Shelia Burrell, Two –Time Olympian
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Shelia Burrell, Two –Time Olympian Sprints, Hurdles, Jumps Coach Georgetown University Washington, DC [email protected] Hurdles. Cliff Rovelto – Head Coach Kansas State University Gary Winkler – Former Head Coach University of Illinois Tony Wells – Colorado Flyers Track Club

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Shelia Burrell, Two –Time Olympian

Sprints, Hurdles, Jumps Coach

Georgetown University

Washington, DC

[email protected]



Cliff Rovelto – Head Coach Kansas State University

Gary Winkler – Former Head Coach University of Illinois

Tony Wells – Colorado Flyers Track Club

Bob Kersee – Former Head Coach UCLA, Olympic Coach

Dennis Shaver – Head Coach Louisiana State University

Tudor Bompa – Periodization: Theory and Methodology of Training

Todd Henson – Former Coach Olympic Silver Medalist in Pole Vault, Toby Stevenson. Currently Director of Athletic Development in Germany

Vince Anderson – Assistant Coach Texas A & M University

Ralph Mann – The Mechanics of Sprinting and Hurdling


You must have a plan

  • A bad plan is better than no plan at all….. At least you are going in a direction.

    • “people perish for lack of vision”

  • With no plan you go no where….

    • “those who know whywill always be victorious over those who only know how”

  • Sound training principles and good intuition will make up for places of faulty planning.

    • “in all your getting get an understanding”

  • Know what works for you… Continually tweak and develop your own system that fits your coaching style.

    • “eat the fish and spit out the bones”


My philosophy

Those who know are going in a direction. WHY will always be victorious over those who only know HOW

Rhythm, Rhythm, Rhythm.

My Philosophy

Sprint training inventory

  • Acceleration 0 – 30m are going in a direction.

  • Maximum Velocity 30m – 60m

  • Speed Endurance 60m – 150m

  • Conditioning Aerobic, Muscular, Core, General Strength.

    • Specifically address role of specific “sprint muscles” Gluteals, Hamstrings' and gastroc/soleus complex

  • Strength Eccentric, Concentric, Static, Elastic and Dynamic

  • Sprint Mechanics Front Side Mechanics

  • Flexibility/Mobility Hip Mobility, Dynamic Flexibility

  • Psychological Intrinsic Motivation, Aggressiveness,

  • Sprint Training Inventory

    What are we working with 100 110h

    # of Strides to Hurdle #1 8 are going in a direction.

    # of Hurdle Clearance Strides 10

    # of Strides between hurdles 27

    # of Strides from H10 to Finish 6


    Distance to Hurdle #1 13m/13.72m

    Distance b/t Hurdles 8.5m/ 9.14

    Distance off H10 to finish 10.5m/14.02m

    What are we working with?100/110H

    Average stride pattern start line to hurdle 1

    Stride pattern to hurdle #1: (8 stride pattern is recommended)

    Measurement begins from the starting line in meters for the average pattern.

    Trail leg (power) should be in the front block setting.


    Start Line| .60 | 1.65 | 2.95 | 4.40 | 5.95 | 7.60 | 9.35 | 11.05 |T.O. |h1


    Start Line| .60 | 1.70 | 3.05 | 4.55 | 6.20 | 8.00 | 9.90 | 11.70 |T.O. |h1


    Hurdle mechanics

    Sprinting through the Hurdle recommended)

    Active foot plant at Take Off

    Leading with the knee

    Angle of attack (Depends on height of athlete)

    Shoulders forward - “Step Down”

    Trail arm action

    Flight Path of Center of Mass (determined @ TO)

    Front Side Mechanics (Action/Reaction)

    Low heel recovery between hurdle (Shuffling)

    Posture at Touch Down, run off trail leg

    Sprinting away from the Hurdle

    Hurdle Mechanics

    Train to run goal rhythm units ur

    Hurdle PR = 15.00 sec recommended)

    Time to H1 = 2.7 sec

    Time off H10 = 1.4 sec

    Time H1 – H10= 10.90

    Avg R U for 9 Hurdles = 1.21 se (10.90 / 9)

    Avg Velocity for R U’s = 7.03 m/s

    Velocity = distance divided by time

    76.6m / 10.90 = 7.03 m/s

    Set up Hurdle Drill at 7.03m

    Train to Run Goal Rhythm Units (UR)

    • Hurdle PR = 14.00 sec recommended)

    • Time to H1 = 2.7 sec

    • Run off to finish= 1.15 sec

    • Time H1 – H10 = 10.15

    • Avg. R U for 9 Hurdles = 1.13 sec

    • Avg. Velocity for RU’s = 7.54 m/s

      • Set drill w/ hurdles @ 7.54m

      • Goal is to run 1.00 seconds for RU

      • Increase each step by: 10 cm

    Goal setting

    Female (100H) recommended)

