PVC Hurdles

Hurdle access is one of my biggest headaches. Using the good ole yellow and black hurdles in Moro is out of the question (Moro strictly enforces the “no coach, no hurdles” policy. And since I’m coach-less self-coached...) I can train in Ultra twice or thrice a week. But then again, the trip itself is physically-taxing.

Months ago, I thought about buying my own set of IAAF regulation hurdles, however, the sheer cost is just too much. I have no other choice but to improvise!

I browsed through various hurdle designs in the web. I went to the hardware store yesterday to buy the necessary parts (PVC pipes, PVC “elbows” and safety cones). In lieu of the latter, I bought cheap plastic pots instead. It turned out that that cones are a rare commodity in SM North Edsa.

I coughed out a thousand bucks worth of equipment, not bad considering one regulation hurdle costs about Php 5,000 to Php 7,000 – way out of my budget.

This afternoon, I spent a good 1 1/2 hour cutting through PVC pipes with a blunt saw. Since I’m not much of a craftsman, the task of measuring the various parts took quite some time – and much trial and error. Soon enough, the product of my hard work took form:

The flimsy, PVC hurdles are fixed at 3rd hole height (0.914m, 400m low hurdle height) since I usually do my hurdle walkovers and one-step drills at that height. I’m still experimenting with the optimum length of the hurdle legs. The hurdle pictured below sports shorter legs to better facilitate plyometric workouts such as hurdle hops(these are, in a sense, collapsible power hurdles!):

The pipes I bought are good for 4 hurdles (without the bases). I’ll probably make 3 more hurdles just to complete one set.

It turned out that the plastic pots are useless as hurdle bases. I shouldn’t have bought those, but then again, I can always use the pots in lieu of cones for plyo workouts.

With these improvised hurdles, I can save up on precious petrol by doing my hurdle drills at home, at the Ateneo HS oval (if for some reason I cannot use the college team’s hurdles) or at any of the unused Ateneo football fields.

The rest of my equipment wish-list (in order of importance):

1.) Starting Blocks

2.) Sled and weight plates (for event-specific resistance training)

3.) Plyo boxes

4.) Weight vest

5.) Elastic bands

Article by Joboy Quintos

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