Whenever my knee issue flares up, or feels like it may just pack it in, I remember back to Ironman Florida 2 years ago when I shared quite a few miles with 2 guys that were ‘race walking’ the marathon…at about the same pace that I was ‘running’ it. We exchanged the lead back and forth as I would slowly ease by them, slow to a walk at the aid stations to drink something, at which point they would go by me, not skipping a beat.
And then repeat…over time I did ‘pull away’, but I tell you they were very relaxed, and moving along pretty briskly.
In ‘real’ race walking competitions, you have to adhere to a specific, rigid technique…one foot on the ground at all times, and straight knee…actually meant to slow down race walking competitors…or more to ‘contain’ their speed at a specific standard technique…in Ironman, at night in the park, nobody really cares how you’re moving forward, as long as it’s on your own two feet…although I’ve seen a lot of shuffling, and _real_ slow walking
…how about just walking faster…like even closer to power walking or speed walking…
How fast you ask?…well that’s the thing…
World-class race walkers (male and female) can average under seven and eight minutes per mile (or under four and five minutes per kilometre, respectively), in a 20 km (12.4 mile) race walk.
A typical club walker (under 50 years old) with moderate training will walk 5km in 36 minutes, or 11½ minutes per mile or 5.1 miles per hour. With significant regular training, a typical club walker can walk 5km in 30 minutes, or 9½ minutes per mile or 6.2 miles per hour
An ordinary person out for a walk averages about 16 minutes per mile or 3.75 miles per hour. A fitness walker tops out at about 12½ minutes per mile or 4.8 miles per hour.
As it turns out, 5 miles per hour, or 12 minutes per mile, or just over 5 hours for a marathon, is right about where I’ve been at the end of an Ironman…
So race walking may just be my ticket to the finish line in Ironman one day…wouldn’t be weird if it was faster than my ‘run’ times 🙂
…more info on Race Walking: