For the photo album, Click Here
More pics on Dave’s Tiburon Clinic Group page
(The 2010 Tiburon Racewalking Alumni)
This was my 4th World Class racewalking clinic in 3 years, and as always, I got to meet some really nice people , had a great workout, a great time, and I learned a lot.
I wanna thank our wonderful host, Liz Shepard, for organizing this whole thing. Also a special thank you to Jim and Sally Shepard for welcoming us into their beautiful home for the weekend. And of course a big thank you to Dave, for showing us all how it’s done. He’s an awesome coach and a world class athlete.
And speaking of World Class Athletes, by placing 5th and walking under 4:45 at the USATF 50k in Surprise AZ on February 7th, Dave qualified to compete in the 2012 Olympic Trials, and also earned a spot on Team USA’s 5-man team going to the World Cup of Racewalking on May 15 – 16 in Chihua, Mexico. He was already going as the manager for the team, but since they didn’t have a full team, he was convinced to step down as manager to compete in the 50k. Pretty cool eh?
(Dave, Ms Lizzy and her parents, Sally and Dr Jim Shepard)
Part of what happens at one of these clinics, is that Dave does a lot of video analysis. He will take a raw “before” video of each racewalker individually as they racewalk on the track. He shoots the video from different angles so he can see how your feet, knees, hips and upper body are all moving. After pointing out any obvious problems, he’ll take an “after” video. Later on during the classroom sessions he critiques the videos and points out what you’re doing right and what you’re not doing right. He then makes specific recommendations for improvement.
Anyways, when it came to my turn to be critiqued, Dave immediately spotted a major flaw in the way I was propelling(or I should I say NOT propelling) my left foot forward, which was slowing me down, shortening my stride length and making me look clunky and slow. After the horrible way I looked during the Solana beach clinic, I thought to myself… I give up. No matter how many of these classes I attend or how hard I try, I just can’t get this right. BUT WAIT!, then he went on to say, that there were other elements of my technique that were on par with elite racewalkers! and that my overall form was very good! (phewwww)
Coming from someone who coaches Olympians, that meant a lot. The advanced racewalkers in the group were very kind in their words as well. Who knows? Maybe there’s hope for me yet .
Dave also noticed that I over-pronate quite a bit ( told you he was good) . So it looks like those nice ultra-lightweight green racing flats Ive been using for my marathon training will be shelved for the time being. Apparently I need a racewalking shoe that has a little more stability. On Monday I bought a pair of the Saucony Grid Fastwich IIIs online, which are what a lot of racewalkers are wearing nowadays. I hope to receive them and in time for next weekends 18 miler. I’m at that point in my marathon training where I only have a couple weeks left to break-in new shoes for the race.
After the video analysis, we headed back to the track where I went to work to correct that problem with my left leg. With just a few minutes of practice my form was already looking a lot better, and by the end of the first clinic day I was able to racewalk a 180 meters in near perfect form. I even managed to complete 2 legs of an 800 meter relay race that we did. I’m not very fast and that particular walk nearly killed me, but my team finished the race in 2nd place!
Part of the reason I have so many problems in trying to become a good racewalker, is that I simply can’t move my body fast enough and far enough for all the pieces to fit together smoothly. I have my lungs to thank for that. I think if it weren’t for my crappy lungs, I would be an awesome racewalker…possibly even one of the elites. Why I chose a sport I’ll never be good at, I’ll never know. Oh well, if I can walk “like” an elite racewalker , even if it’s only for a couple hundred meters, all the effort Ive put into this will be well worth it.
Now for a special treat. A sneak peak at Dave warming up (yes, he’s walking). This is what I want to look like when I grow up.