Running hurdles is a type of race that requires an athlete to run at high speed and jump over the hurdles to clear them in the shortest time possible. Running hurdles comprises various hurdle field and track events, making it a high standard form of obstacle racing. In a hurdle field, obstacles known as hurdles are set at an accurately measured and standardized distance and height.
Each athlete in the hurdle race must aim to clear them by running and jumping over. The winner is the one who finishes running hurdles in the hurdle track in the shortest time. Runners in a hurdle field should adopt a fast speed as soon as they start running. Also, each hurdler jump sportsperson should keep running in their specific given lanes throughout the race.
During the Olympics, the hurdler's cause of disqualification is usually by avoiding jumping the hurdles by going under them or knocking them down intentionally. An accidental knockdown of the hurdle does not call for a disqualification. However, in the past, knocking it down could be disadvantageous because the hurdles had a significant amount of weight.
In modern athletics, the use of L- shaped hurdle has brought relief to hurdlers. As opposed to the earlier T-shaped hurdle, the L–shaped hurdles are less weighty and tip-down when upset during jumping, clearing the athlete's path in the hurdle field.
Hurdle events occur in distances of 400m for men and women, 100m for women, and 110m for men in the hurdle track. The 110m and 100m hurdler jump for men and women respectively happen on a straight of a hurdle track, while the 400m race takes a full lap around a standard oval hurdle track.
The 120m hurdles for men and 100m hurdler jump for women are a standard sprint or short hurdle. Before reaching the first hurdle, a hurdler jump athlete will take a standard of 8 strides. The 400m for both genders is known as the standard long hurdle race. All of these races are events that take place in the Olympics. Other distances take place indoors but mostly outdoors.
They include 60m for both men and women, and sometimes it may be shorter to cover 50m or 55m. It takes five hurdles. The extended outdoor hurdle race is sometimes made quickly to cover 300m and covers eight hurdles. It is run by younger hurdlers such as high school runners. The distance between the hurdles is in such a way that it resembles the standard 400m race, which would include ten hurdles. There are races of 200m with over five hurdles ran by younger divisions and middle school.
Most standard hurdles take place in 5 different hurdle heights.
The first and highest is known as "college high" or "open high." It is 42 inches that is 106.7cm and used in sprint races for men hurdles of 60m and 110m.
The second highest is "high school high." Younger boys and veteran men under 50 use it. It is usually 39 inches, which is 99.1cm.
The "intermediate," which is the middle position, has 36inches that is 92.44cm. Long hurdle races (400m), some youths, and age divisions of veterans use it.
The next is a lower position of 33inches (83.8cm), known as "women high."
Women's long hurdles, veteran races, and many youths use the last and lowest rank. It is usually 30inches (76.2cm). It is known as the" low hurdle." T
here are other youths and veteran races that demand 27inches (68.6cm). However, they are rare and considered to be in the 6th position. Sprint hurdles for men and women have different hurdle distances irrespective of their length.
The first hurdle occurs at a distance of 45ft (13.72m) from the starting line for men. For women, the first hurdle from the starting line occurs at a distance of 13m(42ft14in).In men and women long hurdle races, the first hurdle from the starting line is 45m(147ft 8in). Between the hurdles, there is a distance of 35m(114ft 10in).
What it Takes to Compete in Hurdle Races at the Olympics
A lead athlete requires being fast in running hurdles to beat world records. A great hurdler needs to be able to jump hurdles with less disruption of the running velocity. Running hurdles requires speed, especially for short hurdle races.
Men and women athletes complete the same set of strides in the hurdle track. Therefore, hurdlers making long strides find it easy while running in the hurdle track and field. Technical efficiency and power provision are similar to all other competitors. To maintain high-speed endurance, hurdle jump athletes require having an ideal body type.
The ideal body type affects recovery time and increases speed maintenance. The hurdler jump athlete must undergo some training to qualify to compete at the international level. During the training session, the athletes should make runs of between 95-100% intensity. The runs should cover a distance of thirty to sixty meters in 6 seconds and a recovery time of five to six minutes.
The distance covered while training should increase beyond sixty meters to 600metres and covered in seven to forty seconds with a recovery time of 12 minutes to improve speed endurance.
Suppleness, Strength, and Warm-up
There are different body somatotypes(https://www.teachpe.com/training-fitness/somatotypes). Different body somatotypes will require various training and nutrition programs to maintain a high strength level to compete in the Olympics hurdle field. The type of exercise chosen should emphasize maintaining functional strength. Athletes need a short series of running repetitions with medium weights.
As the training intensifies, heavier weights are added to increase the power required during acceleration. Hurdle jumping athletes should ensure that they frequently train to qualify for the Olympics competition and beat the world records. Warm-up sessions are also of high importance. They should be dynamic and continuous.
These exercises make hurdle runners the best fit for high-level competition. Warm-up exercises help increase sprinting ability, flexibility, strength, and balance. It also improves the physical condition of the body to prevent injury and improve performance. Warm-up sessions help in speed improvement and ensuring that the athlete is supple.
Supple exercises include shoulder rolls, side bends, chest exercises, palm squeezes, and lower back exercises. Do the exercises for two to three reps each. Ensure to get a qualified physical trainer to avoid injury when jumping. These physical body exercises ensure that athletes maintain an ideal body type and reduce body weight for an effortless hurdler jump.