Brooks Johnson's Hurdling Tips

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If you're looking to leapfrog other competitors for a college coach's attention, follow these insightful 110m hurdling tips—from start to finish—from legendary T&F coach Brooks Johnson, who has coached an Olympic athlete every year since 1968.

Do • Run barefoot on a soft surface for 30 days straight to strengthen your feet • Condition, obtain speed and build recovery strength by running timed reps of 300s and 400s • Develop your personal running style so hurdles barely interrupt your form • Lower the hurdles early in training to help you learn to maintain your horizontal velocity as you clear each hurdle • Raise the hurdles, when comfortable, past the 42-inch standard to practice clearing a higher barrier. When you lower the hurdles again, clearing them will be mentally and physically easier

Don't • Come off the blocks prematurely. You need to push back to get a forward reaction and use the track's energy • Be afraid of the hurdles. Foster an attack mentality • Lose rhythm and balance going into and coming off the hurdle • Rush through practice. You tear muscle tissue during intense workouts, so rest seven to 10 minutes between each hurdling set • Think too much. Clogging your mind with multiple technical concerns will diminish your ability to perform any of them well

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If you're looking to leapfrog other competitors for a college coach's attention, follow these insightful 110m hurdling tips—from start to finish—from legendary T&F coach Brooks Johnson, who has coached an Olympic athlete every year since 1968.

Do
• Run barefoot on a soft surface for 30 days straight to strengthen your feet
• Condition, obtain speed and build recovery strength by running timed reps of 300s and 400s
• Develop your personal running style so hurdles barely interrupt your form
• Lower the hurdles early in training to help you learn to maintain your horizontal velocity as you clear each hurdle
• Raise the hurdles, when comfortable, past the 42-inch standard to practice clearing a higher barrier. When you lower the hurdles again, clearing them will be mentally and physically easier

Don't
• Come off the blocks prematurely. You need to push back to get a forward reaction and use the track's energy
• Be afraid of the hurdles. Foster an attack mentality
• Lose rhythm and balance going into and coming off the hurdle
• Rush through practice. You tear muscle tissue during intense workouts, so rest seven to 10 minutes between each hurdling set
• Think too much. Clogging your mind with multiple technical concerns will diminish your ability to perform any of them well


Photo Credit: Getty Images // Thinkstock

Topics: TRACK & FIELD