racewalking provides many of the same fitness benefits of running and can be a good alternative for runners with bad knees or joint problems whose bodies need a lower impact activity.

Boomer Walk – Brent Bohlen gives an overview of the benefits of racewalking and a quick summary of his book Boomer Walk.

Racewalk UK – Provides information and events for UK racewalkers

IAAF Racewalking Challenge – The International Association of Athletics Federation provides information about their Racewalking Challenge with a calendar detailing the different events.

Athnet’s History of Racwalking – A brief history of the sport

Racewalking History in the United States – This article by Run for the Planet discusses how Pedestrianism came to America and the history of modern walking in the US.

The Race Walking Association’s FAQs – The Racewalking Association, founded in 1907, gives this lengthy list of common racewalking questions.

USATF of Minnesota’s Frequently Asked Racewalking Questions – The Minnesota Division of the USA Track and Field provides this FAQ about racewalking.

Race Walking Vs. Power Walking – AZ Central’s article about the differences in techniques between racewalking and power walking.

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Amanda Brooks
Amanda Brooks
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