Advice for first-time clinic participants

Cleveland, OH, August, 2012

  1. All levels encouraged to attend! About half of my clinic participants are complete beginners just wanting to learn the technique, while others are more advanced walkers hoping to complete a faster marathon or to improve their 5k and 10k racing. We all all learn from and encourage each other.

  2. Shop first, ask questions later. You'll be doing some racewalking during the weekend, so appropriate footwear is a must. There's plenty of advice on my web site about what kind of shoes to buy, but probably the easiest thing to do is go to the "shoe deals" section of I have lots of links to stores that can get you into a pair of racewalking shoes or a racewalk-suitable pair of running racing flats.

  3. Make yourself visible. When filming each walker, I need to see some body parts moving. Shorts and a T-shirt or "singlet" (sleeveless racing top) are best, but anything that doesn't cover the knees will usually work. Lots of folks like to wear black tights or half-tights. "Slimming" as black may be, it makes it nearly impossible for me to see what's going on. If you wear tights, a lighter color makes my job much, much easier. Ultra-long basketball "shorts" (are they really "shorts" if they go all the way past the knees???) are also not such a good choice.

  4. Slip, slop, slap, slurp! It may be hot and sunny at the track. Make sure you pack everything you'll need to protect yourself. Be prepared to:

  5. The write stuff. It's not all walking. There will be lectures as well, so bring along pen and paper. You never know, I may say something you might want to remember!

  6. Bring your gizmos. We'll be using heart rate monitors during the clinic. Don't run out and get one if you don't already have one, but if you do own one, bring it along so you can use the monitor you're already comfortable with.

  7. And whatever else... Snacks, PowerBars, etc. Whatever it's going to take to get you through a couple of days of fun, fast walking, and classroom time.

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