Wednesday, May 20, 2009

You Can't Racewalk on Gravel

Yeah, I discovered this by attempting to racewalk around Antrim Lake in racewalking shoes. The trail is mostly packed gravel with a small section of asphalt.

Though I walk around this lake all of the time, today was the first time I've worn actual racewalking shoes here with the intent to practice racewalking form. It was a totally different experience. Because the shoes are flexible, I worked harder at rolling onto my toes and pushing off. Instead of increasing my speed, my foot actually seemed to slip. No matter how hard I worked, I didn't go faster while on the gravel. But as soon as I hit the asphalt, I felt as if I was really moving! In fact, I was faster every loop.

While actually on the gravel, I could really feel my shin muscles. They were working hard!

Despite my shoes slipping, it was still a good workout.

3 loops at 1.2 miles per loop for 53:49 total. Hmmm. That's an average of only 14:57 per mile. But my fastest loop was 17:28 for 14:33 per mile. Imagine if I hadn't been on gravel!

1 comment:

Tammy said...

Actually, you CAN RW on gravel but it slows you down significantly because it's hard to get a good toe push-off. I'm doing Portland-to-Coast relay on Aug 28th and one of my legs is on a gravel road with a 4.3% incline. AND I'm supposed to do 11:15/mile on that stretch. Hmmm, that's going to be tough, especially w/the gravel. I am sure I can be legal, just not sure I can be FAST.