February 22, 2017
Hurdle Drilling and Block Starts
All hurdle coaches have their “go to” drills that they like to use most frequently with their athletes. My personal preferences have evolved over the years, but one that has been a mainstay since I started using it about twenty years ago is the quick-step drill, which involves setting up anywhere from 4-10 hurdles spaced 18-21 feet apart (females) or 21-24 feet apart (males). The athlete approaches the first hurdle from a standing start, usually with a six-step run-up to the hurdle, speeding up the last three strides. Then he or she continues to maintain the quick tempo between the rest of the hurdles. I love this drill because it can serve so many purposes, depending on how many reps I want the athlete to do, and how much recovery time I want him or her to have between reps and sets. The drill, when done as a workout, can help to address technical flaws, can also serve to ingrain the race rhythm into the athlete’s muscle memory, and can also serve as a very good hurdle-endurance workout. Not to mention, it also strengthens the muscles the athlete uses to clear the hurdles.