Graham’s Oxfordshire Racewalking Weblog

Hello ! This is CoachGraham’s weblog for keeping all you Oxfordshire Racewalkers in touch with what’s going on.

Enjoy !

PS. in case of any problems with the site, please email me at .


Discount code for British Championships tickets


As tweeted by Callum Wilkinson and others – for anyone wanting to go and watch, on either Saturday 30 June or Sunday 1 July, apparently the code GBCHAMPS20 will get you a 20% discount. Tickets available at (Walks on the Sunday.)

Week commencing 18 June 2018


Training this week : on Monday, easy or fartlek session, up to 11k. On Wednesday, warmups, drills and sprints on the track, with the usual track fee. Plus beginners’ sessions on the track, if required.

Training at the weekend : Should do a longer session, if not racing. Any suggestions?

Racing during the week :  at 7 pm on Tuesday evening, a 5 mile race in the Veterans AC series, at Battersea Park, London.

Racing at the weekend :  At Leeds on Sunday morning, the British Grand Prix of race walking, including the National 20k Championships and a 10k supporting race. More details here, entry standards apply, no closing date but there is a numbers cap and entries on the day are a fiver extra. Also on Sunday, at Chelmsford, the Southern T&F Inter-Counties match which usually features a 3000m race, but Oxfordshire have shown little interest in recent years.

Closing dates : Monday 25th will be the closing date for the Jim Sharlott 10k race (the BMAF Championship event) in Leicester on Saturday 30 June. More details here.


Exercises to promote knee straightening


Here – from the Primal Movements FB page. The key muscle in ensuring the knee is FULLY straightened is the vastus medialis obliquus. Squats are a great exercise for general leg strengthening, but they do relatively little to train the last few degrees of leg straightening. The exercises in the video provide stimulus over the right range of movement. Click on ‘See more . . .’ to the top right of the video (in a browser) to read more. (You’ll need a Facebook account – please contact the webmaster if you can’t see the video.)

Week commencing 11 June 2018


Training this week : on Monday, easy or fartlek session, up to 11k. On Wednesday, warmups, drills and sprints on the track, with the usual track fee.

Training at the weekend : Should do a longer session, if anyone not racing wants one. Any suggestions?

Racing during the week : a 3000m race at 8:30 on Tuesday evening, in the Woodford Tuesday Walks series, at Ashton Playing Fields, East London.

Racing at the weekend :  At Bedford, the England Athletics U20 10k and U23 20k championships. At Horwich in Lancashire, the BMAF 5k road championships. Both on Sunday, and for both, you will need to have entered by now.



Yes, it’s a good idea !

Here is an article from Australian Runner’s World from July 2017 about how to breathe while running.

It’s a bit wordy but the main takeaways for racewalkers would be :

  • be sure to engage your diaphragm as well as your chest muscles to increase the amount of fresh air reaching your lungs with each breath.
  • For race walkers, breathing with the chest muscles will tend to activate the muscles of the shoulders and upper chest. Breathing with the diaphragm will lead to more relaxed shoulders and a lower and more effective arm action.
  • In both running and race walking, the diaphragm also plays a role in maintaining a strong and stable core, and it probably does this is a different way for each gait. Therefore, the diaphragm needs to be trained to perform both functions well, so improved breathing is needed in both training and racing.
  • When talking, we tend to use the smaller and easier-to-control muscles of the upper chest to manage the air flow that we need to talk. Therefore, a little silence is helpful in learning to train the larger and more rhythmical movements of good diaphragm breathing . . . .
  • Experiment to find steady and rhythmical breathing patterns that allow your diaphragm to do both its jobs. Probably, you will need to find more than one pattern of breathing, so that you can cope with tiredness or changes of pace without reverting to giving all the work to your upper chest muscles.
  • A strong and rhythmical breathing pattern will be synchronised with your cadence, but it may be valuable to synchronise each breath with an odd number of steps rather than an even number – thus spreading the effort around different parts of the diaphragm. This may help to ward off stitch.
  • Choice of breathing pattern can help you control your pace in the early part of a race, knowing that keeping your faster breathing pattern in reserve gives you an ‘extra gear’ for use on the hills, or on the last lap, or in the second half . . . without your shoulders going up and your technique starting to crumble . . .