|From Fitness Walking|
It all started out pretty innocently. About 15-20 women (with the occasional man) meet at 8:00am every Saturday morning and walk anywhere from 3 to 7 miles. Although most of them aren't seniors, these women cover the gamut from out-of-shape young mothers to in-shape mature women. My first time with them was on New Year's Day (the link goes to my post about it) and what surprised me was how fast they were walking! When I learned that Cindy could racewalk at around 8-minute miles, I was shocked at how slow my natural walking pace is. I figured I could learn in her mini-clinic how to improve my speed.
Although I have no intention of spending all of my time racewalking, in the first clinic last night I learned some techniques to improve my speed: first of all, using my arms like pistons, and shortening up my stride and quickening my pace immediately helped me to walk faster. We met at a quarter-mile track and 20 of us women walked around the track a time or two, trying out the tips she gave us. Then she timed us for a half-mile as we attempted to become faster. My time was 7:12, or a 14:24-minute mile. Not bad, considering that on the previous walks I would walk and jog a little to keep up, and yesterday I only walked.
Today I walked around to and from the gym in racewalking mode, pumping my arms and lengthening my stride behind me, not in front of me, striking the ground with my heel and pushing off with my toes. Now my shins are sore, and I think I might have looked a little funny, judging from the looks I got, but I'm quite pleased that I am learning new tricks at my age! No comments about old dogs, now!