CFTS Hurdles Integration – Hurdling Thread

CFTS Hurdles Integration – Hurdling Thread


This is the first year I am going to try and integrate hurdles training into the CFTS. I have started this thread to try and assist my efforts and to help others who want to do a similar thing.

Yearly Plan

I am using a double periodized year running from October to July. Major competitions are in February and July.

GPP – 5 Weeks
SPP1 – 13 Weeks
Taper – 1 Week – Indoor Championships 60mh
Active Recovery – 1 week
GPP – 2 Weeks
SPP2 – 16 Weeks
Taper – 1 Week – Indoor Championships 60mh

Weekly Plan

I am working a five day week – Tuesday to Saturday with Sunday/Monday off:

Tuesday – Track + Weights
Wednesday - Tempo
Thursday - Track
Friday - Tempo
Saturday – Track or Tempo (depending if it is a high or low week) + Weights


My hurdlers need more flat speed in order to compete at a national level. Hurdling sessions will be built around flat sessions.

The angle of attack over the hurdles is the most important factor to keep consistent. Therefore, during tempo hurdling the hurdle height and distance will be altered to achieve similar angles of attack as will be used during competition.

I will always try and give the athlete the workout that is best for them every session. While the sessions will in general get progressively more difficult (volume/intensity) as the season progresses each session should be perceived by the athlete as being of equal difficulty to the last. Therefore progress matches adaptation.


GPP runs for 5 weeks and is aimed to prepare the athletes to achieve low angles out of the blocks and to accelerate to 30-40m.

During the 5 weeks the sessions will progress from:

Tuesday – Hurdle Walkovers, Hills, Explosive Medicine Ball, Weights
Wednesday – Tempo Hurdles, General Conditioning
Thursday - Hurdle Walkovers, Hills, Explosive Medicine Ball
Friday - Tempo Hurdles, General Conditioning
Saturday – Hurdle Walkovers, Hills, Explosive Medicine Ball, Weights

Progressing to…

Tuesday – Hurdle Walkovers, Speed work, Explosive Medicine Ball, Weights <<
Wednesday – Tempo Hurdles, General Conditioning
Thursday - Hurdle Walkovers, Speed work, Explosive Medicine Ball <<
Friday - Tempo Hurdles, General Conditioning
Saturday – Hurdle Walkovers, Hills, Explosive Medicine Ball, Weights

For those with the GPP DVD you will notice this follows a similar progression to the programme outlined there.

Weeks 3 and 5 will be low weeks with more Tempo Hurdling on Saturday and weights switched to Thursday.

Tempo Hurdles

These are done as down and backs progressing from 5 to 10 hurdles throughout GPP. Therefore, tempo hurdles volume will increase from 500m – 5x(2x50) to around 1000m – 2x(2x100). The spacing and height will be set to achieve similar angles of attack as will be used in competition. The intensity will be about 65-70% so 20 sec per 100m for a 14s 110m Hurdler.


How many strides do you think should be used between hurdles for tempo (3,5,7) and alternating lead leg each direction or perhaps 4, 6, 8 so alternating lead leg each hurdle?

Can anyone suggest anything else that might be useful in GPP for a hurdler?

More on SPP1 to come….



What duration are some of these sessions, there seems to quite a number of components in one session?

Weight training sessions are included everyday on the GPP DVD apart from Sunday - why did you feel it was necessary to omit these?

There seems to be quite an emphasis on the hurdles, which of course isn’t surprising, but could you possibly substitute a couple of these sessions with some other type of training (may be other types of flexibility training). Thinking in terms of paralysis by analysis??

Session Duration:

Sprint sessions last about 2 hours + depending on the rest brakes. 30-50 min warm up + hip mobility/walk overs, 10 min explosive med ball work, 40 min hills… the rest of the session is usually me blabbing about technique etc!

Tempo hurdle sessions are about 45min-1hour including warm up. On these days I will usually use a warm up which combines medicine balls with running and switch in some hurdle walk overs to get the hips moving rather than the normal 2 part warm up - simply to make it more fun.

The 1000m of hurdles will only last around 10 minutes including breaks so thats 20-30 min warm up with walk overs 10 min hurdles session and 10-15 minute conditioning session which acts as a kind of warm down. Everyone has some low intensity circuits that they do each day (10-15min) anyway so the medicine ball stuff is 10-15min of concentrated work.

If anyone is having any real problems with technique i will generally do more one on one stuff with them or ask a fellow coach who is technically minded to help out.


Weights sessions last 1 hour or so once everyone knows what they are doing.

I don’t do weights every day like in the GPP DVD simply because my athletes arn’t full time (yet!) and it would be asking a bit to much. 2 sessions a week is enough for them to start with. At the beginning of the year i usually do a 3 week crash course on weightlifting/gym work to get people up to speed on squatting/OLs etc… This isn’t included in the schedule as it is usually for the newer athletes and i get people from other sports as well.

Hurdles Emphasis

The walk overs include things like overs and unders etc on hills/speed day and are part of the warm up/conditioning. On speed days we are not doing specific hurdle drills more hip mobility drills i guess.

I feel tempo work over hurdles has to be in the programme early on in enough volume to get the athlete ready for SPP1, where once they have the speed in place they will be doing full height hurdle clearances.

What other stuff would you suggest instead? Static flexability work? Wall drills?

Perhaps I could replace the hurdle walk overs on one day with more of a Mach Drill emphasis?

I haven’t got experience on hurdles, but some kind of hurdle work everyday seems rather too much to me even for hurdlers.
Watch out for hip flexors, check flexibility daily, which takes some time, but it helps.

OK, i’ve decided that perhaps on Tuesday and Saturday (when we do weights afterwards so the sessons are longer anyway) that i should remove the Hurdle walk overs. On these days the emphasis will therefore be on the flat work.

Thorough and complete response as always! The other ‘stuff’ could include the following depending on your expertise and the athlete’s individual needs:

PNF flexibility training
Static flexibility
Dynamic flexibility (ropes, therabands, free)
Mach drills

Some of these training methods can be facilitated with the use of hot, cold, vibration, massage etc.

Having reread much of the forum recently (hence the lower posting frequency) I thought it would be interesting to add that because tempo hurdling is quite hard on the legs (if done indoors or on the track) the other low intensity requirements can be filled by additional low intensity medicine ball work. This is especially true in the first weeks of GPP where only 400m of tempo is used.

To summarise low intensity med ball would start off at quite a high volume and slowly decrease in line with increases in tempo hurdle volumes.

After a peak of say 800-1000m of tempo hurdling any additional low intensity work capcity improvement could probably be handled through a rise in med ball volume rather than tempo hurdling.

Any comments regarding stride patterns for the Tempo hurdling would be welcomed.



I would use five steps and I would not go over the hurdles (not from the start). I would do seperate lead leg and trail leg drills over the sides,(regular spacing/ height can be ajusted) it allows for more volume and is less stressful.

THEONE, How would you transition towards full hurdle clearances? What would be the progression?



I would keep it the same way for the entire gpp.