Principles for Planning Race Walk Training
Please read the disclaimer.
Principles for Avoiding Injury
- Schedule at least one rest day per week.
- Don’t exceed your correct number of days of race walk training per week.
- The day after a race or a hard session, easy training only.
- When progressing your training, increase the distance of your long session only by 10% each week.
- When progressing your training, increase total mileage per week by no more than 10% per week.
- When progressing your training, in interval work add only one interval per week.
- When progressing your training, schedule one week in 3 or one week in 4 as an ‘easy’ week, when your training volume should drop by about 10% from your previous ‘hard’ week.
- Warm up properly before harder sessions, and warm down afterwards.
- Do your stretches.
- Continue strength and flexibility exercises for any body part that has a history of injury.
Principles for Avoiding Deterioration of Technique
- Schedule at least one technical training session per week – either a technical track session, or a distance or recovery session when you consciously concentrate on technique for at least a good part of the session.
- On easy sessions, perform the full race walking movement, only perform it slower. Don’t let easy sessions turn into lazy ones – where you don’t move shoulders, hips, knees or ankles through the full range of movement.
- Don’t do any training at a pace slower than 25% slower than your race pace. For example, if you race 10k in 60m never train at a pace slower than 75m for 10k, even in your easy sessions of when warming up. If you go too slow some nerves and muscles ‘switch off’ and it turns into lazy walking.
- When progressing your training, stop if you cannot maintain good technique. Don’t be afraid to stop a session, and jog or stroll back, if your technique goes and can’t be reinstated by a bit of concentration. If you persistently can’t keep good technique at a certain speed or over a certain distance, don’t do that speed or distance.
- When progressing your training, try to race reasonably regularly, to provide yourself with a check that your technique is holding up.
Principles for Getting Faster, Efficiently
- Benefits come from a consistent and progressive training plan – no big ups and downs in the volume of training per week (unless enforced by injury), and with distance and/or speed increased in steady, small increments.
- Almost no form of training brings real benefits unless persisted in for a continuous period of at least 3, usually 6 weeks, or more.
- Before any period in which you are attempting to increase your speed, unless you are in your first couple of years of race walking, schedule a period in which you increase your basic strength and/or flexibility.
- Regular but planned easy weeks are very beneficial in consolidating gains.
- Respect minor injuries. Ice, take a rest day, get a massage, bring forward an ‘easy’ week, see a physio if necessary. Don’t be afraid to change your plan – to do otherwise may be to accelerate into a major injury.
- ‘Hard’ sessions should be properly hard. ‘Easy’ or recovery sessions should be properly easy. If you don’t feel up to doing a properly hard session, don’t attempt one – take another easy session instead. Don’t just drift into doing semi-hard sessions.
- Don’t attempt to increase both speed and distance simultaneously. As a general principle, increase distance first (or number of reps), and then once the distance or number is comfortable, work on speed.
Did you read the disclaimer ?