Since I have participated in the USATF Race Walking Championships, people over age 60 people have asked me “how do I get started in race walking”? I love to hear that question and think race walking is a really great passion for over age 60 folks, for so many reasons.
I have written about my passion for walking and how I got started in race walking and I would suggest reading that post to see the path I took. Several other race walkers in my age group have told me that’s how they started too.
Having reread the above linked post myself, I find it covers the subject pretty well. I will offer some additional insights as well as links to some great race walking resources here.
To begin, I would just start walking. For beginners, thewalkingsite.com is an excellent resource. Their BEGINNING A FITNESS WALKING PROGRAM page will tell you how to get started. They even have a page on What is Racewalking?
Learn Race Walking Technique
More specifically to race walking, my friend Ian Whatley is the race walking expert. His YouTube channel on Racewalking has everything you need to know from introduction to racewalking, techniques, basics, training, core workouts, even how to judge walking events. Want to get trained in race walking properly? Then he provides race walking camps through his Caminata US Training and Racewalking Development Centre.
Another highly recommended resource is to join USATF. They have a very active Masters Race Walking program, supported by active state race walking committees. They are the source for upcoming race walking events. If you are on Facebook, you can find your USATF state race walking page like the one we have for Georgia race walkers. Your state USATF race walking folks can help you find a coach to learn race walking.
Participate in Race Walking Events
You don’t need to be an expert in race walking to participate in your local race walking events. My advice is to watch some “how to do race walking” videos, practice some and then start doing some local race walking events. You will get some feedback on your technique and see how other race walkers do it. Plus you start to meet and network with other race walkers.
Racewalking is a Process
You will not learn racewalking overnight. You will improve over time. Your body’s muscles take time to remember the new techniques, but over time they will become natural to you. Everyone goes through a phase where you question if you are getting it. You are, just stay the course.
Race walking is fun and a good exercise that is easy on your body. It’s a solo endeavor but you become part of a family of race walkers your own age, that love this activity just like you will. By the way, racewalking is good for both men and women.
Now it’s time to start walking!