Technical advice for a young hurdler?

^ Thanks Ange you are very cool!

Back to hurdling - I tried to do a few sprint over hurdles today, after my mobility/more specific hurdle drills. (After focusing on the mobility, I feel my whole running process become faster, so that’s great) However, I can’t seem to get to the first hurdle without cutting my steps short. Is that a genuine problem? I felt scared over the hurdle, so that was bad anyways. Do you think the 7-step is feasible for me??

6.49s over 50m is probably worth around 11.80-12.00s in the 100m. To run 14.1 in the 110m hurdles you probably need to be in low 11s - high 10s 100m shape.

Ouch! The bleak reality hurts! That time conversion is really accurate, I ran a 12.00~ ht on Thursday(2 days before the 6.49). I am sure my time is going to decrease as the season goes on, so that’s great! 14.1 is a very tough time :slight_smile:

Have some race footage. [video=youtube_share;nDgJ-kG3HGc][/video]

My warm up was interrupted because the schedule is so late, so other than few leg swings, there was not preparation before my race. There were also no blocks. When I went over the hurdles, I felt myself FLOATING! Aries Meritt said he was floating hurdles but I was actually Floating! That feeling was so devastating! My lead arm was also very ahead of my body so went I pulled it back it was just a chaos.

The video is really hard to pick on anything, but any feedback will be appreciate, greatly!

I thought from what I could see you looked pretty good. You had no competition and that makes it kinda tough but that is ok for early on in the season.
How long did you allow to warm up?
A very important lesson is how to learn to buffer what is very typical at many meets. If you learn how to handle this fact it’s an area that will become an advantage to you. Always allow more time to warm up , not less than what you need. The fitter and more experienced you are the more you will be able to " hang on" to your warm up. Likely , because you are training you are more able to hang on to your warm up than your competitors. Say your warm up is 30 minutes. Take one hour or 45 minutes before your event. Do your warm up and then sit and wait and keep yourself warm and shake your legs and wait. When everyone else is scrambling ( and they will because i have seen this countless times even at the national level ) you will be over chilling and relaxing and dreaming of your perfect race ;). The most important thing jCC is you know your preparation was not ideal or sufficient.
Feedback about times is great and interesting but really in my view you need to focus on a bunch of other things and that " time " thing will come together when you are ready.
When? Next week at 5pm on the … I don’t know as I don’t see into the future , at least not yet. ( I tend to try and work on this as I like control) Yes, I am kidding.
Getting more races is good.
How about your regeneration ? I know you are young and kids tend not to think this way but I want you to try and think of ways you can actively rejuvenate yourself for your training so the next time you have your speed session you are feeling more recovered. You need to be doing speed work when you are as fresh and as rested as possible. I know with kids this can be the luck of the draw but see if you can make a thoughtful effort to rest and actively do so. Give me some of your thoughts on that. ( yes,you can say Ange I have no clue what the heck you are talking about )
The floating? Yeah, been there. How are your nerves ? When you start thinking in the race that you are floating I ask myself how nervous are you?
You are doing a great job.
I love that you are posting video and that shows how motivated you are. Who is doing the filming for you?
You can fix the first hurdle thing but we need to see more examples. We need to get your turn over and I am wondering about your blocks and how to adjust them differently.
I had to switch my lead leg in order to get to the first hurdle but that was so long ago that it just seems normal now. I am not sure you need to do this but it would be good to have more video to see it.

Thanks for the kind words Ange. My warm up usually takes 30 minutes - 45 minutes. Usually on the lower end as I’m not a glutton for hard work … As for the regeneration… I actually didn’t do much after the meet. But I learned after the soreness which refused to go away I’ll probably have to do a cool-down job and some stretching. I take cold showers after my track workouts but I’ve never actually tried a contrast one after. By the time I get home I’m already reluctant to shower, and to have some cold water down my spine seems like a horrible idea… And from Brent McFarlane’s Speed book I learned that extensive tempo work can also aid in recovery (also provides a plethora of other benefits as well) Any tips on that regard?

Was I nervous? I actually wasn’t. The thing that just kept bugging me was, “Could I make it to the first hurdle in 8 steps?” The day before the meet I could not get 8 steps no matter what. However that idea disappeared now; I was probably a little excited and kept my strides and speed very sprinter like. Who’s filming me? My school track team :slight_smile: i love them. They make the very lonely sport so much more enjoyable.

Again thanks for your concerns Ange, your words provide so much motivation.

To help with video set up for 110m, using a bleacher if possible, around Hurdle 6. The zoom should be good enough for most of the race without zooming out. If no bleachers, then zoom the camera all the way in and walk back until you are a reasonable size on the screen. I would set up at hurdle 6. That would help with your analysis.

I think Your take off trunk position is good. But you delay your lead arm position until after flight.

This video has nice side camera action.

It looks like the delay in the lead arm position is causing you to bend forward on touchdown instead of being tall. Tall at take off, tall at touch down.

