Sunday Walk April 27

Looks like the weather will cooperate for an outdoor long walk this Sunday.  We’ll meet at 8:30AM in Kildonan Park in the first parking lot you come to after you enter the park from Main Street.  We’ll walk laps in the park so you can pick your distance (1 lap is supposed to be about 1.9km).   Remember to bring fluid and snacks as we’ll be walking for up to 2 hours. Hope to see you at the park.

GPS Watch on sale

Welcome to 2013.  Hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday season.  If you didn’t find a GPS watch under the tree at Christmas, check out the sale at London Drugs.  From January 18 to 30, the Timex Global Trainer and GPS is on sale for $149.99.  It does pace, distance, time – all the usual good stuff.  It doesn’t come with a heart rate monitor strap but it is compatible with a strap if you decide to buy one later on.  I don’t have any experience with Timex gps watches but the price is certainly attractive.


Italy in August?

Just in case you haven’t finalized your holiday plans for 2013…

The World Masters Games are in Torino, Italy, August 2 to 11 next year.  Two judged race walks – 5km on the track and 10km on the road – are included in the athletics schedule.  The World Masters Games are held every 4 years and are open to participants 35 years and older.  In fact, minimum age is the only criteria for participation – you don’t have to meet any time standards before entering!  Of course legal race walk technique will be very helpful if you want to get to the finish line.

The Games are a huge multisport event attracting approximately four times the athletes as the average summer Olympics.  Torino is expecting somewhere around 50,000 participants across 30 sports.  Athletes are grouped into 5 year age divisions, and the top 3 finishers in each age division in each event receive a medal.  I went to the 2005 World Masters Games in Edmonton as a triathlete, and it was an amazing experience.

If next year is just too soon, how about Auckland, New Zealand in 2017?  That’s plenty of time to perfect the technique and try a few judged races in Minneapolis before commiting.  I’ve put World Masters Auckland on my “bucket list”.  How about you?

Hypothermic Half Clinics

The Regent Running Room and the Kenaston Running Room are holding Hypothermic Half Marathon Clinics for walkers.  The Regent clinic is on Saturdays at 10AM starting this Saturday, November 3.  The Kenaston clinic is Thursdays at 6:30PM starting November 8.  Penny is teaching at Regent.  I don’t know who the Kenaston instructor is.

The race is February 24, 3013 at FortWhyte Alive.

CIBC Run for the Cure

Heading to Shaw Park tomorrow morning to walk the 5km at the CIBC Run for the Cure.  My son and his girlfriend are coming along.  They’re not sure if they’re running or walking – they say it depends on whether they can keep up with me!  (Just remember, it’s all in the hips…)

Should be a beautiful and inspirational morning.  Hope to see some familiar faces from Regent and the other Running Rooms.

Minneapolis Clinic

Here’s a shot of the group at the Race Walking Clinic of Excellence in Minneapolis September 21 and 22, 2012.  The cat in the hat on the left is Tim Seaman, coach, Olympian, and multi race walking record holder in the USA.  The Minnesota folks thought Tim, being from San Diego, might need some head gear to cope with the crisp northern fall air.  On the far right, in black, is Jeff Savage.  Jeff is a former elite race walker who coaches, writes race walking books, and shoots photos/videos at races around the world.

It’s all in the hips, baby!

This is my new mantra.  And it’s supposed to make me a better race walker…

I spent this past weekend in Minneapolis at a Race Walking Clinic of Excellence, taught by Tim Seaman and Jeff Savage, and hosted by the Twin Cities Race Walkers (yes they have a club, more on that in another post).  There were 24 experienced and aspiring racewalkers from Minnesota, Iowa, Colorado, California, Wisconsin and Manitoba, ranging in age from 29 to 70+.  This the second time I’ve been to one of these clinics and it didn’t disappoint.

Saturday started with everyone being photographed to get a “before” picture of our technique.  The chance to see and hear what’s right and wrong about technique is one of the most valuable parts of this clinic.  So I did my best technique for the camera and felt pretty confident – straight front leg, good arm swing, feet landing on the center line, not leaning forward.  Then we looked at the pictures.  Yikes, what a train wreck!  Way too much arms (guess I overcompensated after my first clinic where I was told to use more arms).  And no hip movement!  The rest of Saturday was spent doing drills, stretches, and more walking to try and get the feel of less arms and more hips.

We were back Sunday morning (in the frost) and the more hips thing was still feeling really weird. I was walking in circles (ok, ovals on the track) willing each hip to move forward, while remembering less arms, straight front leg, smaller stride.  It would have been sooo much easier to pat my head, rub my stomach and chew gum.  Or run.

Something finally clicked. We were videotaped before lunch and everyone showed huge improvements.  My hips were actually moving!! And I wasn’t overstriding anymore.  The arms, well, they’re still a work in progress.  The coaches did a bit more tweaking and by the end of the clinic on Sunday, I was feeling a lot more comfortable.  And I noticed I was going a bit faster without any more effort.   Success!!

This clinic was definitely worthwhile (shopping at the Minneapolis outlet stores didn’t hurt either).  Tim and Jeff do 5-6 clinics in different places each year and I’d highly recommend attending one.  If we can get a minimum of 22 people, and a suitable location, Tim and Jeff could do a clinic in Winnipeg.