Racing indoors

Please read the disclaimer.

Not everyone does it (or not everyone does it seriously). There are no major international championships for indoor race walking and no senior championships in the UK : it poses specific challenges (e.g. staying legal at the higher speeds of shorter races : coming to terms with banked tracks, not all of the same design (unlike outdoor tracks which are all of a standard design) : being prepared for more bodily contact while racing) and with major international races often in the spring, for many it does not make sense to  structure the training year to peak for an indoor season as well. However, for Masters, championships are held for all levels from UK Area to Worlds, so it can make sense to look for an indoor season.

The specific requirements can be trained for, and are as follows :

1. you need tip-top technique as the judges see you twice as often as on an outdoor track.

2. good balance, proprioception, and strength around the ankles help to deal with the demands of the banked track.

3. a walking technique that places the feet along a line helps, if your ankles are strong enough to maintain this on the slope – if the feet fall either side of a line then there is a danger of ‘bouncing’ on the right foot, and delayed contact when the left foot is being placed on the ground as you go round the bends

4. upper-body strength, balance and proprioception are needed in close racing, as on a tight track physical contact between athletes is more common than on outdoor tracks / roads

5. an ability to sprint fast and legally for about 50 metres is very useful – you want to be able to overtake people in the length of the straight rather than round the corners

Any other tips ? Drop me a line !

Did you read the disclaimer?

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