I have never done hurdles and next year i think i want to start learning how to do them so any help would be good.
Well if you're looking for a weekly outline heres one that I'm gonna be using this upcoming season. I got this workout from Scott Weiser, who is a track coach at New Mexico State University. This is in-season, but with slight modifications I think it can be used as an off-season workout after you've undergone a base phase.
"You will find that the things that will make you a better sprinter (right now) will also make you a better hurdler. As your strength and power levels increase you will be able to do greater things and technical things will become easier. Lower hurdles and closer spacing will allow you to maintain faster speeds and that 3 step rhythm. Find a configuration that allows you to run the times you are looking for. Increase but only as you can maintain that speed or go faster. There is no sense in practicing at meet specs and reinforce bad technique. Some would say that if you practiced all the time at lower heights you wont be prepared for meet heights but if you are running poorly anyway it wont matter what height you running at. The training at lower heights will prove to be valuable in the future. Consider this training scheme:
Starts (3 point, blocks, blocks over 1 hurdle)
Flying 20s-30s-40s over 2-3-4- or 5 hurdles.
Maybe add in some flying sprints after for pure speed work
Time all runs and make sure you stay within .2 sec of best time (this you should know).
The idea here is to stay fast. Lower heights and run fast. The closer to your reg running the better. Over time you can increase the height, but stay fast.
Fewer hurdles per run will prevent CNS fatigue and eventual general fatigue.
Med Ball Throws
Tempo Runs (Extensive)
Starts (same progression as Monday)
Continue to 2-3 hurdles
1 or 2 starts over 2 and sprint an additional 20-30m
Again lower heights or shortne the spacing to allow speed of running and speed of movement.
Med Ball Throws
Tempo Runs (Extensive)
Compete (hurdles plus 200 or 400) or
Special Endurance: 110 hurdle race with practice height and spacing. use a configuration that allows your goal time and manipulate the hurdles to get closer to meet specs as the weeks progress. As long as the overall time stays low. Add in a 200 or 400.
General Idea: Right now learn how a fast race is supposed to feel and as you get stronger and more powerful you will be able to run that speed over higher hurdles with greater spacing, but always maintain that 3 step rhythm (unless you are doing drills). What will make you better is the lifting and general power work not more hurdling with bad technique."
Well thats a general outline, but heres some more specific stuff. In the sprint hurdles, you are basically trying to "sprint" through the hurdles without breaking your running form or stride. This takes a lot of practice, but eventually you will be taking 3 strides in between each hurdle. This distance hurdles are more of a test of endurance than anything else, and judging by your 400 time you could be a dominant distance hurdler as soon as you get the technique down.
As far as tecnique goes, there is no substitute for a coach. Try and find one in your area who could help you on your technique, but in the meantime watch videos of hurdlers (Terrence Trammel, Allen Johnson, Larry Wade to name a few) and watch how they never break stride and sprint through the race.
One of the first things you want to do as a hurdler is to find your lead leg and trail leg. This is very important for the sprint hurdles, but in the distance hurdles its also a good idea to learn how to lead with both legs because it is harder to know the timing. To differentiate with your lead and trail legs, just try going over a couple hurdles using different lead legs. Then find which one is mroe comfortable for you and work on your technique and rythmn.
I know this is long-winded, but really try and find someone to help you with hurdles as someone who can see what you are doing wrong is infinetly more helpful than someone like myself on a forum.
Lastly, heres something that my hurdles coach told me. In the sprint hurdles, you should be able to run the race in the dark. You will have the steps from the blocks to the hurdles, between hurdles, and to the finish line memorized. Its really just a matter of practice. Good luck on your transition from sprint to hurdles. I'm sure you will become an excellent hurdler with practice.
If you've never hurdled before I think the starting point is just learning to go over very low hurdles walking, skipping, jogging, and then running. As you feel more comfortable and are making technically sound clearances at the lower heights without feeling out of rhythm just progressively increase the height of the hurdles.
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