A Race Walking Resource Guide


What exactly is race walking? It is a sport where you walk for speed. It is governed by certain rules and regulations. The USA Track & Field (USATF) has two critical rules regarding the sport. The first rule is that the walker must maintain foot contact with the ground at all times. The term “to the human eye” is used in the exact definition, which means that there is a violation if someone of authority for the race can actually see a moment where there is not foot contact with the ground. The second official rule is that the leg moving forward must be straight (it cannot be bent at the knee) from the time that it first contacts the ground until it is in a vertical position. This means that the race walker must have their foot which is in front contact the ground before the foot in the rear loses all contact with the ground

Race walking actually dates all the way back to 2500 BC. Egyptian hieroglyphics contain the very first written documentation of a walking competition. The same type of evidence exists regarding walking competitions during the early Greek civilizations. In these ancient types of walking events contestants walked however they chose for long distances. They could alternate between running and walking. As the sport evolved it became a betting event involving a lot of money. For example, an English nobleman named Sir Rodney Carey bet that he could continually walk for 300 miles and he did. In the 17th and 18th centuries noblemen's footmen raced for the noblemen because they were already in good condition from walking a lot for their jobs. By the end of the 18th century walkers wanted to beat the clock.

In 1904 race walking became part of the Olympics. It was an 880-yard race which was part of the decathlon. It was also unofficially part of the Interim Olympic Games which took place in Athens in 1906. The rules in the beginning were very similar to today. Currently in the Olympics there are two race walking events including: the 12-mile race walk for both women and men; and the 31-mile race walk for only men.

The History of Race Walking

The Active website explains the history of race walking from 2500 BC to today.

Learning to Walk

The Race walk website provides information on technique, equipment, training and many more important topics.

Race Walking

The USA Track & Field website offers information on many race walking subjects such as the USA RW Grand Prix.

Race Walking Basic Rules

The Walking Site explains the two basic rules for race walking.

Learn to Race Walk

The Twin Cities Race Walkers Club promotes race walking in Minneapolis and St. Paul in Minnesota.

World Class Race Walking

World Class Race Walking provides club contact information for cities and countries throughout the world.

2010IAAF World Race Walking Cup

The Kidz World website discusses race walking and the Olympics while also providing relevant pictures.

Quick Primer on Race Walking Technique

The Race Walk Clinic website provides a definition of race walking as well as discusses form topics such as posture.

Race Walking Calcultors

The eRaceWalk site provides access to a variety of calculators including:age-grading, BMI, road course and track.

Race Walking Guide

The Shape website discusses what race walking is, why you should do it as well as how to avoid sports injuries.

What is Race Walking?

The Walking and Hiking website explains what race walking is, the benefits of race walking and also who can race walk.

Walking Styles

The Cool Walking website discusses different styles of walking such as race walking and Nordic walking.

Correct Walking Technique and Judging

The Coachr website offers information on correct technique and legality as well as judging.

Developing Race Walking Technique-Key Drills (PDF)

The Surrey Walking Club explains technical drills to help with your race walking technique.

Race Walk Coaching Tips

The Race Walk site offers nine different coaching tips including: feet, hips/pelvis, arms, training, foot care, shoes, shinsplints, defensive walking and warm up/down.

Race Walking Tips

The Life Tips website offers six great race walking tips such as race walkers needing strong arms as well as legs.

Learn to Race Walk

The Chatelaine website provides you with five steps for learning race walking.

Coaching Guides-Race Walking

The Special Olympics website provides information on race walking and includes a “faults and fixes chart.”

The Australian Sports Commission website discusses characteristics of the sport including training and competition.

Tips for Beginning Race Walkers

The Race Walk website provides great race walking tips for beginners such as stand up straight and tilt your pelvis forward.

Race Walking in Mexico

The Run the Planet website offers good race walking tips such as work on your technique and listen to your body.

Walking Stretches and Flexibility Exercises

The Stretching Institute website discusses the history walking along with the anatomy involved, common injuries injury prevention strategies and the top three walking stretches.

Basic Walking Training

The Runner's World website provides you with eight great guidelines for training such as the 10 percent rule.

Why Race Walk?

The Club Northwest Race Walking website discusses form, knees, stride, arms, training, a yearly plan, racing and just doing it.