Sunday, December 31, 2006

One Last Workout for 2006

It seems like a long time since my last workout. I needed some time to recover from a knee injury then went on vacation. I really wanted to get a few workouts in while visiting family in Argentina but I caught a cold, my heel swelled up (probably an insect bite) and my knee was still hurting a bit.

So much for excuses, today's workout:
1 Mile - 11:07

It was only one mile because I'm breaking in the orthotics and it should have been under 11 minutes but I had to stop and wait for a car to clear an intersection. Oops, but those are more excuses.

I'll postpone the marathon distance workout for later as I ease back into my routine. Three miles for tomorrow, six for Tuesday and I'll be back on schedule, more or less.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Meet the Feet

So today I had my appointment with the podiatrist.

He kneaded and twisted my feet then ordered some xrays and told me that I had a problem that could be solved with surgery but since it wasn't severe I should try orthotics first. Basically, my feet flatten out instead of hold their shape properly. Since the 2E width shoes seem to fit me better I asked if I had wide feet and he said no, it's just that they spread out. He mentioned that the Superfeet insoles that I bought were his favorite so at least that was a good choice. He then ordered casts made for the custom orthodics and gave me some calf stretching exercises--which happen to be the ones I've been doing anyway, I just have to do them more often.

So is this the magic bullet I've been looking for? We'll have to wait and see, the orthodics arrive in a couple of weeks, right when I'll be away on vacation.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Tired of Resting

After a couple of weeks of resting a sore knee I finally got out and did my six mile training walk.

My schedule calls for six mile walks every Tuesday and Thursday, speed work with the Southern Cal Walkers on Saturday, long distance on Sunday and strength training on Monday (depending on Sunday's distance) Wednesday and Friday. With the holidays and vacation plans coming up this well planned schedule will probably fly right out the window.

Tomorrow I've got an appointment with a podiatrist, that's a good thing because he might be able to determine why I've been hurting my knees everytime I push through a 10 minute mile. Then again there is also a DreamWorks Animation company party tomorrow night and that could be detrimental to my training. It was hard enough getting up this morning, I can't imagine doing the six mile walk the morning after a holiday party.

Here's how it went today:
Mile 1 - 11:49
Mile 2 - 12:22
Mile 3 - 12:41
Mile 4 - 12:58
Mile 5 - 12:34
Mile 6 - 12:11
Average Pace - 12:26 minutes per mile
Total Workout - 1:14:38

It is going to take a while to get used to doing six miles instead of the usual three and I took it a bit conservatively this morning. I do have an excuse for that slow mile 4, my shoelace came untied--yikes! The laces on my new size 11 Loco Banditos are a bit long for the way that I lace them so I'll have to either get shorter laces of find an alternate way to tie them.

Time for some more research:

Ian's Shoelace Site

New Scientist Article: Mathematics unravels optimum way of shoe lacing.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Holiday Postal Photos

Saturday night I decided not to walk the one hour postal and take some photos instead. I was hoping to see a few hot shots at the race and I wasn't disappointed. Rick Campbell showed up all decked out with a holiday hat and bells on his shoes. Fortuantely for the sanity of the other racewalkers his bells fell off so they didn't have to hear jingling bells for the duration of the race. I don't have the official results, but he went further than 10k in the hour so that means that his average pace was under 10 minutes per mile--quite a performance.

A moment just before the start. It rained the night before so the track was soggy. The bathrooms were all locked so the start was delayed a few minutes after sunrise which made for better light for photography.

The start of the race.

It was probably best I didn't enter the race. Just walking across the field so many times made my knee a little sore.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Getting Back up to Speed

This morning I worked out with the Southern Cal Walkers. There's a club postal tomorrow, that's a race where they see how far they can go in a one hour time limit, and that made the workout today rather light. I said that I wasn't doing the race tomorrow so I did a somewhat more strenuous slow, faster, faster, full-speed, lap sets. The way it works is to do an easy walk for a lap (400 meters) followed by an easy racewalk lap, then a racewalk at about a 70% effort and finally an all out effort on the fourth lap. Then--do it all over again. I walked with Carl Acosta and Sylvia Ellis, Carl showed us how on the first set then let Sylvia and me go off and do another set. I didn't time myself but the last lap my heart was beating 187 bpm, Sylvia was at just 87 bpm--go figure. I wish I would have run the stopwatch because it felt like we were under 10 minutes per mile pace.

Anyway, tomorrow is the postal. I said I wouldn't do it, but I'm feeling pretty good and my knee isn't complaining. I probably won't make the final decision until just before the 6:45am start. If nothing else I could take it easy and call that my Sunday workout.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

Therapy or Broken Promise?

I said that I wasn't going to do any racewalking for a couple of weeks--but I was feeling pretty good so I decided to go out for a therapeutic walk. Just an easy three miles, here's how it went:
Mile 1 - 13:18
Mile 2 - 13:11
Mile 3 - 13:02
Average Pace - 13:10 Minutes per Mile
Total Workout - 39:32

Things were obviously going well because I kept increasing my speed but the sore knee isn't quite 100% yet. Tomorrow is strength training day and Saturday morning is Southern Cal Walkers. There is a one hour postal on Sunday and although I'd like to do it, maybe it isn't a good idea to do a race right after coming off an injury.

This week I had an appointment with chiropractor, Dr. Bill Bravo. He massaged my knee and gave some tips that seemed to help things along. Next week I've got an appointment with podiatrist Dr. Gary Briskin, one of the founders of the Foot & Ankle Institute.

I'll probably put in the distance training starting on Sunday but will keep the speed down until I feel the knee is 100% healed.

My training schedule will come to a screeching halt starting on December 15 because of holiday plans but I'll still try to get a workout in when possible. In the meantime, maybe I'll make a goal of completing a 26.2 mile training walk before the end of the year.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Longer Than A Marathon

If a marathon seems like long distance, try a 50 km--that's 31 miles compared to the marathon's 26.2 miles.

I'm not thinking about entering this race, but it might be a good opportunity to see some world class athletes in action.

So how long does it take to walk a 50k? The world record was just broken in Australia. Here's the story.

Deakes destroys World record for 50km Race Walk
Saturday 2 December 2006

Four-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Nathan Deakes has broken the World record** for the 50km Race Walk in Geelong, Australia, this morning. Deakes recorded a time of 3:35:47.

Competing at the Telstra Australian 50km Road Walking Championships in blustery conditions, Deakes took 16 seconds off the World record previously set by Poland's World and Olympic champion Robert Korzeniowski at the 9th IAAF World Championships in Athletics, Paris, France in 2003 (3:36.03).

In a big day for Australia’ walkers, Duane Cousins set a personal best and World Championships a-qualifier of 3:53.19 to finish second, as did Victorian Jared Tallent who walked a time of 3:55.08 to finish in third place.

Deake’s smashed his previous best and Australian record of 3:39:43 which he set in Melbourne in 2003.

Overcome by tears, an emotional Deakes fell to the ground after crossing the finish line, his wife Annette and parents rushing in to congratulate him.

“It’s obviously quite a surprise. I didn’t think I was in that kind of shape. To break a World record is really special. To do at home is even nicer. The best prepared athletes walk fast anywhere,” explained Deakes after the race.

“I had a great training camp at altitude in US but the key has been the fact that I have been injury free for the last 6 months. My hamstring has been really good and I’ve been able to get through a lot of work.”

“I’m getting older and it’s getting harder, but right now I’m very very content.”

In a dominating performance, Deakes demonstrated his class above the field taking an early lead before destroying his opposition to take out the Telstra Australian 50km Road Walking Championships title.

In front of an ecstatic home crowd, the Geelong local was ahead of the World record pace by over 2 minutes at the 40km mark, however he tired over the concluding stages dropping the frenetic pace in the final 10km.

The 50km distance has not always been a favourite of the 29-year-old on the Olympic and World Championship stage, disqualified in 2001 in Edmonton and at the 34km mark in Athens when walking side-by-side with Kozeniowski. The duo were under World record pace at the time of the disqualification.

Based at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra, Deakes is coached by Craig Hilliard, whose credentials as one of Australia’s leading track and field coaches continues to grow. Hilliard was behind the success of super walker Kerry Saxby-Junna in the 1990’s.

It’s been nearly seven years since an IAAF World record has been broken by an Australian athlete in Australia. Emma George leaped 4.60m in Sydney to break the women’s Pole Vault World record in 1999.

Michelle Cook and David Culbert – Athletics Australia Media – for IAAF

**pending the usual ratification procedures

Monday, December 4, 2006

Knocking Knees

Guess I'm not the only one with knee problems. World class athletes including Curt Clausen and John Nunn had to have knee surgery. In fact it seems that the most common injuries in racewalking affects the knees.

Here is something that I found at Journal of Athletic Training website: Injuries in the Sport of Racewalking. Just in case the link dissappears I downloaded a copy of the PDF file here.

Cutting to the chase, knee injuries were the most common. This is a quote from that article:

During informal discussions, several competitors stated that racewalkers rarely if ever suffer knee injuries. However, this contention was not supported by our data. Even though hamstring strain was the most frequently reported specific injury, the knee, shin, hip, and back were more commonly affected by a variety of nonspecific injuries than was the hamstring musculature.

So is there a "cure" other than just to quit walking? Here are a couple of articles by Dave McGovern.

