Latest Blog Posts

Similar Styles of Harrison and Pearson

April 18, 2017

One thing I’ve always had a fascination with when it comes to the hurdles is comparing the styles of the top hurdlers and noticing their similarities and differences, their strengths and weaknesses. In a blog post three years ago I compared the hurdling style of David Oliver to that of Roger Kingdom (http://hurdlesfirstbeta.com/2014/04/20/d-o-kingdom-comparison/). Though a generation apart, their styles, and their body types, were so similar that it was almost eerie. Turns out that Oliver said Kingdom had been his favorite hurdler growing up, and that he had studied his style closely in his fledgling hurdling years.

In Keni Harrison’s last two years of high school, when she first took up the hurdles as her athletic focus, I was her private hurdles coach. When it came to discussing professional hurdlers to model her style after, I brought up only one name: Sally Pearson. “If you really want to learn how to hurdle,” I told Keni, “watch Sally.” As Keni has moved on and moved up the ranks – first as a collegian, then as a professional, and now as the current world record holder – she has refined her style to the point where it can be said that she is the equal of Pearson when it comes to technical efficiency.

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Alternating Drills

April 16, 2017

In last week’s practice with my athlete Scout, we did a lot of drills. Her lower back was tightening up on her, so we decided not to risk injury. Instead of going full speed out of the blocks, we repped some drills to help with her 4-stepping, since she is still 4-stepping most of the 100m hurdle race. The alternating drills always also help with the 300m hurdles as well, since alternating in that race can be so important in maintaining rhythm and maintaining an optimal take-off distance from each hurdle.

We did three drills, all of which are represented in the video at the end of this post. The drills appear in the video in the following order:

1. 4-stepping at a moderate speed over 36” hurdles with the hurdles moved in three feet from the race marks.
2. 3-step high-knee marches over 30” hurdles with the hurdles 12 feet apart.
3. 4-stepping eight 30” hurdles with the hurdles moved in three feet from the race marks (this drills is designed more specifically for the 300h).

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On to Outdoors

March 30, 2017

With indoor nationals over, I’ve continued to work with Matt Garrett as we now prepare for the outdoor season. Because he is only an 8th grader, our focus now is on getting ready for the Junior Olympic meets that won’t begin until June, although there will be some developmental meets that will take place prior to then.

With more training time available, our aim will be to build the hurdle endurance required to run a full 100 meters over ten hurdles, as opposed to focusing on the first five hurdles like we did indoors. We’ll also have some time to work on refining his sprint mechanics a bit more. Fortunately, because he started training with me back in September, he has gotten in the full range of training that I like to implement in preparation for racing outdoors. We did lots of drilling in the fall, as well as workouts that emphasized a race rhythm with closely-spaced hurdles, allowing him to increase his endurance while working on technique at the same time. In the winter, we were able to get in plenty of quality work in the starting blocks, as the weather here was unseasonably warm.

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