Help with Start

I am a hurdler. And my start is pretty bad.

My best 60 hurdle time is only 7.92 but ive run 13.66 in the 110s.

the second half of my race has always been better than the first half.

I am trying to change this so i need some help.

what are some drills to work on? ive recently been trying to change my block positioning but im not really sure which is best for my event.

im 6’3" 180. my blocks so far have been pretty bunched, but im thinking maybe i need to spread out a bit more.

im not sure what i need to do but hopefully someone on here has some personal experience of what has worked for them in the past.

sorry this is long. if you have any questions just ask.

Can you post a clip of your start here? (from the side)

i will take a picture tomorrow at practice, but i can try to describe it for you…

once again i am 6’3"

the left block (trail leg) is 7 fist from the starting line and the right block (lead leg) is 9 fist from the starting line.

this is the way i set up my blocks all last year which was my final season competing in college.

i place my fist to run from pinky to index finger (the long way) when measruing out the distance.

on wednesday i ran 5x60 meters flat out of the blocks going all out to 30 meters and slowing down to 60.

i then ran 4x2HH out of the blocks. that was my workout.

after the workout i decided to mess with my blocks a little.

i kept my front block (left block) at the same distance of 7 fist. this time though i changed my right block so that my knee was lined up right next to left block.

i ran to the first hurdle twice and what i noticed was my lead leg was alot faster coming OFF the hurdle. this is probably because my take-off was probably a little further from the first hurdle. that was a very good feeling BUT it felt that i didnt get to the first hurdle as fast as before, with regular placing of the blocks.

so thats the extent of my experimenting with my blocks placement. ive never really worked on my start other than running to the first hurdle.

ive never done “stick” drills that ive heard some athletes do or anything. so yea im looking for some drills that can help my start.

sorry its so long again but its hard to get out all that im trying to say in typing. anyways i will take a pic tomorrow and post it.

here is a link to my race at east regionals last year.

you cant really see the start cause the quality came out bad, but you can see how i am behind from the begining and slowly, as the race goes on, make up some ground to finish in 3rd.

i am all the way to the right.

Very hard to tell from that film but your description makes it sound like the back foot should be a bit farther back from the front. Maybe 3 fists to try first. (Why fists??)

so it should be a bit further back from my normal spacing? of 7 and 9?

and ive just used fist because it is simple and is constant.

i used to use feet but if i had different shoes on the distance would be off at times due to different materials and shapes of shoes and what not.

my fist are always the same size and so spacing has always stayed pretty consistent.

i know nothing really scientific or technical about it, just something that has worked for me.

spikes will be the same size. Take a side on shot of the new set position

ok i didnt get a chance to use blocks because the team is at a conference meet and i couldnt get the combination to the lock on the shed to get the blocks out…

so i had to make due with “pretend” blocks…

i used my shoes… when i hurdle again on wed. i will take pics with actual blocks but here is what i have so far…

7 and 10 looks better but still need to see in blocks.

i agree 7 and 9 put him too much forward.

yea 7 and 10 felt better. but it needs to get even better.

i cant see myself running 13.3s or 13.2s with my horrible starts.

what drills can i do to increase turnover to that first hurdle?

ive heard of some guys marking the exact steps theyll take. like measuring them out.

how would something like that be set up? would i benefit from it?

to be honest my starts arent THAT horrible. i am always 1st or second to the first hurdle but that is running against guys who run 14+ or barely break 14 so i dont see anything special in beating them.

i noticed a couple hurdlers take 7 strides to the first hurdle.

Dayron Robles takes 7. same thing with Antwon Hicks. they are both about my height.

i tried it today and it felt pretty awkward. im not sure if trying this would be smart though. ive always ran with 8 strides and my left foot in front of the right, so maybe its too late to try and change it.

what do you guys think?

Get your new position established and see what happens before making any other changes

I agree the 7.10 looks better. It seems as though the shoulders are a bit too far forward.

ok i worked on my start all last week and it is MUCH improved.

the blocks are now at 8 and 11.

i realized that my start was so horrible because i was starting like a sprinter.

i was powering out too much and every stride was getting longer and longer as i tried to accelerate.

i saw that the reason i wasnt as fast as i wanted to be over the first hurdle was because my 8th stride into the hurdle was WAY too close. it was about 6’10" away from the first hurdle.

this was causing me to raise my center of gravity more than i needed and was causing me to jump the hurdle rather than run thru the hurdle.

on thursday i worked with a great hurdle coach in raleigh and he helped me with all of this.

my new take-off spot is 7’6" from the first hurdle which seems just about perfect. im still gonna have to work on it a million times to get this new pattern ingrained in my mind but i have a very good feeling that this is going to help.

so the problem wasnt so much out of the blocks but more so that my 8th stride was still longer than the 7th (like a sprinter would want), when in fact it needs to be shorter and quicker.

so im pretty happy about this. and hopefully ill show improved results with this.


Looks like you have it figured right, as I was reading each post and studied your pics I thought that perhaps your confusing the type of start you need, a hurdler has to be upright much earlier that the flat sprinter to get prepared for the first hurdle (5th stride). I also figure the back block (shoe) needed to come back a bit further. Beware of putting too much weight over the arms, remember the hands need to move fast on the gun. Good luck, hope the times come down. One other thing, practice your block technique early in the session not after speed or speed endurance as you stated in your first post.