The least-trained eye can readily tell from a distance which race walkers have mastered proper technique and which continue to struggle. Great race walkers look smooth and graceful.
One telltale indication of proper technique is how fluidly an athlete transitions from one leg to the other. A bicycle rider spins a bike crank around and around. If I asked you where the beginning and ending of the cyclist’s stride was, what would you answer? Hopefully, you wouldn’t come up with one. Identifying a beginning or ending adds an artificial stop to a smooth motion. The same holds true for race walking.
Sometimes a walker feels similar to a car with square tires. When a walker’s shins are weak, he or she may land with a pointed toe, only to have the foot flatten quickly. If this happens to you, make sure you do the shin building exercises and stretches on a regular basis. Strong flexible shins ensure better transitions. When you walk efficiently, the transition flows from one leg to another without any jerky movements. Remember, the goal is to help the body go forward, so any excess motion must go.