Developing a Race Rhythm in the Long Hurdles

At the high school level, or in coaching any hurdler who is new to the long hurdles, or who has never put any emphasis on developing a consistent stride pattern even if he or she has been hurdling for a long time, rhythm work becomes an essential aspect of training.

A high school junior that I’ve been working with this year named Scout told me that she ran 49.8 last year without any clue as to how many strides she was taking between the hurdles. She has the ability to alternate lead legs, which does make things easier, but doesn’t solve all stride-pattern issues. The main thing we have been working on since the end of the indoor season is establishing a stride pattern for the first half of the race, over the first four hurdles.

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