Care and Feeding of Racewalking Injuries

©1995 Dave McGovern--Dave's World Class

A recent, extended bout with a ridiculously misdiagnosed case of sartorial tendonitis in my right knee has prompted me to say a few words on the subject, in the hopes that it may save an anonymous racewalker or two from a similar unnecessary layoff. In the last few days I've finally returned to normal (knock on wood) training again after nearly ten weeks off due to an unpleasant sensation in my knee that at times was remarkably similar to the feeling one gets when an ice pick is accidentally hammered into the area. In the week following the 1994 New York City Marathon I began to experience pain on the medial side below my right knee. I felt fine during the race and didn't feel too bad afterwards, but I did notice a little tightness in my hips and lower abdominal region in the later stages of the race.In the days following the race I was only able to walk for twenty minutes or so before my hips tightened up, and then the knee became very painful. My therapists came up with all kinds of crazy diagnoses: A sprain. A torn meniscus. A torn ligament. An inflamed plica. Chondromalacia. All along I thought it was a simple case of tendonitis, but that was too easy. Two months and several hundred dollars later I decided to take matters into my own hands and began treatment as if I had a simple case of tendonitis. Less than a week into treatment I was able to return to normal training. Occasionally I push too hard and I feel a little pain, but a little extra stretching seems to hold it at bay. The moral of the story? Listen to your own body. Over the last few months I've worked with several highly qualified doctors and therapists, but ultimately the patient has a better feel for what's wrong with him than anybody poking and prodding from the outside. Doctors work in generalities: If the doctor works with a lot of basketball players, a torn meniscus is probably a reasonable guess as the source of medial knee pain. Likewise, a sprain may be a likely diagnosis for a soccer player. Chondromalacia is fairly common among runners. Unfortunately most doctors have never seen a racewalker and aren't sure what kinds of assumptions they should make.In my experience racewalkers suffer relatively few injuries, but nearly all are overuse injuries rather than traumatic ones (i.e. sprains and tears). Tendonitis of the knee (iliotibial or sartorial), feet (plantar fascitis or cuboid peroneal syndrome), shins ("shin splints" or posterior tibial myositis/tendonitis) or of the achilles tendon are all common overuse injuries. Bursitis of the hip or knee is also fairly common. The trick with tendonitis is to remember just what tendons are: They're tough fibrous sheaths that connect muscles to bones. Fortunately, 99% of the time there's nothing wrong with the tendon itself--it's simply being abused by a tight muscle. Racewalking, like running, does nothing to enhance flexibility. The racewalker is propelled forward by contracting muscles. Over time, the muscles incrementally lose flexibility if they are not stretched gently after exercise. As the tight muscle shortens, it pulls at its origin and insertion points (at the tendons, and fascial sheaths). The only way to release the strain on the tendon is to stretch the muscle. Similarly, bursitis is the inflammation of a bursa (a fluid-filled sac) found or formed in areas of friction. As the muscles tighten, friction around the joints increases and bursae are irritated. Releasing tight muscles will reduce friction and allow the bursa to return to normal.We are often ingrained with a quick-fix, bandaid approach to sports medicine: Rest, ice and aspirin will make the pain go away. All true, but these approaches attack the symptom and not the cause. The pain is in tendon or bursa, but the root cause is the tight, neglected muscle. Treatment for these injuries must begin with isolation of the muscle or muscles involved. In most cases the athlete will notice discomfort and tightness in certain muscles that may lie far from the injured area. Don't ignore these sensations! My last serious bout with tendonitis involved the insertion of my iliotibial band into the outside of my right knee. I felt a little tight on the outside of my right hip as well, but thought nothing of it, since it was never very painful. Meanwhile two months of rest did nothing to cure the knee once I tried to return to training. I was in exactly the same stage of pain after two months of rest because I failed to attack the tight iliotibial band and hip muscles. The treatment that finally cured me involved digging at scar tissue in my hip and thigh with the back end of a screwdriver to release the muscle and tendon, and then learning how to ward off further flare-ups with a sensible stretching routine.

An ounce of prevention is worth two in the bush (or something like that...) If the weather is just too lousy to get out the door to train, stay inside and stretch! Attack those tight muscles before they turn into debilitating injuries. There are dozens of excellent books out there on stretching--perhaps Bob Anderson's Stretching is the best known--but each individual must find the particular stretches that work for him or her. Experiment to see which positions get it right where it hurts. Certainly stretching is an important first step in recovery, but gains in flexibility will be short-lived if the involved muscles are weak and atrophied. Strength training is equally critical in injury rehabilitation or preventative care. Whether using free weights, weight machines, elastic devices or isometric exercises, the involved muscles should be isolated in such a way as to ensure that they are being worked through a range of motion that mimics their racewalking action as closely as possible. This may involve a good deal of improvisation with weight machines, or experimentation with postural changes until the perfect position is found. During rehabilitation, resistance should be just enough to cause minor fatigue without hurting the injured area. As strength improves, work up to three sets of 10-12 RM. (RM = repetitions maximum. 1 RM is the amount of weight that you are able to lift one time, but not two. 10 RM is the amount of weight that you're able to lift ten times before failure.) Always allow 48 hours for recovery between sessions--three days of weight training per week is optimum.

A SCARIER Method of Injury Treatment

©1997 Dave McGovern--Dave's World Class

Everyone has heard of the RICE method of injury treatment: Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. But RICE leaves out a few important elements: Stretching, Rehydration and Anti-inflamatories. Walkers with injuries shouldn't stop at RICE, but should try something SCARIER: Stretch, Compress, Anti-inflamatories, Rehydrate, Ice, Elevate, Rest.STRETCH the muscles. Most injuries are tendonitis or bursitis-type injuries. The root cause of these injuries is tight muscles that "pull" on tendon insertions.

STRETCHING the tight muscles will relieve the strain on the tendon insertions.

COMPRESS the sore spots to push out excess fluids. Also "compress"--by massaging--the tight muscles to work out any knots, and to break up scar tissue.

ANTI-INFLAMATORIES like Ibuprofin (Advil) to further reduce swelling.

REHYDRATE those dried out, beef-jerky muscles. Muscles are 90% water--a dry muscle is a tight muscle. DRINK!.

ICE 10 minutes on, 10 minutes off for 30 minutes, after training.

ELEVATE the feet whenever possible--try to keep them off the dinner table though. Elevation will allow fluid to drain out of the swollen spots.

REST as a last resort.

If at all possible, continue walking, but take it easy. Warming up the muscles will allow you to get a better stretch, and will circulate lots of healing blood to the area. I don't think of it as "training," but as "therapeutic walking."

Saturday, December 2, 2006

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

This morning Rosie and I went to Cal Tech to workout with the Southern Cal Walkers. We walked together doing 300 meter repeats. Here's how it went, remember I'm still recovering from a knee injury:
1st 300 Meters - 2:34  -  13:41 min/mi pace
2nd 300 Meters - 2:47 - 14:50 min/mi pace
3rd 300 Meters - 2:49 - 15:01 min/mi pace
4th 300 Meters - 2:52 - 15:17 min/mi pace
5th 300 Meters - 2:50 - 15:06 min/mi pace
6th 300 Meters - 2:55 - 15:33 min/mi pace
7th 300 Meters - 2:59 - 15:54 min/mi pace

At this point I went to see Elaine Ward to try and figure out why I keep injuring my knees. She spotted a problem right away--I over pronate*. That's not really news to me but she showed how to shift my weight to the outside of the foot and alleviate the pain. It takes some concentration, but I did a couple of laps at a moderate speed and it helped--at least it didn't make things any worse than before.

Afterwards I bought some Orange SUPERfeet insoles that should help with the over pronation issue. At least until I get my referral to see a podiatrist, maybe get a gait analysis, probably some custom orthoses and finally put this issue behind me.

I'm hurting just a little more than yesterday so maybe I did take a step backward today but hopefully the steps I have been taking lately will eventually move me in the right direction.

* pro·nate To turn or rotate the sole of the foot by abduction and eversion so that the inner edge of the sole bears the body's weight. -- American Heritage Stedman's Medical Dictionary

Monday, November 27, 2006

On The Injured List

No more experimenting or testing out my limits–I’m taking at least a two week break from racewalking. Once all the pain is gone I’ll consider getting back into it. In the meantime I’ll check into getting orthotic inserts for my shoes.

Yikes! What does this mean?

1. Also, orthosis. a device or support, esp. for the foot, used to relieve or correct an orthopedic problem.
2. of or pertaining to orthotics.
[Origin: 1960–65; adj. deriv. of orthosis (on the model of psychosis: plychotic, etc.); see -tic]

or·thot·ics (ôr-thtks) n. (used with a sing. verb)

The science that deals with the use of specialized mechanical devices to support or supplement weakened or abnormal joints or limbs.

[From New Latin orthsis, ortht-, artificial support, brace, from Greek, a straightening, from orthoun, to straighten, from orthos, straight.]

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Long Slow Road to Recovery

The plan this morning was to do a slow 12 miles and see if my knee can take it. I split it up into two halves. The first half I did very slowly and just carried a 16 ounce bottle of water. At the 6 mile mark I stopped the clock for about 2 minutes, switched to a 24 ounce bottle of water with a peanut butter Gatorade energy bar. I was feeling pretty good so I pushed a bit harder on the second half.
Mile  1 - 13:18          Mile  4 - 13:57
Mile 2 - 13:31 Mile 5 - 13:41
Mile 3 - 13:37 Mile 6 - 13:10
Average Pace - 13:32

Mile  7 - 13:05          Mile 10 - 12:57
Mile 8 - 13:15 Mile 11 - 12:45
Mile 9 - 12:56 Mile 12 - 12:23
Average Pace - 12:54

Total Workout - 2:38:41

At times I was feeling like I was doing more damage than good, but once the endorphins kicked in somewhere around mile 5, the pain nearly went away. However, later in the day I was limping around so maybe it was a bit too soon to get back on the road.

The puzzle is, how did I injure myself and what to do to keep it from happening again. As far as I can tell the problem is with the adductor muscles on my right leg. Although the pain is in my knee, I also feel tightness where the adductor attaches to the hip. The other end of the adductor attaches to the inside front of the knee and that's exactly where it hurts. My guess is that when I hit the wall on the long walk a couple of weeks ago, my right foot started hurting fairly early and in an attempt to relieve the pain I was rolling my foot inward thus putting excess strain on the adductor. According to "Heal Your Hips" by Robert Klapper, M.D., the orthopedic surgeon who diagnosed my knee problems when I was running, the treatment is to stretch the adductors and strengthen the abductors in order to get these opposing muscle groups back into balance.

Hopefully the tight shoe problem won't happen again. I got another pair of Loco Banditos but they didn't have a half size larger so they sent me a full size larger with the option of exchanging them once their new shipment came in. Surprisingly, these size 11's seem to fit me just fine. I must have been using a full size too small all this time!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Slow Comeback

Injuries are such a nuisance. All week I was trying to do exercises that wouldn't aggravate my knee. The strength training seemed to help and so did the heat/massage pad I used every morning and evening.

