By: Tonie Campbell, Olympian
Invented by Mr. Wilbur
Ross, this drill is widely recognized as the single most important
workout for the elite athlete during the competitive season.
1.) To condition the hurdler to hurdling timing and technique
at hyper speeds during a workout routine.
2.) To condition the athlete to crave speed in the later half
of a race.
3.) Elimination of fear at top speeds.
Place ten hurdles
at their normal distances and heights. Remove hurdles four, five
and six (blank space effectively becomes the "Zone"). Athlete comes
out of the blocks obtaining full speed over the first three hurdles.
Upon reaching the zone, athlete must accelerate to hyper speeds
on the flat. As they approach hurdle seven, the athlete must make
a choice to attack the hurdle or to bail out. The athlete who chooses
to attack the hurdle must then maintain the hyper speed while securing
a three-step running pattern over the remainder of hurdles.
The speed in which they
take the last four hurdles is effectively what the drill is designed
to improve and test. The athlete must be maintained his technique
over the hurdles once exiting the zone at this new and unfamiliar
speed. However, due to the increased speed in which they have assumed
this task it is very difficult to obtain. The key is to take the
hurdles blindly (blind faith) and stay relaxed reacting quickly
and aggressively instead of defensively.
Each run should be timed.
Once an athlete is able to do this drill at 100% effort, accurate
race times within .28 seconds (if hand timed, add .28 sec.) can
be predicted within a two-day window period.
Do this drill during the spring season when weather conditions are
favorable. Zone drills should be done within two days of competition
due to the emotional benefit and psychological boost the athlete
gets from this drill as well as the reaction time decay of most
athletes per a given week.
Mr. Jean Poquette, developing
coach of former world record holder Renaldo Nehemiah, invented this
1.) The purpose of the drill is to give the athlete speed plus
2.) Creates concentration, stamina and discipline over the barriers.
Set the first five hurdles at normal spacing and normal height.
Set a second row of five hurdles returning (a lane apart facing
the opposite direction) with a pair of blocks at the beginning of
this row (must be measured for correct distance).
The athlete begins with
a standing/running start for the first of the five hurdles accelerating
to 100%. At the conclusion of the first five, the athlete is given
a maximum :15 seconds rest (time enough to get in the blocks) and
takes the second set of five hurdles. The drill is to be done at
85-90% effort. Pace and relaxation for efficiency is stressed in
This workout is good to do when the athlete is in transition from
their fall training to beginning season and can be used sparingly
as a conditioning workout during the season.
A timed recovery is best
for these drills (approximately 4-6 minutes) a total of five runs
over the entire drill would be considered an excellent work-out.
steps with speed
This drill was created
by Mr. John Isaac of Great Britain and used to train hurdlers like
Tony Jarrett and myself.
1.) To increase leg speed between hurdles. Reaffirming the philosophy
of "hurdler as sprinter".
2.) To allow the athlete to isolate a particular regions of his
3.) To eliminate fear of the hurdles at hyper speeds.
The first five hurdles. The spacing is reduced (at coach's discretion)
normally 12" or 1 foot. The hurdles are lowered 3" inches. The athlete
takes the hurdle with only one side of his body (i.e. the trail
leg or the lead leg) while accelerating to hyper speeds or greater
The philosophy is to
reacquaint the hurdler with the importance of the sprint in between
the hurdles and proper acceleration into and off each hurdle. By
lowering the hurdles, we have eliminated the athlete's concern for
hurdle clearance. By moving the hurdles in closer, we have eliminated
the athlete's concern of distance, giving the hurdler amble confidence
in his abilities and allowing him/her to concentrate on speed.
Have the athlete do these workouts during competition season in
place of "Zone drills" if the athlete has particular difficulty
with the zone drills. However, this drill should not completely
replace the zone drill or vice versa. Use this drill as a complement
to the zone drills or perhaps a reward for a tough week. This drill
should be done within two days of competition.
The athlete should do
a minimum of five passes down each side then five over the top for
a complete workout in order to yield maximum benefits from the drill.
would include; when your athlete has mastered this workout but his
technique still could desire more, the coach may raise the height
of the barriers or increase the distance of the barriers.
By increasing the height,
the athlete will develop stronger and more flexible technical abilities
along with greater speeds. By increasing the barrier length the
athlete will develop greater ground speed overall.
This drill was given
to me by 1992 Olympic gold medallist Mark McKoy of Canada.
1.) This drill is great to use when warm-up facilities are limited
and your athlete needs several passes over hurdles to warm-up.
2.) Also this is a great drill to do when an athlete is "Flat"
(tired, non-aggressive, tight, sluggish) this stimulates tempo
and mental alertness.
3.) Gives the athlete a greater number of hurdle passes without
a large volume of distance.
Set hurdles at normal distance and normal height followed by simply
inserting a hurdle between each effectively having placed a hurdle
at every five yards.
The athlete is to condense
his steps to fit a three-step rhythm. The faster the tempo, the
harder and ultimately more beneficial.
Can be used as a warm-up for race, setting hurdles up on a "as needed"
In a workout, an athlete
can set up as many as 19 hurdles making up to 20 passes during the
fall training season and decreasing the load as the competitive
season approaches and the athlete's conditioning increases.