After warming up for 10 min on a treadmill today, I did 1-min long sprints at a 12-min per mile pace followed by 3 mins at a 15-min per mile pace! And I did this about six times. As far as I know, this is the fastest I have ever walked!
Throughout the workout, I tried to maintain proper racewalking form, working very hard to be smooth and avoid bouncing and pounding. When I got distracted, I did tend to lose the "smooth" feeling and thud too much.
My original plan was to do as many sprints as possible, then walk at a reasonable pace for an entire hour. After 30-min, I really thought I would go mad if I kept at it. Still, I decided to do my best to stick it out for 45 min. Even watching TV, listening to a book on my iPod and changing the pace did not help much. Those last few minutes were pretty tough mentally.
After a few minutes of rest, I decided to see what my absolute fastest pace is. I maintained an 11-min mile for about 15 secs and then got down below 11! I was pumping my arms and legs so fast, I'm not sure what the actual pace was, but it was faster than 11! Woo hoo!
So, being that I was on a treadmill where the "ground" was moving and all I had to do was pick up my feet, I'm not sure how that will translate to walking outside. Still, I think having the opportunity to do this type of intense sprint workout in the winter should help my race pace.
I can't wait to find out!