Club Northwest Racewalking
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Copyright 2012
Club Northwest
RACEWALKING by Stan Chraminski

Yearly Plan

Break your year down into specific seasons with a different emphasis for each. Our weather makes this a natural pattern in the Northwest.

Winter. Concentrate on building a good mileage base. Bundle up and get out there regularly, but GO SLOWLY. The emphasis is on building your aerobic base and strength. By not worrying about speed, you can devote your energies to getting out and walking without added pressures. If it's truly icy, then racewalking is difficult because of the push off needed. If you can, jog on snow or ice since you can maintain better footing. Otherwise, find a treadmill or nordic track or other aerobic firtness machines and work out indoors. Use the holidays with the days off from work for extra miles. It also will help keep from gaining weight during the holiday binge season.

Spring. As weather improves, work on strength and technique. Good workouts are hill repeats. Just walk strongly up a decent hill of 100 -200 yards and slowly jog or walk down to prevent jarring the knees on the downhills. Repeat several times and slowly increase the number of repetitions over a few weeks. Other good workouts for this time of year are hard pushes of about 1/2 to 2 miles. Concentrate on being smooth and relaxed while walking faster. You can also do up to 3 miles of continuous harder walking to get you used to keeping good form while you are tired.

Summer. Now is the time to get sharp. Use shorter repeats of 220-440 yards to practice going very fast while keeping form. Start with 3-4 repeats and work your way up. To build endurance, keep recovery between hard repeats to an easy walk of the same distance of the repeat. To build speed, rest a little longer between repeats. A mix of both is good over the course of the summer. Also do longer surges of 1/2 to 3 miles to work on endurance WITH speed. These longer intervals will be slower than race pace at these distances because you will not be as rested as when you taper down for a race. Concentrate on being smooth and legal. Two workouts per week should get you to prime racing shape.

Fall. You should now be as fast as you will be for the year and should ease back on mileage and harder workouts and enjoy racing your fastest. You can race during the other seasons but you will not be as sharp until the summer and fall. Use the other races as training and to meet your fellow walkers. Continue about one speed session a week to feel sharp but more will probably get you stale and down from your peak. So, ease back.

Pattern. You should see the pattern above. Start with longer slower walking to build strength. Move to hills and longer fast walking for continued strength and beginnings of speed. Sharpen with shorter workouts to top off the speed and be ready to race. This pattern can be compressed into two six month seasons if that meets your racing goals better. The object is to decide in which part of the year it is most important to be fastest, then plan a schedule so the sharpening work coincides with your racing peaks.

Breaks. It's easy to get stale and tired when training so it's good to schedule a break of an easy few weeks, especially at the end of the racing or fall season. Cut back to about half of your normal level and just walk easy. Take a few days off and do something else you enjoy. You'll feel refreshed and ready to come back to the long, slower miles of the winter season.