Letter from the Editor, August 2017

Hello readers, and welcome to the August 2017 edition of The Hurdle Magazine. While I was planning to provide some coverage and insight on this month’s World Championships in this issue, I’ve decided to hold off on that until next month, as giving a thorough review of all the hurdling events would be nearly impossible while still meeting the deadline for publication. Meanwhile, this issue is filled with plenty of useful articles for the hurdler and the hurdle coach alike. All but one of the article are written by yours truly.

The article not written by me is written by my fitness expert, freelance writer Melinda Burris Willms. Her article in this month’s issue is entitled “Cross-Training: How to Stay in Shape in the Off-Season.” The title says what this article is all about, as Willms explores some of the cross-training options available to hurdlers this time of year, the benefits of cross-training, and the views of some experts on the subject.

Three of the articles I wrote for this month’s issue were inspired by athletes that I’ve been coaching over the past year and into the summer. In “Seven Stepping to Hurdle One: The Debate Continues,” I discuss this ongoing hot topic from the perspective of having made the decision to have one of my high school girls switch to a seven-step approach. It’s one of those decisions that I don’t make rashly. As I explain in the article, if an athlete of mine is feeling too crowded with the traditional eight-step approach, then I will at least experiment with seven-stepping. And the off-season is the time for experimenting.

“Alex and Matt” is an article I wrote about the hurdling journeys of two of my youth hurdlers – Alex Nunley and Matt Garrett. While I lived in Raleigh, NC, Alex was one of my regular hurdlers. Since moving three hours down the road, I work with him on occasion, and Matt Garrett has become one of my regulars. Alex and Matt finished 1-2 in the 100m hurdles in the 13-14 year old age group at USATF Junior Olympic Nationals a couple weeks ago, and it was one of my proudest moments as a coach. In the article, I discuss my relationship with both of them, and the development I saw in them this year.

“Madi from Ohio” is an article about a high school girl named Madi Campbell whose parents have driven her down to North Carolina on several occasions over the past year. Similar to the “Alex and Matt” article, I talk about our relationship and her progression. It’s not always the ones who make it to nationals who make you proud. Madi’s personal best is in the low 16’s, but I am as proud of her as I am of Alex and Matt, and she has been just as much fun to coach.

This month’s workout, “300 Meter Repeats,” is an off-season, base-building workout for hurdlers and sprinters alike. The key to establishing a base lies in hitting target times consistently within the set rest periods.

For this month’s great race, we take a look back at what is arguably the most thrilling 110m hurdle race in history – Liu Xiang’s world record race in Lausanne in July of 2006. Oh what a race! Both Liu and America’s Dominique Arnold broke the previous world record, and Arnold broke the American record despite finishing second. Included in that race was a who’s who of hurdling greats, with such legends as Aries Merritt, Dayron Robles, Ladji Doucoure, and Terrence Trammell all battling it out. That was definitely a golden era of the men’s 110’s, and that race was a landmark event of that era.

Enjoy the articles, enjoy the off-season, maybe take a few weeks off before getting back on the grind. As always, thank you for your support.

Steve McGill

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