We are never too old to maintain legal technique. All too often I hear walkers use their age as an excuse for illegal technique. More likely, violations result from lack of flexibility, strength, or ability to walk within their individual technique limitations-that is, trying to walk at a faster speed than their technique allows.
Check out master's race walking extraordinaires Janet Higbie and Jack Starr at the 2003 50K Nationals (right). Jack sometimes receives bent knee cautions and proposals for disqualification, but his knee is actually knobby, not bent. A careful judge or bystander can distinguish between an oddly shaped knee and one that is bent. (Hint: Notice Jack's relaxed quadriceps muscles.)