Bicycling is supposed to be good but the first day I tried it the front tire was low and the hand pump didn't work so I strapped the bike to the car rack and took it to a gas station to inflate the tires. The next day the front tire was flat, guess I overinflated it and ruptured the inner tube. Following day I got a new inner tube but it had a different valve and I needed a new pump. Here we are a week later and the bicycle is finally ready to ride so what did I do? I went racwalking.

Today was workout day with the Southern Cal Walkers and I talked my wife, Rosie, into coming along. Not wanting to over do it and make things worse I used the excuse of coaching Rosie in order to take it really slow. I probably could have gone faster but my knee was telling me not to. The bottom line is that I got out there and didn't make the injury worse. In fact I'm actually feeling much better after the workout. Guess it is time to start getting back into the program--albeit very slowly.

Rosie and I were always bringing up the rear in the 800 meter repeats so if you're interested in how slow the slowest walkers were doing, here are the results:
1st 800 Meters - 7:59 - 15:58 min/mi pace
2nd 800 Meters - 7:34 - 15:08 min/mi pace
3rd 800 Meters - 7:56 - 15:52 min/mi pace

Not very impressive, but we got out there. Rosie is just getting started in racewalking and I'm getting back to it--slooowly. Tomorrow I should pick up where I left off and do 12 miles. At this pace it will take about 3 hours but the idea here is to go the distance now and work on the speed later. Hopefully my knees will agree with that.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Will you have R.I.C.E. or M.E.A.T. with that injury?

This isn't about diet. It is about what to do when injured. That's an important subject for me right now because I injured my right knee. But isn't racewalking an injury free sport? Says who? Maybe injuries aren't as common as in other sports but they do happen.

So--what to do about this sore knee?

R.I.C.E. stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. This is probably the most widely known injury treatment. It starts out with as much rest as possible. Next, put something really cold on the sore knee. What that does is make the blood flow away from the injury and numbs the nerves in that area. Compression, like wrapping up the knee, gives it some support and also constricts blood flow. Elevating is also perscribed to keep the blood from pooling around the injury. So it looks like the main thrust of this treatment is to take it easy and stop the blood flow.

M.E.A.T. is for Movement, Exercise, Analgesics and Treatment. I just found out about this when searching around the Internet on the Caring Medical & Rehabilitation Services website. (By the way, while I find some of their work provocative some of it like Prolotherapy and the Hauser diet looks suspect to me.) It isn't something totally new to me, when I had my knees looked at by Dr. Robert Klapper I was introduced to his book, "Heal Your Knees," and he perscribes exercise as a way to prevent or at least postphone surgery. Movement and exercise don't mean to keep doing what got you injured in the first place, it means keep active. Dr. Klapper recommended that I cross train. This morning I rode around on my bicycle and my knee was fine--until I got off the bike that is. I also did the stretching exercises and that went fine. Tomorrow I plan to do strength training. In other words, I'm continuing with all activities except for racewalking until my knee stops hurting. I'll get back to analgesics for a moment and get into the treatment. My self-diagnosis is that I stressed my ligaments and caused some tearing. In order to the body to rebuild these tears it needs a good blood supply--wait, that's the opposite of what R.I.C.E. is doing. In order to try this out I ran to the pharmacy and bought a heating pad with vibrating massage action. It sure feels better than a bag of ice on my knee!

Oh, and one treatment to avoid if at all possible is cortisone shots. That's the first thing Dr. Klapper told me when he found out I was there with sore knees.

Now what about analgesics? The most common pain reliever for knee injuries seems to be ibuprofen and that's exactly the type of medication that is not recommended in the documents I've been reading. Here's what is on the Caring Medical website has about pain relievers:
Although cortisone shots and anti-inflammatory drugs have been shown to produce short-term pain benefit for soft tissue sports injuries, both result in long-term loss of function and even more chronic pain by actually inhibiting the healing process of soft tissues and accelerating cartilage degeneration.

If that isn't scary enough, here is an excerpt from a USA Track and Field document called Fluids On Race Day:
Recent medical research has shown that non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) like Advil, Motrin, Aleve, ibuprofen, naproxen, etc. may be harmful to runners' kidney function if taken within 24 hours of running; acetaminophen (Tylenol®) has been shown to be safe. These NSAIDs are thought to increase the possibility of hyponatremia while running long distances due to their decreasing blood flow to the kidneys and interfering with a hormone that helps the body retain salt. Therefore it is recommended that on race day (specifically beginning midnight before you run) you do not use anything but acetaminophen (Tylenol®) if needed until 6 hours after you have finished the race, are able to drink without any nausea or vomiting, have urinated once, and feel physically and mentally back to normal. Then, an NSAID would be of benefit in preventing post-event muscle soreness.

And to think I was popping ibuprofen pills and the slightest tinge of pain. Acetaminophen isn't giving me the strong pain relief that I was getting from ibuprofen but I'm going to stay on this new course and hopefully my knee will repair itself stronger this time.

In the meantime, I'm not doing any racewalking--hopefully for just a little while.

Here is the entire text of the MEAT vs. RICE Treatment article and here is the science that supports it.
MEAT vs. RICE Treatment
Traditional modern medical treatment for acute injuries, such as those that occur during active sports, usually receive the RICE protocol. In fact, it’s become a standard for sports injuries and pain management. RICE, by the way, stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. A “P” is occasionally added to the equation. It stands for Protection, and consists of bracing or taping the area. In addition, most injured individuals are also encouraged to take anti-inflammatory medications. Unfortunately, in order to help heal injured ligaments and tendons, there couldn’t be a worse approach. Read on to find out how the RICE protocol came about, why it’s counterproductive to healing and why the MEAT (Movement, Exercise, Analgesics and Treatments) protocol is the best way to heal weakened and injured ligaments and tendons.

The RICE protocol
Ligament sprains are often accompanied by quite a bit of painful swelling, also called edema. A key premise of the RICE treatment is that this swelling is harmful to the tissue and needs to be minimized. In fact, sports medicine specialists and athletic trainers have fallen into the trap that muscles are like tendons and that tendons are like ligaments. Yet that couldn’t be further from the truth. Understanding the difference between ligaments and muscles is crucial to understanding why the RICE treatment is totally inappropriate for healing tendons and ligaments.

Muscles, because of their good circulation, heal quickly and rarely cause a long-term problem, whereas ligaments, due to their poor blood supply, often heal incompletely and are the cause of most chronic sports injuries and pain. And while the accumulation of fluids, or edema, can in fact be harmful to muscles in the form of compartment syndrome, this does not apply to ligament and tendon injuries. Compartment syndrome occurs when swelling due to an injury places pressure on the muscle tissue, which decreases circulation and healing, which cause further swelling due to fluid accumulation, which decreases healing even more. This vicious cycle can lead to permanent muscle, nerve or circulation damage, which is why the RICE treatment has become an established protocol for muscle injuries, but unfortunately has inappropriately been applied to ligament injuries as well, which operate under an entirely different set of circumstances.

Ligaments are the small and mighty bone binders – they bind together bones at the joints. They are made of collagen, one of the strongest substances in the human body. Ligaments normally receive blood vessels from small arterial plexuses from the joints, but they themselves have essentially no blood vessels. If the blood vessels from the small arterial plexuses are sheared as the result of an injury, the limited blood supply that ligaments get is completely cut off. Furthermore, the blood supply to the ligaments is the poorest at the point where the ligament attaches to the bone, called the fibro-osseous junction. This point is also the weak link in the ligament-bone complex, and the area most commonly injured during sports and responsible for most lingering sports injuries. And this is the exact site where Prolotherapy is administered! But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s briefly review why the RICE protocol is inappropriate for ligaments.

Why RICE prevents healing
All of the components of RICE – rest, ice, compression and elevation – are designed to decrease swelling, and pain, by decreasing the circulation to the area, which is exactly what ligaments need to heal faster. Rest, compression and elevation, that is, immobilization, is extremely detrimental to joints and ligaments. It lowers the metabolic rate in the area. Ligaments heal slowly by nature, and they take twice as long to heal if immobilized. The fibro-osseous junction, the principal site of Prolotherapy treatments, heals even more slowly. Ice has a similar effect. And while lowering the temperature of an area is critical for certain surgeries and limb-salvage operations, where a lowered metabolism can mean the difference between success and failure, this is not so for injured ligaments. Ice leads to lower temperatures, which leads to lower metabolism, which leads to slower healing! And to make matters worse, injured athletes often continue their activities after getting “relief” from RICE, making themselves susceptible to further injury. Here’s why. The colder a ligament, the less force is needed to deform it, which is one of the reasons many athletic injuries occur in cold weather. In summary, anything that decreases the metabolic rate or blood supply to ligaments, such as rest, immobilization and ice, will further promote the decline of the ligaments, and profoundly delay their healing.

The MEAT protocol, and why it promotes healing
The more conservative, and effective, treatment for acute injuries to ligaments and tendons is the MEAT protocol. As mentioned earlier, MEAT stands for movement, exercise, analgesics and treatment. While immobility is detrimental to soft tissue healing, movement is beneficial because it improves blood flow to the injured area, removing debris. One of the effects of movement is the generation of heat, which increases blood flow. This is why the application of heat is also recommended for ligament and tendon injuries. Gentle range-of-motion exercises also help improve blood flow to the injured area. Natural analgesics, or painkillers, such as proteolytic enzymes, which break down proteins, aid soft tissue healing by reducing the viscosity, or stickiness, of the extracellular fluid. Examples include bromelain (from pineapple), trypsin, chymotrypsin and papain (from papaya). Reduced viscosity of the extracellular fluid in turn increases nutrient and waste transport from the injured site, reducing swelling, or edema. In other words, natural analgesics decrease the painful swelling of soft-tissue injuries but do not stop the natural inflammatory reactions that lead to healing, unlike anti-inflammatories, which can actually hinder healing. Narcotics such as codeine may also be prescribed short term for very painful injuries. In the short term, they are very helpful because they relieve pain without interfering with the natural healing mechanisms of the body. In fact, our bodies produce our own narcotic, called endorphins, which are released in response to an acute injury to reduce pain. Other options for pain control include pain relievers that are not synthetic anti-inflammatories, such as Tylenol or Ultram. They help relieve pain without decreasing inflammation, a critical part of the soft-tissue healing process.

