The Future of USA Racewalking by fzw45252


									 The Future of USA Racewalking:
Are you already coaching a potential

            Dave McGovern, MSS
           World Class Racewalking
A Brief History of Racewalking
Although competitive
walking can trace its
roots back to 16th
century Europe, the 19th
Century was the Golden
Age of walking in the
US. Pedestrian races
were immensely popular
in the US and Great
Britain throughout the
19th and into the early
20th century.
Ultra races ranging from
from 12 hours to six
days were among the
most popular spectator
sports during the
Victorian era. Large
prize purses were
common and betting was
Due to its popularity at the time, racewalking became
one of the first events on the Olympic program.
Racewalking first
appeared in the
Olympics in 1904 as an
event in the “all-
rounder,” the precursor
to the decathlon. In
1906, separate 1,500-
meter and 3,500-meter
races were contested.
Over the years distances
were gradually increased
to the current 20km and
50km events.
Henry Laskau, Ron
Laird, Larry Young
and other US walkers
were among the best
in the world through
the 1950s and „60s.
Racewalking remained reasonably popular in North
America through the 1980s, but we‟ve been on a
steady decline ever since.
    U.S. Olympic Men‟s Trials Qualifiers

             1984     1988      1992      1996     2000     2004     2008

20k Trials     24       27       21        15        12       13       14
qualifiers   (1:33)   (1:32)   (1:30)    (1:30)    (1:33)   (1:34)   (1:36)

50k Trials     16       23        15       15        13       13       14
qualifiers   (4:30)   (4:30)   (4:30)*   (4:25)*   (4:35)   (4:45)   (4:45)
Possible reasons for the decline:
• Competition for athletes with the “Big Four” sports
Make that “Big Five.” These kids are OUR future.
• Lack of developmental opportunities, including
no walks in Division I track

Event                  FAT         MT        Event                  FAT         MT
100 Meters             10.55       --        100 Meters             11.75       --
200 Meters             21.35       --        200 Meters             23.96       --
400 Meters             47.20       46.9      400 Meters             54.61       54.3
800 Meters             1:50.40     1:50.1    800 Meters             2:09.80     2:09.5
1,500 Meters           3:47.80     3:47.5    1500 Meters            4:27.80     4:27.5
Mile                   4:06.00     4:05.7    Mile                   4:49.30     4:49.0
3,000- Meter Steeple   9:07.00     9:06.7    3,000-Meter Steeple    10:50.25    10:50.0
5,000 Meters           14:12.00    14:11.7   5000 Meters            16:52.00    16:51.7
10,000 Meters - Auto   28:45.00    28:44.7   10,000 Meters - Auto   33:30.00    33:29.7
10,000 Meters - Prov   29:30.00    29:29.7   10,000 Meters - Prov   35:00.00    34:59.7
110-Meter Hurdles      14.30       --        100-Meter Hurdles      13.92       --
400-Meter Hurdles      52.51       52.2      400-Meters Hurdles     1:00.82     1:00.5
400-Meter Relay        40.66       40.4      400-Meter Relay        45.70       45.4
440-Yard Relay         40.86       40.6      440-Yard Relay         45.90       45.6
1,600-Meter Relay      3:10.00     3:09.7    1,600-Meter Relay      3:42.00     3:41.7
Mile Relay             3:11.10     3:10.8    Mile Relay             3:43.30     3:43.0
High Jump              2.10                  High Jump              1.75
Pole Vault             5.05                  Pole Vault             3.85
Long Jump              7.34                  Long Jump              6.00
Triple Jump            15.00                 Triple Jump            12.32
Shot Put               16.80                 Shot Put               14.30
Discus                 51.70                 Discus                 47.30
Javelin                61.60                 Javelin                43.45
Hammer                 56.80                 Hammer                 54.15
Decathlon              Auto 7,500 points     Heptathlon             Auto 5,500 points
Decathlon              Prov 6,900 points
                                             Heptathlon             Prov 5,050 points
• Few “cradle to grave” clubs in the US, as exist in
Australia, Spain, Italy and other top walking
• Inconsistent support/
training opportunities for
elite walkers. (Racewalkers
are no longer able to train at
Results with and without OTC Chula-Vista

          1997-2004: Medals at international competition: 3
          2005-Present: Medals at international competition: 0

          1997-2004: Number of athletes with A & B standards: 5
          2005-Present: Number of athletes with A & B standards: 2

          1997-2004: Number qualified for Olympic Games: 9
          2005-Present: Number qualified for Olympic Games: 3

          1997-2004: American Records: 20
          2005-Present: American Records: 2

          1997-2004: First-time Olympians: 5
          2005-Present: First-time Olympians: 1
• Lack of support/positive recognition for
  racewalking in the US

