1. Good Stuff for Your Body
For competitive walkers, it's not "Lions and Tigers and Bears", it's "Aches and Cramps and Knots". Here are a couple of things to help you banish a couple of them:
a) The Tiger Tail
I'm sure most of you have seen "The Stick" massage tool at marathon expos. It's a great idea (if you like pushy salesmen), but personally I prefer the Tiger Tail to massage legs, back, etc. after a particularly gruelling workout. The roller part is dense fom on a solid base as opposed to the beady-things on the Stick, and I just prefer the feel of it. I have also heard (not sure how true it is) that the beady things can get caught in body hair...ouchy! Anyway, I've used this one a lot and really like it. You can usually get deals on eBay.
b) Self Massage for Athletes
I love this concept! I was searching the 'net a while ago when I had a glute problem and came upon this site: http://selfmassageforathletes.com/Home.html What I liked best about it was that you can try all of the massages through free videos on the website. I liked what I tried so much that I bought the book. Really, really useful and has saved my butt (pun intended) many times. Highly recommended. Of course, if you have a really serious problem you need to get your little self to a health care practioner, but for the day-to-day boo-boos this is great. Plus, you get to call yourself an Athlete....
For any of you who had to suffer the dictatorship of the metronome in childhood music lessons, I have to tell you that Mr. Maelzel's wonderful invention has great walking applications. If you want to work on cadence there is no better tool. I picked up a tiny (it's only 2 x 1 inches) clip-on one on eBay for a few bucks (as in 6, including shipping).
(Mine's the blue one). I can clip it on the neck of my tee shirt and work on steady cadence for a bit. It has a headphone jack, but the beep is quite loud (has to be if used in a music lesson), so just let 'er rip without the earbuds. You can also use it for your tuba lesson.
That's it for now. Tune in again when our topic will be websites and other cool 'net destinations for walkers.