Technique > VIDEO STUDIES
 
I am a visual learner. If I can see something done, I can more easily learn to do it. For those of you who, like me, can more easily learn by imitation, I offer the following series of video studies of the techniques used by outstanding race walkers (and runners).
 
At this time, there are two groups of studies: the Visini Studies and the Icabod Studies, each of which is defined below.
 
If you already know which study you want to see, go directly to the Quick Menu for Studies.
 

 
VISINI STUDIES
 
Vittorio Visini was an outstanding Italian race walker in his younger years, finishing in the top 10 in the 1968 Olympic Games 50K race walk in Mexico City, and in both the 20K and 50K race walks in the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. He currently (2008) serves as the Italian Team Race Walking Head Coach. He also has a very interesting Web site called multimediavisini.com that displays an extensive collection of current and historical race walking photos. The Web site is mostly in Italian--with some English. I invite you to use the link above to visit and enjoy his Web site. At the site, he encourages viewers to submit their own photos for display at the site.
 
At the end of 2007, Mr. Visini also created a YouTube channel dedicated to videos of race walkers. Many of his video clips uploaded to YouTube show race walkers in slow motion (about 10 frames per step), and were created to help coaches find errors in their athletes' race walking techniques--and to help judges make sure they are judged correctly. His slow-motion video clips gave me the opportunity to create a series of freeze frame and animation studies that can support his efforts. Mr. Visini has graciously given me permission to use frames from some of his video clips to create these studies of good race walking technique.
 
The following videos were selected because the walker's technique is very good, the slow-motion video provides sufficient frames of unobstructed view of the walker's entire gait cycle from the side, and the background provides good contrast with the athlete's body (or can be graphically altered to do so).
 
MARIA TERESA MARINELLI: This study is of a young Italian female (born 1985) who, according to the IAAF has already walked a 20K race in 1:38:58--about 13 minutes off the world record but quite impressive for a young athlete. I invite you to study her technique by clicking on her name at the beginning of this paragraph. The original, slow-motion video clip can be viewed on YouTube at Maria Teresa Marinelli (ITA) (slow motion for study). The video clip lasts 21 seconds, and was taken during her training on a road in, or near, Livigno, Italy on 19 Dec 2007. (The original images in this study have been flipped horizontally so that Maria is now walking from left to right--rather than from right to left. This was done to make it easier to compare techniques and styles between studies.) ... (return to top of page)
DIEGO CAFAGNA: This study is of an experienced Italian male (born 1975) who, according to the IAAF has walked a 20K race in 1:23:55, and currently focuses on the 50K distance where his best time to date is 3:53:46 (in 2008). I invite you to study his technique by clicking on his name at the beginning of this paragraph. The original, slow-motion video clip can be viewed on YouTube at Perez, Rubino, Cafagna (slow motion for study). The video clip lasts 25 seconds, and was taken during a training session in, or near, Saluzzo, Italy in July 2007. The video also includes images of Giorgio Rubino (ITA) and Jefferson Perez (ECU) but both of these men are not clearly shown for a full gait cycle and their images were photographed from a significant angle behind them. An attempt will be made to isolated their images at a later date. ... (return to top of page)
SIDE-BY-SIDE VIEWS OF MARINELLI AND CAFAGNA STUDIES: Click on link at left to view the slow-motion animations of Maria Teresa Marinelli and Diego Cafagna displayed at the same time. This page lets you compare and contrast the techniques and styles of the two race walkers. (Loop modes only) ... (return to top of page)
 

 
ICABOD STUDIES
 
Icabod is a valued partner in my efforts to study and present still and moving images of race walkers as they display the technical and style elements of their gait. While actual photos of the walkers have great value, Icabod, by being very thin and without clothing, can often more accurately demonstrate certain elements of technique that would be hidden in a photograph. I can also alter his gait to demonstrate variations in technique that I do not have available in videos. Finally, while it is hard to capture precise moments (such as a very short double-support point) on videos, I can easily create any number of points in Icabod's gait cycle. For example, while a video might capture a gait cycle in 18 frames, it might miss capturing a certain point in the cycle, and the camera's frame rate will probably not be an exact multiple of the walker's step rate. Therefore, frame 19 will be different from frame 1--making the presentation of a loop a bit jerky. However, I can take 18 frames of video and, using certain math and graphic tools, translate that into 20, 40, 80, 120, or any number frames of Icabod doing the same thing. (Icabod's standard is 20 frames per step, and 40 frames per gait cycle.)
 
I offer the following animation studies of both walker's and runners for your viewing.
 
WALKER B: This study is based on the videos of several, outstanding race walkers (male and female) who, in my opinion at this time, best portray the generally accepted guidelines of technique for a world-class competitor. The objective of this animation is to demonstrate good race walking technique used during a serious training session--as opposed to that used during a race when technique sometimes frays a bit at the edges. The animation is only 20 frames long because the stance and swing phases of the walking gait both appear in the same frame (stance in blue, and swing in green). It is therefore necessary to cycle through the 20 frames twice in order to watch one leg complete a full gait cycle. Click on the link at the beginning of this paragraph to begin viewing the animation. ... (return to top of page)
RUNNER A: This study is based on the videos of several, outstanding runners who, in my opinion at this time, best portray the generally accepted guidelines of technique for a world-class competitor. The objective of this animation is to demonstrate good running technique used during a serious training session--as opposed to that used during a race when technique sometimes frays a bit at the edges. The animation is only 20 frames long because the stance and swing phases of the walking gait both appear in the same frame (stance in blue, swing in green, and flight in red). It is therefore necessary to cycle through the 20 frames twice in order to watch one leg complete a full gait cycle. Click on the link at the beginning of this paragraph to begin viewing the animation. ... (return to top of page)
SIDE BY SIDE VIEWS OF RUNNER AND RACE WALKER STUDIES: This study shows a runner (Runner A) and race walker (Walker B) moving together in unison so the viewer can compare and contrast running and walking techniques and styles. (Loop modes only) ... (return to top of page)
 
 
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