And finally, treatments are used to increase blood flow and immune cell migration to the injured area that will assist ligament and tendon healing. Treatments include physical therapy, massage, chiropractic care, ultrasound, myofascial release and electrical stimulation. All improve blood flow and help soft tissue to heal. If the treatment has not healed within 6 weeks, more aggressive treatments, including Prolotherapy, should be considered. Of course if time is of the essence, Prolotherapy is quite effective as an initial treatment for acute pain, particularly in the case of acute sports injuries. In summary, the MEAT protocol is more effective and expedient than the RICE protocol when it comes to healing ligament and tendon injuries.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Half of a Long Walk is better than Nothing

The day started out sunny and warm and kept getting warmer and warmer. It is currently about 90 degrees F here in Los Angeles. I had all of my gear set and ready to go this morning but for reasons beyond my control, we never got to our usual long distance course at the beach. I did have a plan 'B' and that was to do my newly measured 6 mile course around the neighborhood. Except I wanted to do a 12 mile workout so despite some knee pain that has been dogging me since last week's 22-mile crash and burn, I set out to do the new course twice.

It is one thing to drive out to a course mentally prepared with a game plan and another thing to go out in the heat, with a sore knee and walk right past my nice cozy home halfway through. The heat, knee pain and temptation was too much for me--I only did half of the scheduled long walk but at my predetermined 30 seconds per mile over marathon goal pace. Here's how it went:
Mile 1 - 12:05
Mile 2 - 12:23
Mile 3 - 12:38
Mile 4 - 12:49
Mile 5 - 12:58
Mile 6 - 12:47
Average Pace - 12:37 Minutes per Mile
Total Workout - 1:15:42

I tried some new tricks that will hopefully help improve my endurance. Just before starting I took a packet of GU with some water. I started out well hydrated so I didn't begin taking in fluids until 30 minutes into the walk. Instead of the usual water and Gatoraid I filled my bottles with Gookinaid Hydralyte and took one 8-ounce bottle every 30 minutes. An hour into the walk I took a second GU packet and washed it down with some Hydralyte--yeah I should have used plain water but I didn't want to carry any more than necessary.

I could have put up with the heat and exhaustion but I didn't want to blow out my knee. Last time I went to the doctor to have my knees checked I was advised to cut back on running and cross train, I don't want to be told to stop walking too--I'm not quite ready to start marathon training in a wheel chair!

Speed Workouts are Working Out

I did some speed work with the Southern Cal Walkers this morning and even though I was telling myself I'd take it easy, today's workout was a timed 2k and I couldn't resist giving it a good shot at it. Here's how it went:
Lap 1 - 2:29 -  9:56 min/mi pace
Lap 2 - 2:33 - 10:12 min/mi pace
Lap 3 - 2:34 - 10:16 min/mi pace
Lap 4 - 2:40 - 10:40 min/mi pace * 10:16 Mile *
Lap 5 - 2:39 - 10:36 min/mi pace
Total time for 2k - 12:55
Average lap time - 2:35 - 10:20 min/mi pace

I didn't better my 10:09 mile from October 25, but since that was before I remeasured the course and found out it was a bit short of a mile--today was probably my fastest mile yet.

Joshua came along with me so we took the camera and here are some shots he took of me with the Southern Cal Walkers doing the 2k at the Cal Tech track.

Looks like I've got to do some more work on my technique!

Here are some of the other Southern Cal Walkers during the 2k workout--enjoy!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Pure Clear Water

Today was my strength training day. The exercises are getting more comfortable and it seems that my knees feel better after warming up.

So--what's up with water? Sure we all know that water is essential to life and lack of it will hinder athletic performance, but how many of us drink enough water?

I have a 24 ounce bottle by my bed which I start drinking as soon as I get up. I'll finish my morning bottle before going for the walk or sip it through strength training. In addition, I've been making it a habit to have a 32 ounce bottle of water on my desk and take sips all day long. I usually go through one bottle in the morning and one in the afternoon. If I'm working late I'll go through another bottle, but I always make it a point to take in at least two bottles per day. Of course there's also some liquid for meals and sometimes I'll add a sports drink, but that's in addition to the daily 88 ounces of water.

Is that enough? Well, I'm sure that water requirements vary according to the weather and level of physical effort during the day. I guess I'm taking enough water because I usually take lots of pee breaks in the afternoon. Sometimes it can get very uncomfortable trying to get home if there is too much traffic. I've also gotten into the habit of sitting on an aisle seat when watching a movie.

Now what about keeping hydrated during the long walks? I have a few Amphipod belts and for the really long walks I can load up to six 8-ounce bottles. I'm still experimenting with different mixes of water, Gatoraid and other concoctions, but basically I'm going through one bottle every 4-5 miles. That's about 8 ounces of fluid per hour. Is that enough? I found this table in "Eating for Endurance" by Ellen Coleman:
Hydration Guidelines

Drink 14 to 22 ounces of fluid about 2 hours prior to exercise.
Drink 6 to 12 ounces of fluid every 15 to 20 minutes during exercise
Drink 24 ounces of fluid for every pound of body weight lost after exercise

Yikes! If I go by this table I'm barely taking in half as much fluids during exercise as I should. In addition, I haven't been weighing myself before and after the long walks so maybe that's something that I should be doing.

So if I take one 8-ounce bottle every 30-minutes and it takes 5.5 hours to complete a marathon that's 11 bottles--no way I can carry 88 ounces on my belt. Funny thing is, that's the amount of water I'm drinking every day.

Back to re-thinking my long walk strategy. Maybe I should start relying on the numerous drinking fountains on the course--but I hate stopping!

But my quest for the ultimate guide to hydration doesn't stop here. I checked out the library at the USA Track & Field coaching area and here's something interesting on the USATF Self-Testing Program for Optimal Hydration paper:

  1. Make sure you are properly hydrated BEFORE the workout your urine should be clear.

  2. Do a warm-up run to the point where perspiration is generated, then stop. Urinate if necessary

  3. Weigh yourself naked on an accurate scale

  4. Run for one hour at an intensity similar to your targeted race.

  5. Drink a measured amount of a beverage of your choice during the run if and when you are thirsty. It is important that you keep track of exactly how much fluid you take in during the run.

  6. Do not urinate during the run.

  7. Weigh yourself naked again on the same scale you used in Step 3.

  8. You may now urinate and drink more fluids as needed. Calculate your fluid needs using the following formula:

A. Enter your body weight from Step 3 in Pounds ____________
B. Enter your body weight from Step 7 in Pounds ____________
C. Subtract B from A = ____________ x 15.3
D. Convert your total in C to fluid ounces by multiplying by 15.3 = ____________
E. Enter the amount of fluid you consumed during the run in ounces + ____________
F. Add E to D = ____________
The final figure is the number of ounces that you must consume per hour to remain well-hydrated.

Looks like I've got my work cut out for me!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Need to Revise The Workout Schedule

Not that I always have much control over my schedule--my job at DreamWorks Animation has been taking up lots of time and energy these past few days.

Anyway, did some strength training on Tuesday and the daily 3-mile walk this morning. That failed long workout on Sunday left me hurting but just resting doesn't seem to speed up recovery. On Monday I thought I'd have to take the whole week off but here we are on Wednesday feeling pretty good. This is how it went:
Mile 1 - 11:45
Mile 2 - 11:53
Mile 3 - 11:40
Average Pace - 11:46 Minutes Per Mile
Total Workout - 35:18

What I was thinking about doing is to increase the weekday walk to 6 miles and do it every other day. What would probably work best is instead of doing 3 miles on Tuesday through Friday (Monday is my day off) I'd do 6 miles on Tuesday and Thursday. This wouldn't increase my weekly mileage but it would make each workout longer. On Wednesday and Friday I'd do strength training. Of course stretching would be included on every day--perhaps even the day off. This would require setting the alarm a half-hour earlier.

And guess what--tomorrow I've been asked to come into work an hour earlier. Ugh, guess I can't start the new schedule just yet.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Crash and Burn

Today was my long walk and well, the title tells it all. It was my first attempt at racewalking the marathon distance and here's how it went:
Mile  1 - 11:39          Mile  8 - 11:46          Mile 15 - 13:08
Mile 2 - 13:16 Mile 9 - 11:55 Mile 16 - 12:08
Mile 3 - 13:01 Mile 10 - 12:50 Mile 17 - 12:17
Mile 4 - 13:02 Mile 11 - 12:36 Mile 18 - 13:26
Mile 5 - 13:00 Mile 12 - 12:47 Mile 19 - 13:24
Mile 6 - 12:44 Mile 13 - 12:54 Mile 20 - 13:52
Mile 7 - 12:57 Mile 14 - 12:41 Mile 21 - 14:09
_____________________________Crash and Burn --> Mile 22 - 14:52
Average Pace - 12:55 Minutes Per Mile
Total Workout - 4:44:24

Apparently I used up my glycogen stores around mile 20 and my body had to switch over to burning fat. You'd think that's a good thing to burn fat but it takes more energy and it slows you down. In addition, it can play tricks with your mind. To quote from British Journal of Sports Medicine article, Cognitive orientations in marathon running and “hitting the wall” by Clare D Stevinson and Stuart J H Biddle:
“The wall” is a term used in the context of a marathon to refer to the point, generally at about 20 miles, where glycogen supplies have been exhausted and energy has to be converted from fat. This is a slower process than with glycogen and the consequential shortage of glucose to the brain may result in hypoglycaemia, the scientific term for “the wall”. This can be an extremely unpleasant experience with symptoms including a lack of physical coordination, dehydration, paraesthesia (tingling or numbness in the toes or fingers), nausea, muscle spasms, dizziness, an inability to think clearly, and extreme physical weakness.

At least I was thinking clearly enough to stop the workout.

Even though I didn't read this article before the workout, I was sort of expecting something like this would happen. I haven't been doing enough long distance work and even though I had a few "forced" days off during the week due to my job workload, I might have pushed it a little too hard the day before this long walk.

I was feeling pretty good through most of the walk. In fact this was the first time that I was able to keep Joshua, my running nephew, within my sight for almost 8 miles, but Joshua had to quit at mile 10 because of a side ache. I might have done better if we had started earlier but it was a nice sunny day at the beach and the warm temperature brought out quite a crowd. By the end of the workout it was getting difficult just to weave through the masses on the boardwalk.