                       Barcelona Olympic Silver Medallist Carlos Mercenario
                       with Wesley Snipes and Sylvester Stalone at the
                       Acapulco Planet Hollywood opening.
Australian tabloids follow the personal lives of Oz racewalkers.
Phone cards and statues honor Chinese „92 gold medallist Yueling Chen
Mexican competitions draw huge crowds, Corona/Tecate/Bohemia
girls, cheerleaders and heavy media coverage.
…and don‟t even get me started on Ecuador!
And in the US?
Malcolm in the Middle
Snicker Mr. T “Get Some Nuts” commercial
It seems that if racewalking gets any press at all in
the US it‟s bad press.
Lack of                     Poor
Financial                   International
Support                     Results

            Lack of Media
Despite the challenges the event group faces, for the right kind of
athlete there are many competitive opportunities, including the chance
to represent the USA in international competition.
US team opportunities for U17, Junior and U23 athletes
   Division           Team              Month      Distances Competed         Selection Method        Team Size

     U17      World Youth T&F Meet       July        10,000m Boys          USATF JO Nationals           2 boys
                                                      5,000m Girls         And Performance List         2 girls
     U19      IAAF Pan Am Race Walk    April/May     Jr M & W 10k        US Pan Am Cup Trials 10k      3 junior
                Cup odd years, IAAF                                                                    men &
                World Cup even years                                                                  women 10k
     U19      Junior Pan Am T&F Meet   July/Aug      Jr. M & W 10k      USATF Junior National Track     2 junior
                                                                          & Field Championships           men,
                                                                                                        2 junior
     U19       USA – Canada Junior      August        Jr. Men 10k,      USATF Junior National Track    4-6 junior
                      Dual                           Jr. Women 5k         & Field Championships           men,
                                                                                                       4-6 junior
     U23        U23 NAAC RW Cup         August     Men and women 10k         Performance List         3 U23 men,
                                                                                                         3 U23
     U23      World University Games   July/Aug    Men and Women 10k    USATF Nationals/Performance   2 U23 men,
                                                                                   List                  2 U23
            US team opportunities for Open athletes
Division               Team                  Month        Distances Competed           Selection Method             Team Size

 Open       IAAF Pan Am Race Walk Cup       April/May    Open M &W 20k, Open      US Pan Am Cup Trials 20k        5 open M & W
           odd years, IAAF World Cup even                       M 50k                 US 50k Nationals            20k, 5 men 50k
 Open       NACAC T&F Championships           July            20k Men          USATF Nationals/Performance List      2 men, 2
                                                             10k Women                                                women

 Open      IAAF World T&F Championships     July/Aug       Open M & W 20k             USATF Nationals               3 men and
                                                            Open Men 50k              USA 50k Nationals           women at 20k,
                                                                                                                   3 men at 50k

 Open              Pan Am Games             July/Aug       Open M & W 20k             USATF Nationals               2 men and
                                                            Open Men 50k              USA 50k Nationals           women at 20k,
                                                                                                                   2 men at 50k

 Open               Olympic Games             Aug/Sept       Open M &W 20k          USA T&F Olympic Trials          3 men and
                   (2008, 2012, 2016)                         Open Men 50k         USA 50k RW Olympic Trials      women at 20k,
                                                                                                                   3 men at 50k

