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Thread: 'Sprinting' Through the Hurdles

  1. #1

    'Sprinting' Through the Hurdles

    I've searched everywhere on this site and looked through the old posts, but I'm having trouble finding information on how to practice 'sprinting' through the hurdles and to not jump.

    For example, today after hip mobility I decided to do a little test and check my hurdle form by just jogging through some hurdles at their lowest height (30 inches). I've had bad technique for the past 2 years, which involved jumping the hurdle, and this has wired my system to jump the hurdle. Anyways, I tried to jog through and even at 30 inches I found myself jumping over the hurdle, even while actively thinking I have to run through it.

    What does everyone else do to teach this cue?

    I've been trying to think of the hurdle as just something I have to take a big step over, but that's still not working and I'm jumping with my trail leg. In drills, my lead leg is fine and I come to a full A motion into the B motion, but when I try and do it even at half speed I revert back to the old way of swinging my leg up in a straight line and I can't get into the proper form.

    Is the proper technique gonna come with practice, and am I worrying to much about this?

    What it boils down to, are there any drills, running protocols, or cues anybody can share that would help me in sprinting through the hurdles?

    Big thanks in advance...

  2. #2
    tc0710
    Guest
    In terms of getting the lead leg to almost "push" across the hurdle rather than jumping it (coming down) we use 2 drills:

    1. Set a hurdle up next to a wall about 30cm (a foot?) away. Now practice walking (marching) approach and getting into the A position and extending the foot forward pushing over the top of the hurdle so the foot stikes the wall and the calf slides across the top of the hurdle.

    2. Similar set up as 1 except that we use a special adjustable hight leather topped table that is very smooth (though you can use a highjump bed with a few smooth mats on it instead). The emphasis is on sliding the heel and calf across the top of the table (pushing forward with the heel) rather than letting the leg come downwards in a chopping motion.

    Both of these drills were used by the Poles during the 1950-70s to train their hurdlers not to jump the barrier and I picked them up from there.

    Apart from doing drills the other reason that you might be jumping is because your hips are not up as you accelerate into the hurdle. I find that if the hips are tilted forward on appraoch (as they might be during the drive from blocks for example) then the athlete is more prone to jump rather than running over the hurdle.

    The above are analyitical suggestions and all these ideas are great but (from a less scientific perspective) it probably is just that you have lost your rhythm through lack of practice and your brain is a little rusty in relation to what rhythm over the hurdles should sound/feel like.

    TC

  3. #3
    Hard to diagnose this from descriptions, but you may want to check your takeoff position. Many times, "jumping" is related to getting too close to the hurdle, forcing you to go to more of a vertical takeoff angle. If you take off further away, you may be able to flatten the angle. Try it over lower hurdles at full speed and have someone check your takeoff mark. If it's less than about 6-1/2 feet, you may be too close.

    There's nothing you can do after takeoff to correct the jumping. Your flightpath is determined at takeoff.

  4. #4
    Member TMSSF's Avatar
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    All previous suggestions are on point. Recalling your video clips, I might add that prior to and after hurdle clearance the hips dropped abruptly.

    Maintaining proper hip height between the hurdles, in addition to the other suggestions, should also help to reduce vaulting. With this approach, a multiple 5-step "A" run/bound routine, away from hurdles, might help as well.

  5. #5
    That's a good point TMSSF. The question is why the hips would drop. Could be getting to close, might be lack of extension into the hurdle -- bending at the waist rather than maintaining forward lean from the feet up through the torso. Is there a link where I can view the clip?

  6. #6
    Member TMSSF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by speedz
    ...Is there a link where I can view the clip?
    Mister C's Prior Hurdling Thread Mister C, I trust you don't mind?

  7. #7
    I don't mind one bit

    The first two links in there still work, but the third video was deleted. If I remember correctly, that was because the third video was a repost of the 1st, so there's nothing missing really.

    TMSSF, what exactly is "a multiple 5-step "A" run/bound routine, away from the hurdle"?

    tc0710, I'll give those two drills a go. I've heard of the first one, but the second one is new to me.

    speedz, could it have been that my strenth levels just weren't up to scratch? I know right now I'm a lot stronger than I was back then, and it's much easier to hold my hips high when I'm running.

    As of right now, I don't have any full speed hurdle runs planned until the last week of January at the earliest, and I don't think I'm prepared for them anyways. Still, once I finally get into that stage I'll be sure to post a video to see if I've corrected some of the problems that have been pointed out and to find any new ones that may have cropped up.

    Again, thanks for the advice everybody, I appreciate it a whole heap!

  8. #8
    Member TMSSF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mister C
    ...TMSSF, what exactly is "a multiple 5-step "A" run/bound routine, away from the hurdle"?..
    4x6 5-step "A" runs followed with a long bound. 3 speed bounds followed by a long bound will work as well. The long bound would eventually be replaced with a lead/trail leg action.

    These routines are not performed on hurdles. Strictly a rhythm drill emphasizing proper body positioning.

  9. #9
    tc0710
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    MisterC,

    The getting to close to the hurdle point is very important. Especially when going slowly. You need to adjust the height of the hurdle to fit with your speed of approach. If the hurdle is very high but your speed of approach is slow you will have to jump up because you can't take off earlier and let your speed carry you forwards (otherwise you will have a very nasty accident!).

    You might find simply running faster will solve your problems with approach to hurdles. The term loosing rhythm refers to the ability to judge distance to the hurdle from a distance out so you don't have to shuffle to clear the hurdles (put extra steps in or break/stretch for the hurdle).

    The second drill is the same as the first except that you will know if you are coming down on to the hurdle because you can feel it on the table. You want to push your foot across the table and you can feel yourself sliding when you do this.

    TC

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by tc0710
    MisterC,

    The getting to close to the hurdle point is very important. Especially when going slowly. You need to adjust the height of the hurdle to fit with your speed of approach. If the hurdle is very high but your speed of approach is slow you will have to jump up because you can't take off earlier and let your speed carry you forwards (otherwise you will have a very nasty accident!).

    You might find simply running faster will solve your problems with approach to hurdles. The term loosing rhythm refers to the ability to judge distance to the hurdle from a distance out so you don't have to shuffle to clear the hurdles (put extra steps in or break/stretch for the hurdle).

    The second drill is the same as the first except that you will know if you are coming down on to the hurdle because you can feel it on the table. You want to push your foot across the table and you can feel yourself sliding when you do this.

    TC
    Well put by TC. If you're going slow, you have to jump more than if you're going faster. I'd suggest integrating some full speed stuff into your workouts at reduced spacing and then concentrate on your attack into the hurdle with good extension and a strong push forward with the lead leg (like punching through the hurdle while maintaining your lean).

    I looked at the video and agree with other comments concerning lack of extension (not running tall).

    Keep quality (speed) in your program. You want to imprint proper mechanics rather than improper mechanics that are reinforced through the slow speed stuff.

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