In addition, my feet must have swelled up because the right shoe was feeling tight in the toe box. I didn't blister but a toenail got enough pressure to bleed slightly. I must have been trying to keep the weight off the foot and as a result I hurt my right knee. Once I gave up the workout I took off my shoes and walked barefoot on the wet sand--that felt so good! I still like the shoes, Loco Banditos, but they seem to run small and I'll need to try out a half-size larger.

Overall it wasn't a total disaster. Up until mile 17 my average pace was 12:37 min/mile and I feel that I could have gone faster. The big question--is hitting the wall a matter of distance or time? In other words, was that wall at mile 18 or at hour 4?

The only way to find out is to do more distance workouts. But there is a saying that goes like, "long slow distance workouts creates slow distance runners." Maybe push some more on the long walks? Hit the wall a little harder or walk through the wall? Better yet, move the wall out of the way.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Little Workout Before the Big Workout

Today I worked out with the Southern Cal Walkers at the Cal Tech track. I kept it easy so I wouldn't burn out for the long walk tomorrow.

2x 300 meter repeats
1st repeat - 1:47 - 9:30 min/mi pace
2nd repeat - 1:47

3x 800 meter repeats
1st repeat - 5:52 - 11:44 min/mi pace
2nd repeat - 5:50 - 11:40 min/mi pace
3rd repeat - 5:33 - 11:06 min/mi pace

I tried for a good effort on the 300 meters and an easy, marathon pace for the 800 meters, though I did push a bit harder on the final 200 meters of the workout. Overall it felt good.

Tomorrow is the long, 26 mile walk. The plan is to keep it easy and complete it without breaking down.

By the way, the reason why I list the minutes per mile pace is because that way I can compare my progress with the L.A. Marathon results list. Once the marathon is over I'm considering switching over to kilometers instead of miles.

Friday, November 10, 2006

160 spm = 160 bpm = 12 minutes per mile?

This morning I tried something different. I took along a portable metronome, a Seiko DM-50 like the one pictured above, and figured out how many steps per minute I'm doing at my "normal" 12 per mile pace. It took the first half mile to get the foot falls in sync with the metronome and it came out to 160 steps per minute. Checking the heart rate monitor near the end of the walk it was reading just under 160 beats per minute. I missed marking the second mile accuratly but the overall workout did average out to 12 minutes per mile so now I've got a rough formula:

160 Steps Per Minute = about 160 Heart Beats Per Minute = 12 Minutes Per Mile Average Pace

Now for the interesting part. According to the chart from Curt Sheller's article, at 160 spm and 12 min/mile I don't even have a 3 foot stride! Here's how it calculates out:

12 min X 160 spm = 1,920 steps per mile

5,280 feet per mile / 1,920 steps = 2.75 feet per step

I guess that before trying to increase my steps per minute I should look at extending my stride. I'm 5 foot 10 inches tall so I should be able to step out more than 2 feet 9 inches!

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Indecision after Election Day

It took me quite a while to go through all the races and ballot measures for yesterday's election. I even took a training day off and made it to the polls first thing in the morning.

So much for decision making--this morning I started out doing just a quick mile, maybe 12 minutes? Not much of a workout but I had an early morning eye doctor appointment and didn't want to take another day off. Halfway through the mile I was feeling good so I picked up the pace.

10:32 minutes per mile

Not a PR, but I did have to go 50 yards further than my mile PR because I remeasured the course. Maybe I did just walk my best mile.

However, if I was going at a 12 min/mile pace for the first half, what did I do on the second half? Sounds like one of those math word problems. Let's see, 1/2 mile at 12 min/mile = 6 minutes and 10:32 mile - 6 minutes = 4:32 min second half which comes out to 4:32 x 2 = 9:04 min/mile pace.

I was hoping to break 10 minutes for a mile but now it seems that I should set a goal to break 9 minutes. That's not as crazy as it may seem at first. According the the age grading card some of the Southern Cal Walkers were carrying, a 51 year old racewalker in good shape should be able to do an 8 minute mile. Now that seems crazy at this point in my training.

Monday, November 6, 2006

Relaxing at 13 Minutes Per Mile

The main thing I wanted to do this morning was to warm up and do some stretching. I did the three miles at a relaxed, comfortable pace. Something that I'm pretty sure I could keep up all day. Here's how it went:
Mile 1 - 13:01
Mile 2 - 13:07
Mile 3 - 12:55
Average Pace - 13:01
Total Workout - 39:04

Not bad, I wasn't pushing myself at all and it was feeling like what 14 minutes per mile felt like just a few weeks ago. I should be able to do the 26 miles next weekend at this pace--we'll see.

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Exceeded Yet Another Goal

On Thursday I passed my goal pace of 12 minutes per mile for the 3-mile daily walk, today on the long day I bettered my 11:33 pace by 33 seconds. In addition I also bettered 12 minutes per mile on the whole 8-mile long walk.

I didn't start out the day with these goals in mind. In fact I wasn't feeling up to doing the walk at all when I started. That fast 3-mile walk on Thursday got my knees aching and since I have had knee problems before I didn't want to push it so I took Friday off. On Saturday I went to Cal Tech with my wife, Rosie, and worked out with the Southern Cal Walkers. There weren't many people there because they were staging a one-hour postal on Sunday. I wasn't up to competing and wanted to stay on a marathon schedule. In any case, doing some accelerations on the track gave me confidence that I could do a long walk. In addition, I changed the lacing on my shoes to snug up the heel now that I don't have blisters to deal with. This morning I couldn't make up my mind if I wanted to do a full 8-miles or cut it short. My nephew, Joshua, is back to running after his shin accident and he was up to doing 8-miles. Anyway, I took off fast figuring that I'd stop when I felt like it.

Here's how it went:
Mile 1 - 11:06
Mile 2 - 10:55
Mile 3 - 10:58 * New PR for 3 miles 33:00 minutes, Average Pace - 11:00 Minutes per Mile
Mile 4 - 12:28
Mile 5 - 12:26
Mile 6 - 12:51
Mile 7 - 12:42
Mile 8 - 12:16
Average Pace - 11:58 Minutes per Mile * New PR for 8 miles
Total Workout - 1:35:46

I knew I started too fast and was pleased with the time on the first mile. The second and third mile surprised me, I didn't feel like I was pushing that hard. On the fourth mile the heart rate monitor got up to 180 bpm and the it the weather was really warming up. Hot and dry, great. I was also walking with the breeze so it seemed even hotter. I decided to slow down, maybe four miles would be enough for today. However, that slightly slower pace was enough to recover. At one point on mile four a great looking blond woman smiled at me and yelled out that I walked like a woman. "Oh yeah?" I yelled back, "try to keep up with me." I'm glad she didn't take me on on it because I was getting really tired at that point. The next game I decided to play was to see how far I can go in an hour, just to see what would have happened if I had entered the Southern Cal Walkers' event. By the hour mark I was at around 5.25 miles--good, but not great. Uh oh--with the hot dry weather and the extra effort I was putting into this walk I ran out of Gateraid. I only filled up two 8-ounce bottles and that was obviously not enough. At that point I figured that even if I crawled the rest of way I'd still have a pretty good time so I relaxed on miles six and seven, yet still did better than the 13 minute per mile pace that was my goal pace just a few weeks ago. Finally I gave it one more push on the last mile, just enough to finish strong but not exactly a 100% effort.

So what's up next? If things go as planned my nephew and I will do a slow 26 miles next week--just to get a feel for going the distance and to make up for lost workouts. My goal is to finish it without blisters and feel good when it is over.

Thursday, November 2, 2006

Finally Exceeded Daily Goal Pace

This morning I tried to do 12 minute miles on the 3-mile walk once again. This time I warmed up and gave it a good effort with the heart rate going around 168 bpm. Here's how it went:
Mile 1 - 11:23
Mile 2 - 11:35
Mile 3 - 11:40
Average Pace - 11:33 minutes per mile
Total Workout - 34:39

I also found that you can map out a course on the USA Track & Field web site so I mapped out my 3-mile neighborhood course and found that it came out shorter than I measured it. So--I might be faster than 11:33 minutes per mile. Humm--maybe I'll get a GPS after all.

My right knee was feeling slightly sore, but not too bad. It was probably due to compensating for the blisters on my right heel for the past few weeks but now that it is better I'm hoping that the knee pain will go away too. Another issue was that my right shoe seemed a little loose on the heel. Again that was probably because I was trying to take the pressure off the heel but now that it is healed I could snug it up a bit.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Racewaking Clinic Classmates Do Big Sur Half

Several classmates from Dave McGovern's Solano Beach racewalking clinic participated in the Big Sur half-marathon. Here are their results:
Jim Paschall------2:25:47
Karen Byrne-------2:28:51
Trisha Petraglia--2:29:19
Deanne Edwards----2:29:41
Jules Fox---------2:35:11
Pat Paschall------2:38:02

Wow, that's pretty good. The fastest average pace was Jim Paschall's 11 min/mile and his wife did a very respectable 12 min/mile. That in itself is impressive but add to this the hills in Big Sur and it is quite amazing. Congratulations to Coach Sloan Zsiro and her "Walk This Way" club.

How am I doing? Well, I finally got rid of those blister pads and after taking a day off I'm feeling pretty good though I still have a slight case of wobbly knees. Once again I jumped out of bed (after hitting the snooze button about a dozen times) and hit the pavement.
Mile 1 - 12:23
Mile 2 - 12:35
Mile 3 - 12:15
Average pace - 12:24 minutes per mile
Total Workout - 37:15

So, I've got a long way to go before I could consider myself up to the level of my classmates, but then again I've been slacking off these last few days. Time to push myself a little harder.

