MENU
30 Oct, 2018

Talking track

82

Walk This Way - By Anel Oosthuizen

As a young girl watching athletics, I always admired how some athletes could run around a track non-stop and not seem to get tired. When I started race walking, doing just the 1500m, it felt like the longest three laps of my life, never even imagining that one day I would want to attempt a 50-lapper 20km! If I look back now, I realise how one’s mindset and perception of things plays such a big role in achieving your goals.

I started my athletics career when I was still in school and grew up doing a lot of track racing and learning about race walking through track. For me it has always felt a bit more nerve-wracking racing on the track, as it feels like I am surrounded by judges on every corner. (Which you actually are, because there are normally four judges on a 400m track, together with a main judge.)

As I always tell new race walking athletes that have just moved up to a new distance, the track should not be seen as your enemy, nor should you look at your distance as a large, frightening number of laps. What really works for me is taking it one lap at a time, concentrating on my time per lap and always trying to improve on the previous one. It goes by so quickly, and before you know it you will get that golden sound of the final lap bell ringing in your ears. The most crucial thing is to concentrate on something completely different than the amount of times that you have to walk around the same loop.

Lastly, it always feels like I have to concentrate more on technique when I am racing on the track, as you go around bends much more and also may be passing or lapping slower athletes, so concentrating on the perfection of locking your knee properly with every step is of utmost importance. How you walk around the track can either let you finish without any problems, or it can get you ‘into trouble’ with the judges and result in you standing in the pit lane watching as your fellow walkers are passing by. My motto is simply to keep your feet on the ground at all times. Literally and figuratively!

About the Author: Race Walker Anel Oosthuizen is a multiple SA Champion and Record Holder, who represented SA at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

IMAGE: Courtesy Anel Oosthuizen

LATEST NEWS

The Man with 9 Toes

07 November 2018 - Toes are important to maintaining your balance, and even more so to running, so when top trail runner Imran Paya lost a toe in a freak accident just over a year ago, he thought his running days wer...

Road to Recovery

06 November 2018 - After a year ravaged by injury and recovery from an operation, Elroy Gelant has been putting in the hard yards to build back up to fitness, and some of his recent results have helped restore his co...

Power of Positivism

05 November 2018 - In 2015 Bevan Oschger narrowly survived a hit-and-run accident, but was left with a permanent brain injury. In spite of this, Bevan has taken on some incredible physical challenges, including the 2...

Race Calendar - November 2018

01 November 2018 - South African runners really are blessed with a terrific race calendar, with so many great races to do, so check out these events for the coming month, including road and trail runs as well as othe...

Think Before You Bite and Spit!

31 October 2018 - You reach the water station in your race, thirsty and looking for a mouthful of cold water to refresh yourself, and that sachet feels so cool in your hand. Bringing it up to your mouth, you careful...

Balancing Act to Run Faster

29 October 2018 - Out of the Box - By Norrie Williamson Proprioception is the awareness of joint and limb positions, and hence impacts on your ability to balance and your agility, and of course, your running sp...

Trim the Weight

26 October 2018 - Now that winter has come to an end and summer is approaching, it’s not just our clothing layers we need to shed as the days get warmer, we also need to shed our excess winter weight. – ...

Girl Power

25 October 2018 - Kalmer’s Corner - By Modern Athlete Brand Ambassador René Kalmer I had the privilege of celebrating Women’s Month by spending it in fine style with more than a dozen special...

I Blame Phuti!

24 October 2018 - The Running Mann - By Stuart Mann Some weeks back I was all set for my ninth Comrades, and I wasn’t planning to conclude my Comrades taper with my first adventure race. I was planning to...

Carrying the Cause

23 October 2018 - When it comes to setting goals, most runners aim for a specific race, time or medal, but Karoline Hanks has a different goal, to convince runners to think about their use of single-use plastic sach...

Track Time

22 October 2018 - Track work can appear to be mundane, but once you begin to see the benefits, you’ll be wishing every day was track day. – BY RAY ORCHISON, REGISTERED COACH Track sessions break the...

Making Every Step Count

19 October 2018 - With camera in hand, Hassiem Fisher loves exploring the trails around Cape Town and revelling in the joy that running gives him, but it wasn’t so long ago that he was not able to run at all. ...