For training, Ange’s advice to me has worked incredibly well. For 14.1, you would need to run splits of around 1.1 per touchdown interval. Set up training distances to mimic this rhythm. For my sub 14 hurdler, its 9 yard spacing in spikes, or 8.5 yards in hallway in flats when weather is poor. Indoors we worked mainly through 4 hurdles in training, now working to 6 hurdles at race rhythm.


1:38 for sprint over 4 hurdles.

i didn’t feel the best for this workout. when i go over the first hurdle, im not scared at all, but after adding more hurdles, i start to doubt myself. for the past workouts, i’ve really tried to keep my trail arm tight and really use it to speed myself off the hurdle (also helps with torso rotation, though it’s still there). however my trail leg Is just making everything worse for me. I’m starting to implement more drills but it refuses to change. Are there any ways I can correct this faster and more efficient ?

I actually thought your trail leg was fine, it’s your trail arm that I think is causing you problems. Your trail arm seems to hover right next to your hips, when it should be going much further back - more like a running stride. While obviously your technique isn’t going to be as good as an Olympic gold medalist, check this out: I am a best an OK hurdle coach - maybe Ang or ESTII will chime in here.

One thing that stood out for me was how wide your first two steps are out of the blocks. Try keeping those first two steps tighter towards the midline of your body to keep yourself moving forward instead of ‘skating’. If I see you at BCHS this year, I might come say hello. :slight_smile:

I think the trail leg is coming to the front a lot better. A chest height camera view of the drills from head on will confirm it but it looked like on the drills your foot was coming over the line. The is coming down and then up and back causing trunk twisting on touchdown. I would probably cue you to stop the arm at the hip and see how you respond to that.

I agree with block starts as well. Do you do many medicine ball throws? Even a few sets of 3-5 throws during speed days will help. Without looking at the block set up and hip angles its hard to say more.

Keep working at it!


put in another session. i think that my trail leg is actually a lot better now! i tried to keep your guy’s advice for the bent trail arm like a sprinting position… but it’s a lot harder than just going out and trying to do it. my lead arm i think is better, but i think i can still improve it by keeping it on my forehead instead of too far in front of my body because it always makes me rotate.

ESTI - I did not know about the benefits of med ball throws. I guess that’s why I always pop-up near the start in my 100 races. I’ve read up some good exercises and how it can help with my start. I think it’ll help me a lot in the future. Are there any tips on using it? I was thinking about doing it between my drills in my warm-up.

just out of curiosity - how fast do you guys think i can run for the 110MH (39")? At the minute, I definitely think I am capable of a low 15. Just by watching me go over the first/second hurdle, do you have any guess at how fast I can run it?
What’s the biggest difference between me and your near sub-14 hurdler ESTI? Is it raw speed or just technique or what is it?

Judging by the looks of it - I think I am capable of taking the gold at the BCHS, and making the BC Team for Legion Nationals. But running 14.6 and anything lower this year would make it so much better…

The lead leg is getting around the front better than before. The reach arm on take off looks ok, but try to pause the video around 51 sec at touchdown. Notice the extreme trunk rotation with the arm nearly completely behind the back. I have found trying to get the hand under the trail leg knee often stops the trunk rotation. When my athletes arm gets too high he rotates the same way. When he keeps his hand low its a thing of beauty.

ESTI - I did not know about the benefits of med ball throws. I guess that’s why I always pop-up near the start in my 100 races. I’ve read up some good exercises and how it can help with my start. I think it’ll help me a lot in the future. Are there any tips on using it? I was thinking about doing it between my drills in my warm-up…

IF you can, try to get the GPP download. It has all the info there for throws.

just out of curiosity - how fast do you guys think i can run for the 110MH (39")? At the minute, I definitely think I am capable of a low 15. Just by watching me go over the first/second hurdle, do you have any guess at how fast I can run it?
What’s the biggest difference between me and your near sub-14 hurdler ESTI? Is it raw speed or just technique or what is it? …

In these videos, how far apart are the hurdles? Regular height and regularly spaced? Take a look through my journal on 110H.

We have found our success and improvements come from reducing hurdle height and spacing so that touchdown times are rhtymic to the goal time. We are shooting for sub 13.60 and I look at various hurdle charts to get an idea of what the touchdowns should be and then put him in position to achieve those. At this point, the only time he goes full height and spacing is in a race. Ideally for him, 9 yard spacing at 36" leads to 1.0 splits from H2-6 in training. When we trained inside the hallway, it was 8.5 yards in trainers to get the 1.0 splits.

He is also very fast, running in the 10.80 range, having done training runs at 120m of sub 13.2 and 150 at 16.1 4 weeks ago. I have used the speed first for several weeks with some hurdle work and then went to hurdle specific work with minimal maintance speed/SE work.

Is it not weird for the hurdler to practice at a lower height then come into a race and race at a different height…? That idea sounds good and I would like to try it but my only worry is that since 36" and 39" are different, the difference between training and racing would be too different. What are your thoughts on that?