Monday, October 30, 2006

A Few More Steps

So I had to walk a few more steps this morning on the newly remeasured course. Kept it pretty easy, heart rate well under 150 bpm for most of the walk.
Mile 1 - 12:18
Mile 2 - 12:40
Mile 3 - 12:50
Average Pace - 12:36 minutes per mile
Total Workout - 37:49

Humm, just the other day I was thinking that I should be able to jump out of bed and walk 12 minute miles without even warming up--guess I'm not there just yet. Oh well, I'm still faster than I was just a couple of months ago and there's four months to go before the L.A. Marathon.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Re-measuring the Course

It wasn't as easy as I thought to re-measure the 3-mile course that I use for my daily walks, but I finally got through it. I put a steel measuring tape on the ground and checked the distance for one revolution of the bicycle wheel. Then I went out on the course and counted wheel rotations. On my first try I lost count a couple of times--probably because I was self-conscious I might look like the village idiot pushing a rusty bicycle around and counting to 754 and one quarter for each mile. I tried again after dark with one of Rosie's knitting counters.

If I measured it correctly this time, I wasn't too far off to begin with. In a way that was a disappointment because I thought that I was walking a longer course and that's why my time wasn't as good as the weekend long walks. As it turns out I have been walking a slightly shorter course all this time. It wasn't too big a discrepancy, about 30 yards. My first mile was about 50 yards short. The second mile, when adjusting for that 50 yard deficit in the first mile, was pretty much accurate. The last mile turned out to be about 20 yards longer than a mile. That explains why my mile pace kept getting slower all this time on those daily 3-mile walks.

Now I have new, hopefully more accurate, mile markers, but it looks like it will be even more difficult to hit a 12 minute per mile average because I've got to go a little further.

All in all, it was a rather disappointing Sunday. I started the day ready to do a long slow 26.2 miles. My nephew and I thought it would be great to go the marathon distance, at least that's what we wanted to do Saturday afternoon. However, he went out with a friend that night and came home with doubts about going the distance. Oh, well, I was willing to settle for a good 8-miles, but when he got up Sunday, even after the extra hour due to the time change, he wasn't feeling like doing even that, in fact he hasn't run for a couple of weeks now but doesn't want to see a doctor about his sore shins. That, and other things that kept piling up--Rosie's friend that slept in, my heel that was still patched up and a slight knee pain from yesterday's fast 800 meter repeats--and I finally threw in the towel. I ended up giving Rosie a short racewalking lesson. I only timed one mile of the lesson, 17 minutes. My heart rate didn't get close to any aerobic benefit zone but Rosie was huffing and puffing by the end of the workout. Now Rosie wants to spend more time walking with me so she can loose some weight and get fit. I guess I did the right thing by putting the family first today.

Now that we are on Standard Time, it won't be dark for my early morning walks--at least that's something to look forward to.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Speed Work with the Southern Cal Walkers

Whohoo--did some speed work today at Cal Tech with the Southern Cal Walkers. 800 meter repeats, here's how it went:
1st 800 meter time - 4:55
2nd 800 meter time - 5:28
3rd 800 meter time - 5:22

The fastest was about a 9:50 min/mile pace and the slowest was about a 10:56 min/mile pace. I don't think I could do a whole mile at the fastest pace, but the second repeat was feeling like my 12 min/mile long walk speed yet I was over a minute per mile faster. The last repeat I was concentrating more on form and was a little faster with about the same effort.

Of course we did a full set of warm up drills before and stretched afterwards.

Now I'm convinced that the course I marked around the block is way off so my weekend project will be to measure it. Maybe sometime in the future I'll get a GPS system like the one of the Garmin Forerunner systems, but for now I'll do it the "official" cheapskate method by counting revolutions of a bicycle wheel.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Time to Remeasure the Course

In my dissapointment at not reaching a 12 minute per mile average pace yesterday I forgot to note that it was a new PR for the daily walk. I edited that today. However, there was another dissapointment today--I tried again for a 12 minute per mile average and did even worse!
Mile 1 - 11:42
Mile 2 - 12:25
Mile 3 - 13:01
Average Pace - 12:22
Total Workout - 37:08

I started out even faster than yesterday and tried to maintain the same steady pace on the second mile but was way slower. I used the last mile as a cool down but sprinted the last 300 meters.

So why is it that I can walk 8 miles at a 12 min/mi pace but can't do it for 3 miles? The mile markers must be off. I searched the Internet and found several expensive measuring devices but then I came accross a couple of documents explaining how "official" road races are measured--they use a bicycle wheel. Sure, the official way is to use a wheel revolution counter, specifically a Jones-Oerth counter, but counting wheel rotations and calculating the distance should get a fairly accurate measurement. At least it will be better than the odometer on my car because I'll be measuring the sidewalk instead of the street.

One more thing--I've been trying to do strength training at least a couple of days per week. I did it today and on Wednesday when I walked my fastest mile--but was it really a mile?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Still Not Reaching New Standard

Today was the "easy" 3 mile walk. My heel is feeling better, though I still am using a pad on it and wearing heel-less clogs to work.
Mile 1 - 11:44
Mile 2 - 12:06
Mile 3 - 12:16
Average Pace - 12:02 minutes per mile * New PR
Total Workout - 36:07

Almost got my pace to 12 min/mi but the consistantly slower miles are concerning me. I'm thinking that maybe I haven't measured the course accurately.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Closing in on a 10 Minute Mile

My heel is feeling better so I once again tried for a fast mile followed by some strength training--this time I succeeded.

10:09 minute/mile * New PR by 46 seconds

That's a big improvement on the last PR mile walked two weeks ago.

I'm almost up to the speed I was running when I had to stop due to knee problems. Although I didn't post it when I started racewalking because I thought it was ridiculous, one of my goals is to walk under a 10 minute mile. I couldn't seem to be able to do it running. Now I'm almost there--walking.

There were some lessons learned this morning. One thing is that the Band-Aid Advanced Healing Blister pads hang on much better than the Dr. Scholl's Blister Treatment pads I used yesterday. Another thing is that Body Glide on the heels works better than plain petroleum jelly. Finally, I must be dropping some girth because the heart rate monitor strap is feeling a little loose. Before starting the walk the monitor was reading 195 bmp which was obviously wrong so I had to restart it. Then about 200 meters into the walk the chest band slipped down and I had to pull it up. In addition, the monitor was reading over 210 bpm, but that was impossible. By the time I finished the mile it was reading 178 bpm so I guess things eventually settled during the workout.

Goals for the next few weeks:

  • Finish the long (20+ mile) walk without blisters - don't care too much how fast I go.

  • Break the 10 minute mile barrier.

  • Walk under 12 minute/mile for the 8 mile long walk.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Heel Still Not Healed

I headed out this morning after taking Monday off. I wanted to do a fast mile and strength training but my heel was still hurting so I just walked a very easy three miles instead. The first couple of miles I kept my heartrate at around 148 bpm and did pretty good time considering that I was 20 bpm less than Sunday's long distance. By the last mile my heal was a bit sore so I took it even easier.

Here are the results:
Mile 1 - 12:42
Mile 2 - 12:49
Mile 3 - 13:41
Average Pace - 13:04 minutes/mile
Total Workout - 39:13

Just a few weeks ago I would have been so happy with a 13 min/mile pace. How things have progressed--now it feels like a stroll around the neighborhood.

I'll be glad when my right heel stops bothering me. I don't want to patch it up for my daily walks. I've been wearing heel-less clogs to work to keep the pressure off--don't know what else to do to hurry up the healing process.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Curt Sheller Racewalking Article

Wow, what a great find.

Curt Sheller Steps Per Minute

Here it is--linked from his page.

What's Your Steps Per Minutes (Spm)?
What's the Average Length of Each Step You Take?

  • Calculating You Steps Per Minute (SPM)

  • Steps Per Minute Mile Pace Chart

  • Pace and Target Heart Rate Calculators

  • Music and Pacing

What are your steps per minute?

How long is each step?

Do these seem like strange questions? Not really strange, given this formula: pace = spm x each step. These are valid questions you should be asking yourself. You do speed work to increase your spm, and endurance/technique work to improve your form. You measure your time in training, your distance, and some of you even monitor your heart rate. So why not track your spm.

I'm sure you've heard this phrase in various racewalking circles and read the following in numerous racewalking books: "A world class racewalker has a stride length of over 4 feet and takes well over 200 steps a minute." The Chinese have been clocked at 240 spm and faster. That is incredible; great! But how can you use that information? Here's how...

Use the Pace Chart below. Consider this example. Look up the pace for 200 spm and a 4 foot stride length. You get a pace of 6:36. Jefferson Perez won the 1996 Olympic 20K walk in 1:20:07. That's a 6:27 pace. Allen James finished in under 6:00 minutes for the Melrose mile. Six minutes a mile is 220 steps per minute. That's movin'!

As you can see in the chart it doesn't take much improvement in either your spm or your stride length to trim seconds off of your pace. I have a saying I keep spouting. "1 inch is worth 12 seconds a mile." John Soucheck has heard me say that too many times. 12 seconds, now that's a lot of improvement for a little inch.

As you can see one (1) inch isn't much on the ruler but is alot in time.

Look at the chart above. (Ignore the 7.06 number for now). You can see that at 170 spm the pace for a stride length of 3' 1" is 10:04. Increasing your stride length an additional 1 inch results in a pace of 9:48. That is a 14 second improvement. Again, not bad for a little inch.

How To Calculate Any Of The Three Values In The SPM Formula.

Of the three items in the SPM formula (pace, spm, and stride length), pace is very easy to calculate if you have a measured mile. You simply start your stopwatch at the start of the mile and stop it at the end to get your time. Whatever the watch reads that's how fast you went. But what were your steps per minutes and what was your average stride length?

Next, it is far easier to calculate you steps per minute than it is to calculate the length of each step. All you have to do is count your steps for a mile, divide by the time, and you have your average spm. So I'm sure you saying right about now, "You've got to be nuts! How can you keep track of all those steps?" How?

I have developed a manual method and over the years I have refined to down to the following by using a stopwatch. You only have to count 20 steps and read the stopwatch. Do this periodically during a workout to get the average that you are stepping. With your 20 step count and your one mile pace use the chart below to determine your average stride length.

There are also several stopwatches on the market that can be programmed to do this math for you. Checkout Accusplit for a wide range of stopwatches. These watches can do lots of timing related functions.

I 've refined my step counting over the years to the following:Starting when my left foot strikes the ground (I carry the stopwatch in my right hand) I start the count at zero and increase the count with each strike of my left foot. As soon as I reach 10 steps I stop the watch and read the time. With the 10 steps taken by my right foot that's 20 steps. So if my time for those 20 steps is 7.05, I'm taking around 170 steps a minute based on the SPM Chart. I have found that in most training sessions the step count remains pretty even. It's usually the stride length that decreases. That's where the endurance training comes in.

