In this video, you will learn about ultra racewalking with our expert, World #2 racewalker, Emmanuel Lassalle.
Now it's your turn! Check out the rest of the Power Walking series for more inspiration and expert advice.
What is ultra racewalking? Find out with this short interview!
Voice-over: Will Davies
What we call ultra walking is a bit like a runner taking on an ultra marathon.
For running there is the marathon with a distance of 42.195 km, and anything beyond that is considered an ultra marathon.
Well for us racewalkers, things are a little different. You have high-speed distances going from 5-50km
50 km is still called racewalking as you're going very, very, very fast. Almost 14 km an hour for the best.
So the speed is still pretty impressive.
And ultra racewalking is really anything upwards of 24 hours
GOING ON AN ADVENTURE
There's a quotation I like a lot because it really makes me think
One day, a great athletics trainer told me, "Anyway you look at it, walking, and especially racewalking, it's a sport from a bygone era."
Oh... "You do it but it's a sport that's stuck in the past, it shouldn't exist anymore. It's not fun enough, it doesn't entertaining enough, and today, that's what people are looking for."
Either way, my way of life is more racewalking than powerwalking.
I feel that I get a lot more from it.
Because, despite everything, 20 km is not an adventure. Neither is 50 km. But, 24 hours... that's already an adventure in and of itself.
On a very human level, it's incredible what it does for me.
The solitude of the racewalker is really... It's something that I seek out
It's the sound of my steps, it's my breathing, it's the rhythm of my steps - my arms as well, it's the rubbing sound of my vest.
These small sounds have all become so familiar to me. Even the birds and the flow of the river Moselle!
It's a discipline that is very poetic at certain moments.
I've always been fascinated by endurance tests. Since I was young.
So of course this was a natural development for me
Without really knowing how far I could go but wanting to test my limits, I found that I hadn't quite found them yet!
We all seek a little revenge on ourselves. Maybe because of an event in our lives or something, I don't really know.
But I think we all have that extra element that makes us capable of pushing ourselves further
That's how, by the end, we end up covering such massive distances over such long periods, where our friends say, "but you're crazy to go to so far, for us, 20 km is already the world's end."
Also, there's the desire to accomplish something for yourself. Completely for your own personal fulfilment.