And wow, he is a lot faster than me :p. I recorded a 11.74 just this week so he’s around 1 second faster than me!


Here is my race of 15.21 :

I know I’m definitely capable of a sub-15 now. This track is not that fast. And with higher competition, both quantity, and quality, my time will definitely improve. I hit the first hurdle, which is weird because I do a lot of sprints over the first hurdle. During the race I didn’t feel like I was floating the hurdles as I did earlier in the season, but I felt like the whole hurdling motion could be faster. There was a “time-warp” I believe. My lead arm and trail arm didn’t behave properly but it’s good; I know what to fix now. Looking back at the footage, I felt that I would benefit from my hurdle endurance work - I got less snappy over the last few hurdles.

What are your thoughts on this race ESTI?

It is very common for hurdlers to practice lower heights to get used to the rhythm/timing/feeling of going faster. My hurdlers are on low hurdles (or spaced closer) at least half the time.

I think you are used to being higher and slower over the hurdles, so as your technique improves and you get lower/faster, you don’t make as much use out of your speed as you could. You are hovering/pausing a big before your lead leg comes down and your trail leg comes through. Try pulling your trail leg through sooner.

I took advice of Ange based on what Charlie had her do. We have not had any issues hitting hurdles. Tuesday after a solid warm up, great drill sessions, we did 3 runs over 5 hurdles spaced 9 yards at 36". hand time splits were near 1.0. He then had 20 minutes and ran a 13.6 hand time. Execution was incredible. No video unfortunately. Below is his race Saturday. 14.41 FAT into head wind. Technically not his greatest from what I have seen.


As a general rule you do not want change much right now as you competing. Changing anything discounts what has already been accomplished from your existing training.
One thing you can do is post one week sample of your training with as much detail as possible. Post what you did for one week or what you plan to do for one week.
I see some inconsistent mobility from your trail leg which indicates tightness. Sometimes your trail leg looked more mobile.
How many days are you training?
How many speed days are you doing?
Have you been doing tempo at all?

" And wow, he is a lot faster than me :p. I recorded a 11.74 just this week so he’s around 1 second faster than me! "

Try and resist to compare yourself to someone JC.
Esti is a coach and he is watching his athlete and just focus on where you are at and once you post a sample of what your training we will be able to see if and where some small changes might help you right now.
Athletes with highly organized coaches have an advantage but you are young and interested in learning so be patient and learn as much as you can. Perhaps down the road you may see value ( or not ) in finding a coach to train you.


After a week of training, I’ve put together a few questions.

This is what I do for tempo: 4x100m, 3x200m, 4x100m. I focus on smooth running and “ok” form. I’ve realize when I incorporate too much sprint position factors, I go too fast and the running no longer becomes smooth. I run faster and naturally, get more tired. So if I drive my arms up to my face, the rep might come out really fast. But after this the speed becomes inconsistent - something I believe I should not go for. How important is the consistency of the tempo reps. Eg. In 100m - I run a 13.4, 13.5, 13.4… versus 13.1, 13.9, 14.2. Also after reps of 100m I walk back to the start line - is this too much rest? It’s usually like 50sec -60sec give or take. 200m is around 120sec. What are the recommended rest times of tempo? I read in CFTS that Charlie would only implement 50m walk. Also how would tempo sessions differ from week to week. I keep this workout the same for every tempo day of the week. Looking through training logs of other athletes on here - they have a difference between ‘easy’ tempo and a normal one. How would I progress in this regard?

Also for speed I usually do a step-up approach. So something like 1x2 hurdles, 2x3 hurdles… Same question applies here - how would I progress/periodize this? I hear a lot about short to long run approach/long to short run approach. That is beyond my understanding - what is your light on that and how can I apply it?


Yes I had a little epiphany yesterday. I back with my “club”, which I train long jump with. Hopefully I can do some hurdle stuff with the coach but that is only max 1 day a week. LJ coach said that the last three strides of your run up should be short. They are not short because you take less of a step, they are short because they are quick. Same goes for bounding - long strides are slow. I applied this very simple thinking into hurdles - if I practice going through the barriers at a shorter distance, also lower height, it will be quicker. And at the race, it will still be quick and I won’t hit the hurdles because each step should be longer (more adrenaline). So training through the shorter distances will have the neurological imprint of moving fast, and once at the race, these quick steps will be aided by the adrenaline - going through each hurdle at the necessary length, but quick!

It’s amazing how something so simple can make me understand something much more than that. I really want to give shortening the distance a try, but like Ange said, I don’t want to introduce it suddenly.

*Congrats on your athlete’s 13.7 race! Seems like the goal of 13.65 FAT is near.

I rewatched the video a few more times and realized, my trail leg is stalling. After yesterday’s session I think I improve it a little bit further. Let’s see if I can keep it up at the meet. Also, the BCHS is moved to Langley, hopefully I’ll catch you there in 2 weeks? :slight_smile:

If this is meant to be extensive tempo a la Charlie Francis, you’re running too fast. You should run the 100m in about 16s and walk 50m in between.