Over time by referring to the pace chart and calculating your 20 step count you will arrive at several 20 step times that you use as a goal in training.Or, use the Accusplit stopwatch mentioned above. EXAMPLE: For a 90:00 session I'll use 7.0 as a 20 step target to stay at. That around 170 spm a 9:00 to 9:30 pace for me depending on my technique. One goal is that National/World class 200-240 spm number. Frank Alongi in his Ledge Point Video stated that elite walkers "start their training a 180 spm." That quote is best read with a thick Italian accent for best effect.

Using the chart, I realized that even at my 6' 4" height I have a relatively short stride compared to a world class walker. My stride length in 1992-93 ranged (in races) from 3' 4" to 3' 6". My spm was about 180 spm in races up to 10 miles. So you can see the fastest that I could possibly do a 10 mile race (Ronn Zinn, Asbury Park, NJ every year) was 1:24:00. That was my PR up to 1996.

So I went on an "increase my stride length campaign". And, it worked. I was able to increase my stride length to around 3' 8" in the course of a year. Now that is only a 1 or 2 inch improvment. But remember, "1 inch is worth up to 12 seconds per mile." And my PR for the Zinn 10-miler now is 1:21:12 (8:13 pace). Knowing my spm average during the race I look on the SMP Chart and see that, indeed a 8:13 average is an increase of 1 inch.

How to Get That 1 Inch or More Increase? And Where Does It Come From?

Where Does It Come From? It's behind you and around your hips.

The biggest technique gains that the average walker can make is by improving what they are doing with the hips and feet.

First the feet. At a national championship, notice the top walkers. Their rear foot doesn't leave the ground until it has rolled right up to the end of the toes, (B) before the end of the propulsion phase. The front foot of most average walkers has landed long before the rear foot gets done with the propulsion phase. Notice in the illustration below that the foot of walker (A) still has about 3 inches to go before rolling up on his toes. Now if 1 inch is worth up to 12 seconds a mile, that walker is leaving almost a half minute on the ground! That could be the difference between an 8:30 mile vs a 9:00 mile. Quite a difference!

OK. So that adds up to 3 inches of improvement. Want some more? You'll find it in your hip action. Better hip extension combined with the inches from better foot action can really add up. The average walker can add up to 3 inches to their stride length with better hip extension and the strength to hold it. That 3 inches plus the 3 inches from better foot action adds up to a one minute improvement. Not that's walking. Put that together with the endurance and strength to hold this new technique and there you go. A one minute per mile PR. It can and does work. Now back to the roads ;-)

Better hip extension plus better rear foot action equals faster times.

