I was just looking through some of the older hurdling threads on this forum and this idea just came to me.
On tempo days, would it be alright to use hurdles at their lowest height (30 in) at tightened spacing to allow a natural 3 step pattern in between them while keeping at about 70% in the runs? The runs would still be on grass, but I’m just trying to think of ways to add more hurdles into the week to get more comfortable with them while not being too intense. Anyone else think this would work, or would it still be too high-impact for a tempo day?
I did hurdle work much as you described on tempo days and it worked great. You can always add in 5-step runs for form, and more hurdle mobility just to increase your time getting comfortable around the hurdles. When I was short-hurdling in HS my week sometimes even looked like this:
tues: hurdles short and explosive (starts, short reps)
weds: tempo or another SpE, depending on meet schedule
thurs: hurdles- more volume and lower intensity, more like what you described
fri: short speed/accels/blocks OR pre-comp
sat: comp OR SpE or tempo… always depended on the meet schedule.
Basically the difference is that I added in another speed session over hurdles, but the distances are short and the volume was low, so that it did not seem to be too much (at least not until late in outdoor) and was usually placed before a tempo day. This BASIC system got me quite a few PR’s in the short hurdles. Hurdle mobility was done daily.
I think it’s OK to do what you’re suggesting during GPP. Maybe even once a week in SPP. But in CPP, I’d stick with hurdling on the intensive days and keep the tempo runs without hurdles on the recovery days.
In general, I’d be hesitant about high volumes of hurdles even on grass. You have to keep in mind that tempo days are primarily for recovery along with some conditioning. If you decide to do hurdles on tempo days, you should probably do no more than half of the reps with hurdles in a typical 2K tempo scheme.
Not sure what you mean by “enclose” the hurdles. If you mean making them closer together, it’s definitely OK at the collegiate level. It works at every level. First off, you typically are running less than 100% in practice, so it makes it closer to the rhythm you would have in an actual race. Second, moving them even closer helps increase your rhythm. Since everyone takes the same number of steps in a hurdle race, the race is won by the person who can take those steps the fastest. Lots of factors there, but one is the quicker rhythm. Try it.