Saturday, 7 April 2012

Racewalk Clinic in Huntington Woods, MI

I attended a racewalk clinic today in Huntington Woods run by the Pegasus AC walking club (http://www.pegasusac.org/Pegasus_Walkers_AC/Schedule.html) and coached by Frank Soby (who is also a US Track Racewalk Judge). There were about 14 people in attendance, from first-timers to well-seasoned racers. We used the quarter-mile track at the Huntington Woods Recreation Center, and boy, is it a nice track! Great surface; rubbery feel, etc.....but I digress. Frank gave a good overview of the basics, then had us try various things to highlight the necessary technique, focussing on strike/toe off, stride length, hip action, footwork and arm action, adding each in progression. We were then divided into groups of three (one per lane), and worked various drills, then spread out and circled the track. Next came speed work at various levels, from tortoise through hare, focussing on different aspects of the walk at each of these speeds. He presented some visuals of good technique (photos and diagrams), then it was back on the track in groups of four, working out for each other and discussing in our groups areas needing focus. This was great as when you're on your own you never really "see" your faults. After an hour-and-a-half it was time to break up and go our separate ways. It's always so good to get feedback on what I'm doing right and what needs work, being a self-taught RWer.

Frank was a great coach and it was a wonderful group of people in attendance, very friendly and welcoming. What amazed me was that this was a free clinic; the purpose is just to get more people interested in the sport!!! I wish I lived a little closer so I could work out and train with these people - they seem like a great club! (I'm an hour and an international border away!). I also got a lead on some very cool US vs Canada RW challenge cups in August. Can't attend this year due to previous commitments, but will keep an eye on them for next year!

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