While it's true that any athlete can train for hurdles, it's also true that everyone who can jump hurdles cannot become a specialist in this field. Intense practice under the supervision of an experienced instructor is necessary to master this event.
Without the development of the following three factors, it will be very difficult to follow a training program effectively.
- Agility and Flexibility: This is the primary requirement of any hurdler. If they are agile and flexible enough, they will find it easier to maintain good rhythm in the event, and will also be able to carry out the jumps with ease.
- Speed: Maintaining a fast sprinting technique is vitally important for a hurdler. Thus, every hurdler undergoes rigorous speed training.
- Body Size: Being heavier can hinder one's hurdling ability, but being taller will enable one to clear the hurdles with ease. A right balance must be found between the body weight and the height of an athlete.
Chalking out some drills with the help of a trainer can help the athlete focus on certain aspects of his technique. The idea is to develop a fluid running style, and to combine it with the proper jumping technique that enables the athlete to improve his timing.
Here are some important things that an athlete needs to keep in mind.
- Develop the lead leg and its shape. One should mark the take off and landing points to achieve perfection.
- Develop the trail leg, and ensure that the knee is bent adequately enough to clear the hurdle. Over-bending of the knee will result in loss of balance upon landing.
- Develop the leading arm, and ensure that it is in the same line as the lead leg.
- Develop the return of the lead arm to ensure that balance is not lost upon landing.
The clearance of the hurdle also requires a considerably high jump, and this is something that needs to be worked on in the drills. It is vitally important to get the right coordination between the sprint speed, and the ability to clear the hurdle in one clean jump. The amount of time that the athlete spends between the hurdles also needs to be minimized as far as possible, and this can be achieved by increasing the sprint speed.
Training for hurdles therefore involves a lot of aspects and each one of them needs special attention. Neglecting any one of these attributes can result in being unable to clock good times in the event.