 Open         IAAF RW Challenge Final         Sept         Open M&W 20k        USATF Nationals/Performance List      3 men, 3
                                                            Open Men 50k          RW Grand Prix Standings             women
 and distance
runners share
•During maximal exercise, running and racewalking resulted in similar VO2
•Cardiovascular, respiratory, and perceptual responses during running and racewalking are the same
during maximal exercise and during submaximal exercise at the same VO2.
Female racewalkers and runners have similar attributes
↑ Training = ↑ performance for racewalkers, just as it does for runners.
Yet there is little correlation between
running success and walking success
                    1 mile run   1 mile walk   5k run    5k walk
   Philip Dunn        4:17          6:11       15:35      20:19
   Ian Whatley        4:18          6:16       14:52      20:31
  Curt Clausen        4:30          5:48       14:48      19:35
   Ray Sharp          4:35          5:46       16:12      20:04
 Dave McGovern        4:43          6:00       16:18      20:06
Steve Pecinovsky      4:50          5:51       17:00      20:45
Paul Schwartzburg     4:49          5:58       17:21      20:23
  Tim Seaman          5:07          5:46       17:05    19:09 (AR)
   Ben Shorey         5:10          6:11       17:30      20:05
Athletes who may not
have the inherent
athletic talent to be
elite distance runners
but who have the
work ethic required to
be elite athletes may
be taught to be
Racewalking is an endurance event, but also a technique-specific skill
for which not everyone has an aptitude. It takes consistent training over
time (10 years+?) to develop a top racewalker. But our chain has too
many broken links to keep walkers around long enough to reach the top.
There are many strong youth programs
across the US that support the walks,
yet only Maine and parts of New York
State have racewalking in their track
programs. And beyond high school,
only the NAIA and a few Division II
colleges conduct racewalks as scoring
events in their meets.
The few programs that do support
racewalking have had a huge impact. One
school, UW-Parkside has produced
dozens of National Champions and five
Without opportunities for consistent training over
time (à la Hansons, Running USA, Nike Oregon
Project) USA Racewalking has suffered.
Characteristics of successful endurance programs:
1. Physical activity during childhood and early adolescence.
2. Sport specialization at +/- age 16.5 years.
3. Long-term development.
4. Increased training volume and intensity during
adolescence and young adulthood (16-24 years.)
5. High-quality coaching.
6. Training partners and team atmosphere.
                             GIBBONS, T.
                             Common characteristics of successful endurance programs.
                             Track Coach v169 Fall 2004; p.5398-5408; 5393
Michelle Rohl
•Ran 4:21.09 for 1,500m in 1988, 16:49.37
for 5,000m in 1989
•15-time NAIA All-American
•1987 NAIA cross-country runner-up
•1988 NAIA 1,500m/3,000m indoor
•Qualified for the 1996 Olympic Trials in the
marathon with a 2:48:56.
•Switched to racewalking to rehabilitate an
Achilles injury and went on to set the
10,000m and 20k American racewalk records
and make the 1992, 1996 and 2000 Olympic
Matt Boyles
•Three-time All-American runner at Rio

•2004 Ohio NAIA & NCAA D-II Cross
Country Runner of the Year

•2008 Indoor racewalk champion, 2nd
at 20k and 50k Olympic Trials.
Transitioning Runners to Racewalking
Rule 150:

Race Walking is a progression of steps so taken that the walker
makes contact with the ground so that no visible (to the human eye)
loss of contact occurs. The advancing leg must be straightened (i.e.,
not bent at the knee) from the moment of first contact with the
ground until in the vertical position. Disqualification for failure to
adhere to the above definition is governed by Rule 39.3.

Rule 39.3:

  1. The Judges of Racewalking shall have the sole authority to
determine the fairness or unfairness of walking, and their rulings,
thereon shall be final and without appeal. Judging decisions are made
as seen by the human eye.
Fundamentals of racewalk technique
     Racewalking for Runners: 5k training
Monday: Off or easy 30-minute racewalk
Tuesday: 2K warm-up, then 8 to 12 x 400m at 6 seconds faster
than 5K race pace, 2:00 rests
Wednesday: Easy 45-minute to 1-hour racewalk
Thursday: 2K warm-up, then 30-minute tempo run
Friday: Easy 45-minute to 1-hour racewalk
Saturday*: 2K Warm-up, then 6 x 1K at 5K race pace, 2:00 rests
Sunday: Easy 10-mile run. Accelerate over the last 5K, or add a
few 30-second surges

*If racing, switch Saturday and Thursday workouts and cut the
number of 1K repeats to 2 to 3.
    Racewalking for Runners: 10k training
Monday: Off or easy 30-minute racewalk
Tuesday: 2K warm-up, then 12 to 16 x 400m at 6 seconds faster
than 10K pace, 2:00 rests
Wednesday: Easy 45-minute to 1-hour racewalk
Thursday: Warm-up, then hard 45-minute to 1-hour run, or
accelerate through 1 hour start easy finish fast
Friday: Easy 45-minute to 1-hour racewalk
Saturday: 2K warm-up, then 3-4 x 2K (or 1 mile) at 10K race pace,
3:00 rests
Sunday: Easy 12 mile run. Accelerate over the last 5-8K, or throw
in a few 1-minute surges
    Racewalking for Runners: 20k training
Monday: Off or very easy 30-minute racewalk
Tuesday: 2K warm-up, then 12-16 x 400m at 6 seconds faster than
1/2 marathon pace, 2:00 rests
Wednesday: Easy 1-hour racewalk
Thursday: Hard 60-90-minute run, or accelerate through 90
minutes. Start easy finish fast
Friday: Very easy 45-minute to 1-hour racewalk
Saturday: 2K warm-up, then 6-8 x 2K (or 1 mile) at 1/2 marathon
race pace, 3:00 rests Sunday: Easy 12- to 15-mile run. Accelerate
over the last 8K, or throw in a few 30-second surges.
       Resources for collegiate racewalkers
NAIA Racewalking
USATF Racewalking
World Class Racewalking    

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