Steps Per Minute Mile Pace Chart

SPM[20]      3'  3'1"  3'2"  3'3"  3'4"  3'5"  3'6"  3'7"  3'8"  3'9" 3'10" 3'11" 4'  
140 8.57 12:34 12:13 11:54 11:36 11:18 11:02 10:46 10:31 10:17 10:03 9:50 9:37 9:25
141 8.51 12:28 12:08 11:49 11:31 11:14 10:57 10:41 10:27 10:12 9:59 9:46 9:33 9:21
142 8.45 12:23 12:03 11:44 11:26 11:09 10:52 10:37 10:22 10:08 9:54 9:41 9:29 9:17
143 8.39 12:18 11:58 11:39 11:21 11:04 10:48 10:32 10:18 10:04 9:50 9:37 9:25 9:13
144 8.33 12:13 11:53 11:34 11:16 11:00 10:43 10:28 10:13 10:00 9:46 9:33 9:21 9:10
145 8.28 12:08 11:48 11:29 11:12 10:55 10:39 10:24 10:09 9:55 9:42 9:29 9:17 9:06
146 8.22 12:03 11:43 11:25 11:07 10:50 10:35 10:19 10:05 9:51 9:38 9:26 9:14 9:02
147 8.16 11:58 11:38 11:20 11:03 10:46 10:30 10:15 10:01 9:47 9:34 9:22 9:10 8:58
148 8.11 11:53 11:34 11:15 10:58 10:42 10:26 10:11 9:57 9:43 9:30 9:18 9:06 8:55
149 8.05 11:48 11:29 11:11 10:54 10:37 10:22 10:07 9:53 9:39 9:26 9:14 9:02 8:51
SPM[20] 3' 3'1" 3'2" 3'3" 3'4" 3'5" 3'6" 3'7" 3'8" 3'9" 3'10" 3'11" 4'
150 8.00 11:44 11:24 11:06 10:49 10:33 10:18 10:03 9:49 9:36 9:23 9:10 8:59 8:48
151 7.95 11:39 11:20 11:02 10:45 10:29 10:14 9:59 9:45 9:32 9:19 9:07 8:55 8:44
152 7.89 11:34 11:15 10:58 10:41 10:25 10:10 9:55 9:41 9:36 9:15 9:03 8:52 8:41
153 7.84 11:30 11:11 10:53 10:37 10:21 10:06 9:51 9:37 9:24 9:12 9:00 8:48 8:37
154 7.79 11:25 11:07 10:49 10:32 10:17 10:02 9:47 9:34 9:21 9:08 8:56 8:45 8:34
155 7.74 11:21 11:02 10:45 10:28 10:13 9:58 9:43 9:30 9:17 9:05 8:53 8:41 8:30
156 7.69 11:16 10:58 10:41 10:24 10:09 9:54 9:40 9:26 9:13 9:01 8:49 8:38 8:27
157 7.64 11:12 10:54 10:37 10:20 10:05 9:50 9:36 9:23 9:10 8:58 8:46 8:35 8:24
158 7.59 11:08 10:50 10:33 10:16 10:01 9:46 9:32 9:19 9:06 8:54 8:43 8:31 8:21
159 7.55 11:04 10:46 10:29 10:13 9:57 9:43 9:29 9:16 9:03 8:51 8:39 8:28 8:18
SPM[20] 3' 3'1" 3'2" 3'3" 3'4" 3'5" 3'6" 3'7" 3'8" 3'9" 3'10" 3'11" 4'
160 7.50 11:00 10:42 10:25 10:09 9:54 9:39 9:25 9:12 8:59 8:48 8:36 8:25 8:15
161 7.44 10:55 10:37 10:21 10:05 9:50 9:36 9:22 9:09 8:56 8:45 8:33 8:22 8:12
162 7.40 10:51 10:34 10:17 10:01 9:46 9:32 9:18 9:05 8:52 8:41 8:30 8:19 8:09
163 7.36 10:48 10:30 10:13 9:57 9:43 9:28 9:15 9:02 8:49 8:38 8:27 8:16 8:06
164 7.31 10:43 10:26 10:09 9:54 9:39 9:25 9:12 8:58 8:46 8:35 8:24 8:13 8:03
165 7.27 10:40 10:22 10:06 9:50 9:36 9:21 9:08 8:55 8:43 8:31 8:21 8:10 8:00
166 7.23 10:36 10:18 10:02 9:46 9:32 9:18 9:04 8:52 8:40 8:28 8:18 8:07 7:57
167 7.18 10:32 10:15 9:58 9:43 9:29 9:15 9:01 8:49 8:37 8:25 8:15 8:04 7:54
168 7.14 10:28 10:11 9:55 9:40 9:25 9:12 8:58 8:46 8:34 8:22 8:12 8:01 7:51
169 7.09 10:24 10:07 9:51 9:36 9:22 9:08 8:55 8:43 8:30 8:19 8:09 7:58 7:48
SPM[20] 3' 3'1" 3'2" 3'3" 3'4" 3'5" 3'6" 3'7" 3'8" 3'9" 3'10" 3'11" 4'
170 7.06 10:21 10:04 9:48 9:33 9:19 9:05 8:52 8:39 8:27 8:16 8:06 7:55 7:45
171 7.01 10:17 10:00 9:45 9:30 9:15 9:02 8:49 8:36 8:25 8:13 8:03 7:52 7:43
172 6.97 10:13 9:57 9:41 9:26 9:12 8:58 8:46 8:33 8:22 8:11 8:00 7:50 7:40
173 6.93 10:10 9:54 9:38 9:23 9:09 8:55 8:43 8:30 8:19 8:08 7:57 7:47 7:37
174 6.89 10:06 9:50 9:34 9:19 9:06 8:52 8:40 8:28 8:16 8:05 7:54 7:45 7:35
175 6.85 10:03 9:46 9:31 9:16 9:03 8:49 8:37 8:25 8:13 8:03 7:52 7:42 7:32
176 6.82 10:00 9:43 9:28 9:13 9:00 8:46 8:34 8:22 8:10 8:00 7:49 7:39 7:30
177 6.77 9:56 9:40 9:25 9:10 8:57 8:43 8:31 8:19 8:07 7:57 7:46 7:37 7:27
178 6.74 9:53 9:37 9:22 9:07 8:54 8:40 8:28 8:16 8:04 7:54 7:44 7:34 7:25
179 6.69 9:49 9:33 9:18 9:04 8:51 8:37 8:25 8:13 8:02 7:52 7:41 7:31 7:22
SPM[20] 3' 3'1" 3'2" 3'3" 3'4" 3'5" 3'6" 3'7" 3'8" 3'9" 3'10" 3'11" 4'
180 6.66 9:46 9:30 9:15 9:01 8:48 8:34 8:22 8:10 7:59 7:49 7:39 7:29 7:19
181 6.62 9:43 9:27 9:12 8:58 8:45 8:32 8:19 8:08 7:57 7:46 7:36 7:27 7:17
182 6.59 9:40 9:24 9:09 8:55 8:42 8:29 8:17 8:05 7:54 7:44 7:34 7:24 7:15
183 6.56 9:37 9:21 9:06 8:52 8:39 8:26 8:14 8:03 7:51 7:41 7:31 7:22 7:12
184 6.52 9:34 9:18 9:03 8:49 8:36 8:24 8:12 8:00 7:49 7:39 7:28 7:19 7:10
185 6.48 9:30 9:15 9:00 8:46 8:33 8:21 8:09 7:57 7:46 7:36 7:26 7:17 7:08
186 6.44 9:27 9:12 8:57 8:43 8:31 8:18 8:06 7:55 7:44 7:34 7:24 7:15 7:06
187 6.41 9:24 9:09 8:54 8:40 8:28 8:15 8:03 7:52 7:42 7:31 7:21 7:12 7:03
188 6.38 9:21 9:06 8:52 8:38 8:25 8:13 8:01 7:50 7:39 7:29 7:19 7:10 7:01
189 6.34 9:18 9:03 8:49 8:35 8:22 8:10 7:58 7:47 7:36 7:27 7:17 7:07 6:58
SPM[20] 3' 3'1" 3'2" 3'3" 3'4" 3'5" 3'6" 3'7" 3'8" 3'9" 3'10" 3'11" 4'
190 6.31 9:15 9:00 8:46 8:33 8:20 8:07 7:56 7:45 7:34 7:24 7:15 7:05 6:57
191 6.27 9:12 8:57 8:43 8:30 8:17 8:05 7:54 7:42 7:31 7:22 7:12 7:03 6:54
192 6.25 9:10 8:55 8:40 8:27 8:15 8:03 7:51 7:40 7:29 7:19 7:10 7:01 6:52
193 6.22 9:07 8:52 8:38 8:24 8:12 8:00 7:48 7:37 7:27 7:18 7:07 6:58 6:50
194 6.18 9:04 8:49 8:35 8:22 8:09 7:57 7:46 7:35 7:25 7:15 7:06 6:57 6:48
195 6.15 9:01 8:46 8:33 8:19 8:07 7:55 7:43 7:33 7:22 7:13 7:03 6:54 6:46
196 6.11 8:58 8:43 8:30 8:17 8:04 7:52 7:41 7:31 7:20 7:10 7:01 6:52 6:43
197 6.08 8:55 8:41 8:27 8:14 8:02 7:50 7:39 7:28 7:18 7:09 6:59 6:50 6:42
198 6.06 8:53 8:39 8:25 8:12 8:00 7:48 7:37 7:26 7:16 7:06 6:57 6:48 6:40
199 6.02 8:50 8:36 8:22 8:09 7:57 7:45 7:34 7:24 7:13 7:04 6:55 6:46 6:37
SPM[20] 3' 3'1" 3'2" 3'3" 3'4" 3'5" 3'6" 3'7" 3'8" 3'9" 3'10" 3'11" 4'
200 6.00 8:48 8:33 8:20 8:07 7:55 7:43 7:32 7:22 7:12 7:02 6:52 6:44 6:36
201 5.97 8:45 8:31 8:17 8:04 7:52 7:41 7:30 7:19 7:09 7:00 6:51 6:42 6:34
202 5.93 8:42 8:28 8:15 8:02 7:50 7:39 7:28 7:17 7:07 6:58 6:49 6:40 6:31
203 5.91 8:40 8:25 8:12 8:00 7:48 7:36 7:25 7:15 7:05 6:56 6:46 6:38 6:30
204 5.88 8:37 8:23 8:10 7:57 7:45 7:34 7:23 7:13 7:03 6:54 6:45 6:36 6:28
205 5.85 8:35 8:21 8:07 7:55 7:43 7:32 7:21 7:11 7:01 6:52 6:43 6:34 6:26
206 5.82 8:32 8:18 8:05 7:52 7:41 7:30 7:19 7:09 6:59 6:49 6:40 6:32 6:24
207 5.80 8:30 8:16 8:03 7:51 7:39 7:27 7:17 7:07 6:57 6:48 6:39 6:30 6:22
208 5.76 8:27 8:13 8:00 7:48 7:37 7:25 7:15 7:04 6:55 6:46 6:37 6:28 6:21
209 5.74 8:25 8:11 7:58 7:46 7:34 7:23 7:13 7:03 6:53 6:44 6:35 6:27 6:19
SPM[20] 3' 3'1" 3'2" 3'3" 3'4" 3'5" 3'6" 3'7" 3'8" 3'9" 3'10" 3'11" 4'
210 5.70 8:22 8:09 7:56 7:43 7:32 7:21 7:10 7:00 6:51 6:42 6:33 6:25 6:17
211 5.68 8:20 8:06 7:54 7:42 7:30 7:19 7:09 6:58 6:49 6:40 6:31 6:23 6:15
212 5.66 8:18 8:04 7:51 7:39 7:28 7:17 7:06 6:57 6:47 6:38 6:30 6:21 6:13
213 5.62 8:15 8:02 7:49 7:37 7:26 7:15 7:04 6:55 6:45 6:36 6:27 6:19 6:12
214 5.60 8:13 8:00 7:47 7:35 7:24 7:13 7:03 6:52 6:43 6:34 6:25 6:18 6:10
215 5.58 8:11 7:57 7:45 7:33 7:22 7:11 7:00 6:51 6:41 6:33 6:24 6:16 6:08
216 5.56 8:09 7:55 7:43 7:31 7:19 7:09 6:58 6:49 6:39 6:31 6:22 6:14 6:06
217 5.52 8:06 7:53 7:40 7:28 7:18 7:07 6:57 6:47 6:37 6:29 6:21 6:12 6:04
218 5.50 8:04 7:51 7:39 7:27 7:16 7:05 6:55 6:45 6:36 6:27 6:19 6:10 6:03
219 5.48 8:02 7:49 7:36 7:25 7:13 7:03 6:53 6:43 6:34 6:25 6:17 6:09 6:01
SPM[20] 3' 3'1" 3'2" 3'3" 3'4" 3'5" 3'6" 3'7" 3'8" 3'9" 3'10" 3'11" 4'
220 5.45 8:00 7:46 7:34 7:22 7:12 7:01 6:51 6:42 6:32 6:24 6:15 6:07 6:00
221 5.42 7:57 7:45 7:32 7:21 7:10 6:59 6:49 6:40 6:30 6:22 6:13 6:06 5:58
222 5.40 7:55 7:42 7:30 7:19 7:08 6:57 6:47 6:38 6:28 6:20 6:12 6:04 5:57
223 5.38 7:53 7:40 7:28 7:16 7:06 6:55 6:45 6:36 6:27 6:18 6:10 6:02 5:55
224 5.35 7:51 7:38 7:26 7:15 7:04 6:54 6:43 6:34 6:25 6:17 6:09 6:01 5:53
225 5.33 7:49 7:36 7:24 7:13 7:02 6:52 6:42 6:33 6:24 6:15 6:07 5:59 5:52
226 5.31 7:47 7:34 7:22 7:11 7:00 6:50 6:40 6:31 6:22 6:13 6:05 5:57 5:50
227 5.28 7:45 7:32 7:20 7:09 6:58 6:48 6:38 6:29 6:20 6:12 6:04 5:56 5:48
228 5.26 7:43 7:30 7:18 7:07 6:57 6:46 6:36 6:27 6:18 6:10 6:02 5:54 5:47
229 5.24 7:41 7:28 7:16 7:05 6:55 6:45 6:35 6:25 6:16 6:09 6:00 5:53 5:45
SPM[20] 3' 3'1" 3'2" 3'3" 3'4" 3'5" 3'6" 3'7" 3'8" 3'9" 3'10" 3'11" 4'
230 5.22 7:39 7:26 7:15 7:03 6:53 6:43 6:33 6:24 6:15 6:07 5:59 5:51 5:44
231 5.19 7:37 7:24 7:13 7:01 6:51 6:41 6:31 6:22 6:13 6:06 5:57 5:50 5:42
232 5.17 7:35 7:22 7:11 7:00 6:49 6:39 6:30 6:21 6:12 6:04 5:56 5:48 5:41
233 5.15 7:33 7:21 7:09 6:58 6:48 6:37 6:28 6:19 6:10 6:02 5:54 5:47 5:40
234 5.12 7:31 7:19 7:07 6:56 6:46 6:36 6:26 6:17 6:09 6:01 5:52 5:45 5:38
235 5.10 7:29 7:17 7:05 6:54 6:44 6:34 6:25 6:16 6:07 5:59 5:51 5:44 5:37
236 5.08 7:27 7:15 7:03 6:52 6:42 6:33 6:23 6:14 6:06 5:58 5:49 5:42 5:35
237 5.06 7:25 7:13 7:01 6:51 6:40 6:31 6:21 6:13 6:04 5:56 5:48 5:41 5:34
238 5.03 7:23 7:11 7:00 6:49 6:39 6:29 6:20 6:11 6:03 5:55 5:47 5:39 5:33
239 5.01 7:21 7:09 6:58 6:47 6:37 6:27 6:18 6:09 6:01 5:53 5:45 5:38 5:31
SPM[20] 3' 3'1" 3'2" 3'3" 3'4" 3'5" 3'6" 3'7" 3'8" 3'9" 3'10" 3'11" 4'
240 4.99 7:19 7:07 6:57 6:46 6:36 6:26 6:16 6:08 6:00 5:52 5:44 5:37 5:30

Pace and Target Heart Rate Calculators calculators


From NARF: link(From their site) - This calculator is designed to help you plan and evaluate your training sessions or races on a road course (or on a path, around the block, at a mall, or wherever). The course can be a loop, out-and-back, or point-to-point. The calculator considers each completion of the road course as one "loop" (even if it is a point-to-point course), and can easily perform the following functions: convert distance to laps, convert laps to distance, convert pace to lap time, convert lap time to pace, convert pace to race time, convert race time to pace.

Music and Pacing

A lot of people use music while training. I for one don't really do that being a professional musician I get too involved in the music and loose focus on walking. I like to really focus on the task at hand and not get distracted. I listen to my walking (technique and physical effort). But for those walkers with a better attention span than mine ;-). Music can be be a great benefit. So why not actually have it be a training aide as well and not just background music.

The Medical & Sports Music Institute offers their Music In Sync, Vol I Race Walking (and walking) tapes. They have 64 tempos from 100 bpm to 220 (race walking from 170-220). Since there is such great interest in footfall frequencies for race walkers, I thought you would like to know about their tapes because they can match footfall frequency with any pace. The tapes can also help with pace compliance and increasing pace. Let's say a walker wants to shave 1 min. off of their 10K time, using the chart above, you come up with the projected spm. You can then just pop in the correct bpm tape that equals the spm goal pace.