Hurdle Training

John Raffensperger
Iowa City School, Iowa City, Iowa
56 Individual/Relay Champions

300m/400m Hurdle Training

CONDITION Hurdle drills- Can set them up to alternate lead legs.

12 hurdles   11-12 meters 4-5 steps between

FIRST CORNER-  A big key to the race is being relaxed in the 1st turn so spend a lot of time working over the first three hurdles.

1-8 AT RACE PACE – Should be a quality workout.  x4 early season, x 2 late season.

1-8 THEN FINISH – Same as 1-8 but finish race w/o hurdles.

1 -5 AT RACE PACE –  Speed and relaxation are the  key.

HALF AND HALF – 1st 200 w/o hurdles, last 200 with hurdles.

ALTERNATING DRILL – Set 5 or more hurdles at  7 meters and 2 steps between hurdles.  Hurdler must be able to alternate- drill needs to be done some on curve occasionally.

12yd ALTERNATING DRILL – Set 3-4 hurdles on turn and alternate lead legs

BERGAN DRILL – Set from 4-6 hurdles on either side of lane line on turn at 7 meters,  hurdler goes over trail leg first hurdle edge  opposite trail leg over the 2nd hurdle, etc. 3-4 reps with trail and 3-4 reps with lead.

RHYTHM DRILL –  To develop  15 stride rhythm.  Set 4 low hurdles at 17.7m  and go 7 strides.

STRIDE AND HURDLE DRILL – Start at 100 meter start, stride and accelerate into 1st turn and run 3 hurdles on back stretch. ( Repeat 4 times)

STEP DOWN (GOOD MONDAY WORKOUT) –  1 x 350-300-250-200 running over hurdles. Run tough, don’t worry about time.

OVERDISTANCE WORKOUT –Run 400 in :60 ( early season) :55 (late) and blast 100m with hurdles. Start at 100 m start line.

1-2-3- DRILL – Hurdler goes over 1 hurdle, jogs back and runs  over 2 and jogs back and does 3.  Work on straight and also some on curve.

CURVE TECHNIQUE –  Set 8-10 hurdles  9 meters apart around curve and attack with 3 strides- 4 step alternating.

RAFF/WOODY WORKOUT – 3 hurdles on backstretch  with 20 m start and finish in Lane 7.  Rest 45 sec. – run 5 hurdles  at 20 m spacing back toward start in Lane 8 (20 m to start and 10 steps between)    Rest 3 min and repeat.          3 times = 1 set.  Do 3 sets –  rest 4-5 min between sets.

EARLY SEASON – 4 x 400 with only hurdles 8, 9, 10

3x 400- 1) 200m flat, last 200m over hurdles.   2) 200 meters hurdles , last 200 meters flat  3)200m flat, last 200 meters over hurdles.

EARLY SEASON (NO HURDLES) – 4 x 600 @ 1:40 (approx)   4-8 min. rest.

EARLY SEASON – 10 x hurdles #1 &  3 from blocks  (or)  5  x  hurdles #1,4.5  (or) 7 x hurdles #7 & 10


MONDAY – (Speed day). Usually no hurdles.  3 x 300m with a full rest at close to top speed. (or) 100m/200m/300m/400m ladder. Top speed and full rest.

TUESDAY – (Hard hurdle day) – 5 x 200m over hurdles at race pace. (or) 5 hurdles and rest, 4 hurdles and rest, 3 hurdles rest, then 2 hurdles.  One repetition

WEDNESDAY – (Combo day)  2 x 200 flat at top speed then 2 x 5 hurdles.  Good rest. (or) 6 x 100 then 4 x 3 hurdles.  THURSDAY   Good warm up (pre race) Some short bursts of speed.  (30-40m)

SKIP HURDLE DRILL- 4 x hurdles #1 & 2, skip #3 & 4, hurdle #5 & 6, skip # 7 & 8, an hurdle #9 & 10, and on to finish   (Makes hurdler run while tired)

ALTERNATING DRILL – 2 x 8 and remove hurdles #1 & 2   Follow with 2 x 4 normal  Go from normal starting line.

CONDITIONER  –  4 x 400 with only hurdles # 8, 9, 10  (also helps alternating)

HELP DETERMINE  PR  TIME –  2x300m with  hurdles, sprint remaining dist. and TIME.  15 min between sets.  This should be what they are capable of running at State.

LATE SEASON – 1 x 9 and sprint to finish.  Rest 15 min and  1 x 7 and sprint to the finish..  Time these to get an idea what they are capable of.

600 HURDLES – (Good Monday  over-distance)   Run 200m w/ hurdles, next 200m w/o hurdles and final 200m w/ hurdles for total of 600m  rest 10 and repeat.

Sample 300m/400m Hurdle Work-Outs

  1. Starts over 3 hurdles, starts over 4 hurdles, starts over 5 hurdles, starts over 4 hurdles, starts over 3 hurdles.   3 to 4 minutes rest between each start.
  2. 5 sets x starts over 5 hurdles.   3 to 4 minutes rest between sets.
  3. 170 m sprints over the last 4 hurdles x 5 sets.  Start from mark at hurdle number 6.   Build up to race pace going into hurdle number 7.   Try to get into your stride pattern going into number 8, 9 and 10.
  4. 4 sets x starts over first 5 hurdles, rest 1 minutes, run 100 without hurdles.   Take 5 to 7 minutes rest between sets.
  5. Starts over 3 hurdles, starts over 5 hurdles, starts over 7 hurdles, starts over 4 hurdles.   Take 5 to 8 minutes rest between each start.
  6. 2 x starts over first 4 hurdles, rest 1 minute, finish over the last 6 hurdles.   Take full recovery (10-15 min) between sets.   If you can only do one, then maybe the second set you can do the start over the first 4 hurdles, rest 1 minute and then run over hurdles 5, 6, 7, and 8.
  7. 6 x 100 m. sprints.   4 x 60 m. sprints.   Take 3 minutes rest between each repetition.   No Hurdles.
  8. Do the long sprinters workouts most of the time, with 2 good workouts a week over hurdles.   Be creative with your own workouts and incorporate the hurdles into a long sprint workout.   Long sprint means 400 and sometimes 200 meters.

hurdle training

400 hurdle workouts need to focus on a fast rhythm.   It’s easy to get caught up in just your stride pattern and staying in a comfortable rhythm.  Your athletes need to learn to break through that comfort zone and be a sprinter.   Try to work on counting to each hurdle.   This will make your athlete more effective with their stride pattern because they will know which leg is going to come up.   Also, work on alternate leg drills everyday.   The better your athletes are with their alternate leg, the faster they will be because they can switch when they are fatigue instead of stutter stepping and taking extra steps to stay with the same leg.  I usually do a 400 hurdle specific workout approximately 2 times a week.

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