Hurdle Walkover Variations (13 July 2011)

Coach Geof Chua of DLSU gave interesting inputs during my Wednesday night session. We’ve bumped into each other the past few months, since he’s training a couple of recreational runners. Whilst doing hurdle walkovers, he politely asked “Can I make a suggestion?”

“Of course!” I replied. In light of my Han Solo training routine, I appreciate such kind gestures.

The national team coach suggested that I focus on leading with knee. It was thought-provoking to say the least. I’ve always thought that I’ve (almost) mastered the leading-with-the-knee aspect of hurdling. Then it hit me, I’ve been having problems with my lead leg clearance the past few years. Instead of my thigh skimming over the barriers, it has a tendency to go over the hurdle bent in an ugly angle. Perhaps, something was wrong with the way I’m clearing.

Besides

I’ve always put much emphasis on hurdle drills. To be able to efficiently clear the 1.067m-high barriers in full speed, one has to ingrain the hurdling motion by practicing over lower barriers – and at a pedestrian pace. The main reason for my dramatic improvement in the 2005-2006 was the hours I spent drilling over the barriers.

During hurdle walkovers, I put emphasis on the kicking action of the lead leg. I figured that such a movement mimics the actual lead leg action over the senior hurdles. Perhaps I’ve poured too much attention into this kicking action that I’ve neglected the most fundamental tenet of hurdling – leading with the knee.

In the coming months, I’ll be doing a slight variation. I won’t do the kicking action during the first half of a hurdle walkover session (it’s a lot easier on the hams. I don’t see my body complaining!). After which, I’ll switch to the more dynamic version, just to get the feel of the intensity.

It still sucks thinking about how crappy I clocked at the PNG. I am dead set on running fifteen and fourteen seconds again. To get a good shot at redemption, I need to spend time on the track doing these fundamental exercises.

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