Technical advice for a young hurdler?


  • Sprint over 2 hurdles are near the end

my thoughts:

  • i am really keeping steve mcgill’s (coach of wayne davis, youth, junior world record holder in the 110mh) thumbs-up tip. this makes the path of the lead arm more up and down, instead of side to side. however i still have a tendency to overswing my lead arm, so in the slow motion, you can see that my body twists because of this

  • trail arm - i am trying to keep it near the waist, and once my trail leg comes over the hurdle, i can bring this arm back to it’s running position. i’ve compared it to where i would just keep it further away from the waist, i had more momentum coming off the hurdle so it’s definitely a bonus.

  • lead leg - i think i’m leading with the knee well enough. but maybe the speed is lacking??

  • trail leg - this is the linchpin of my problems. i will save my voice trying to explain this. can you guys give me some advice on how to improve it!?

thanks for reading this long message. my goal is to run below a 14.1, the meet record for 110mh at a very prestigious high school meet (in my opinion); the record’s been held for over 30 years. my goal is to smash it.

thanks for all the forthcoming replies, good day to you all

Try to get the trail leg more in front of the body. I have had the middle of the hurdle on the line and then did trail leg only drills where the trail leg on the other side of the line. Also try to stay taller at takeoff longer. This should help get more stretch in the hip flexor and create an action-reaction to increase it’s speed.

For a 14.1 110m, I would suspect you would need near 11.0 100m speed, just things I have observed in the past.

I have seen people doing that drill; I believe it will be very effective for my trail leg. But I find it’s difficulty rather unfathomable without the mastering of a more basic, slower drill. On that note, is there an exercise that can help me lead up to being able to do that? That would be awesome :slight_smile:

Yes, I would use low hurdles (24" maybe) and do the same set up with the lines. You can go slow and eventually speed up as mastery occurs. I also found the low hurdles to be great for working on arm action as well. I hope to have some video of a session I will post this week.

Typically you want to be routinely doing step over drills for lead leg and trail leg, hurdles pushed down and fairly close together. ( walking over the middle of a set of say 6 hurdles and repeat)
Your next step is you spread out the hurdles ( spread out from previous drill but not regular distance) to do side lead and trail legs exercises only now with a slower run.
After you do this then you push the hurdles out further as your speed increases and finish the lead leg and trail leg drills.
Now you might be ready to go through the middle of the hurdles , first a low speed ( fast over the hurdles) and then gradually speeding yourself up ( leg speed between the hurdles) as the training continues.
The above mentioned are drills. Once the drill have been completed after a proper warm up , then you might be doing runs over 1 hurdle, 2 hurdles etc. Then you might be doing the same as just mentioned but from a proper start.
A variety of athletes not just hurdlers will benefit greatly from routine leg swings ( front to back) , Trail leg forward and backward against the wall and also side leg swings ( 20 each leg done virtually every training session within the warm up.
From what I see so far ( next time wear a bright color so it’s easier to see you from the trees and background if possible) your hips are tight and you lack mobility in this area. You need to do progressively begin to add medicine ball throws down the field as well as some basic med ball exercises within your warmup to continue to work on your core.
Arm action can be addressed by a variety of things you are doing but mainly you will use your arms as a bi product of overall fitness , upper body strength and focusing on arm action as practiced in the mirror. Think about your arms as well when performing A’s skips and running A’s as the meat and potatoes of each daily warm up. Drills of this nature will over time give you the strength and familiarity to repeat what is needed in all runs with or without the hurdles.
Notice on the last run in this video you shuffled to make it to the first hurdle? Try pushing in the first hurdle ( try one of your footlengths towards the start line to begin with ) and see what happens? Maybe you need to use 1.5 of your footlengths to begin?
Lastly, listen to Esti as he doing a fantastic job coaching young high school aged children and having fantastic results.

Great advice on hurdle warm-up! I use something similar.

I think that the biggest issue is that you’re putting the foot you take off from too far in front of you (the last foot contact in front of the hurdle) you’re not creating much of a stretch through anything, particularly hip flexors in the trail leg. put it down and back, and in the line of running, not across your body.

see if that helps…

The air brushing of history with regards to our Canadian Track and Field is a curious thing… Who is the person with the 30 year old record in BC?

Not sure who you mean Angela?

Of course, one of my runners has five times run faster than one of the ‘records’, (twice at the BC championships, twice at Canadian championships), and I’m hoping the record will finally make it onto the next update but not expecting it to.

For the BC High School Track and Field 110MH Meet record, the holder is David Wilkinson from Handsworth. It was set in 1982. Almost exactly 30 years ago!

Thanks Jccc110. I wanted to see if I knew this person but I did not.
I was thinking Warren Lee who went to UBC but I was not sure if he was from BC or not.,
What I meant by the " air brushing " was the feeling I got when going to the official site ( to look up who had the 30 year old record) of track in Canada ( big mistake) and noticing how they missed a few chunks of their history.
My own little hang up when voluntary memory loss gets the better of people.
Fortunately for us there is the site. :wink:

Where do you train?
Do you know what track that was set on ?
Do you know the time ? I bet it was hand time then depending on what meet it was performed at. It could have been electric?

I’ll go look it up Ang…

Ok apparently I misplaced one of my boxes of track stuff when cleaning up this winter. I’ll keep an eye out and update you.

Edit - It was hand timed at 14.1.

14.1 30 years ago is really fast. In the US, each year there might be a few dozen kids who break 14 seconds. Very impressive record.

Yeah but unfortunately with a hand time, we’ll never know just how fast he was.
Dylan Armstrong’s BC Highschool Champs’ hammer record of 75.22m is pretty good too. :slight_smile:

Thanks for the interest Ange :slight_smile:
I train at Memorial Park. It’s the closest track to my school and walking there only takes 20 minutes :-). I also have to carry the hurdles from my friend’s house which is set in the middle of the jaunt. So it’s 7 hours of school then walk 10 minutes, then carry the 4 set of hurdles another 10 minutes to reach the track. But I believe I am already more fortunate than a lot of people who live even further away from an available track. Charle wasn’t wrong when he said Track in Canada is a neglected stepchild…

The track the record was ran on, if I’m correct, is probably the Swangard Stadium. I’m sure you’ve heard of it. That is where the annual BC High School Track and Field Provincials take place.

Very true! I’ve been amazed and attracted to this record since the first time I’ve entered the meet as a grade 8. It would be even cooler and if he could return as an alumni but several google searches tells me his interest in track has discontinued :frowning: .

Who coaches you and who is your coach , at what track club? What age?

I don’t have a coach… my coach is myself and he’s not that good ha. I’m with a local club from time to time (spring break, summer vacation) but it’s not available to me during school time. Their training is rather disorganized… but I love training long jump with their coaches. I have already seen a lot of improvement in that area.

At this time I’m just putting pieces of workout together, such as speed, tempo, technique in one week. I use to be after the “perfect program”, but if i wait until conditions are optimal I will never get anywhere. So I’m very fortunate I can post speed-related questions and hurdle technique to CF forum, you guys provide a lot of help!

If you want to improve faster, you’ll want to find a coach. How far can you travel to train? Vancouver Olympic Club or Kajaks might be worth looking into.