    Developing : 100m + 2.0

    Accomplished: 100m + 1.5

    Elite: 100m + 1.0

    Male (110H)

    Developing: 100m + 4.5

    Accomplished: 100m + 3.5

    Elite: 100m + 2.5-3.0

    Goal Setting

    Task specific hurdle drills

    • 6.5meter Drill : 3 step, Lead, Trail, Over Middle emphasize each individually

    • 8.2m up to 4th or 6th Hurdle

    • Reduce each Hurdle by 10cm (8.5m, 8.4m, 8..3m, 8.2m, 8.1m, 8.0m…etc)

    • Stagger the Height of hurdle (30”/33”)

    • Lower Hurdle @ 4th Hurdle where speed usually drops

    • One Step Drills, Propulsion Drill, 3 Step Drill, Trail Leg

    • 5 step to increase speed into next hurdle

      • H1-H2 @ 8.0 , H3 @ 11.8 , H4 @ 7.8m

    Task Specific Hurdle Drills

    Specific mobility
    Specific Mobility each individually

    Hurdle specific strength mobility drills

    • Straight Leg Tuck x 25 each individually

    • Trail Leg Bouncing 2x10

    • Sitting Upright while raising legs Up/Down x 25

    • Lead Leg Swings 2x20 (Standing b/t Hurdles)

    • Sitting Upright – Leg Circles x 25

    • Lead Leg Thrust (H Toppers) x 15 (Hurdles back to back)

    • Sitting Upright – Criss Cross Legs x 25

    • Over and Backs x 15

    • Seated Single Leg Raise x 20 ea.

    • Trail Leg Tuck x 20

    Hurdle Specific Strength & Mobility Drills

    Hurdle drills con t

    • Hurdle Position Raise x 10 each individually

    • Side Slides x 10 ea.

    • Trail Leg Step Over

    • Hurdle Leg Split x 10 (change directions)

    • Guided Trail Leg/ Resisted Trail/Regular Trail Leg

    • Lateral Lunge Split x 20

    • Hurdle Walk Overs 2x10 (hands over head)

    • Partner PNF/ In & Out x 20sec

    • SLB over Hurdle 2 x 60m (6.3=w 6.94=m)

    • Toe Touch (V-Up) and Hold x 10 sec( Single leg)

    • Hurdle Taps on Command (no hurdle)

    Hurdle Drills Con’t

    Specific strength
    Specific Strength each individually

    400 meter intermediate hurdles

    • Preparation (GP) each individually

    • Intensive Tempo (Lactacid Capacity)

      –Hills (Long and Short Hills)

      • 80% intensity runs (Intensive Tempo)

      • Sets of 4- -6 runs with recoveries of 3- 6’

      • Breakdowns: e.g. 1 x 500, 3 x 300, 3 x 150 or 500, 300, 200, 100

        • Constant recoveries, constant pace

        • Decreasing recoveries, constant pace

        • Constant recoveries, increasing intensity

          Density of application: 1- -2 times in 7 days

    400 Meter Intermediate Hurdles

    Hurdle endurance

  • Hurdle Work at 85-90% of Goal Pace

  • Do strength work over the flat

    • Can add last 3 hurdles in a given strength workout or finish the workout with runs over 100mh.

    • Repeat 400’s, Repeat 500’s, 2 x 8 x 200m (60-90” rest)

    • 3-4 600m’s (400m @ 50% effort last 200mh @ target pace)

    • 2 x (200m (45”) 200mh (45”) 200m)

  • Hurdle Endurance

    Speed endurance for 400h

    • Repeat Runs over 4H (95% goal pace) jog back each individually

    • 120m (30” rest) H6-H10 (full) x 3-4 (95%)

    • Starts over 5H – rest 30”-

    • Stand @ H4, Attack H5-H8 – rest 30”

    • Stand @ H7, Attack H8-H10

      • Run at target goal pace, allows you to work zones.

  • H5–H6-H7-H8 (25m run in and run out) x 3-6

    • Stop when RU goes below race pace.

  • Speed Endurance for 400h

    S p e e d development

    • Speed has TWO and ONLY two components each individually

      • Stride Length

      • Stride Frequency

        To improve speed, one or both of these components must increase.

        Find the athletes optimal stride length and stride frequency. Because of Anthropometric difference (height, leg length, body build) you have to decide which component will give you the most bang for your buck.

        It is possible to improve one at the expense of the other and still see significant improvement.

        All efforts of improve stride length and stride frequency must be taught within the parameter of sound technique.

        ***Never let training stray away from your pursuit of happiness, i.e. SPEED and more SPEED.

        You don’t run slow to run fast, your run fast to run faster!

    S P E E D Development


    • I agree with Vince Anderson that it is very important to teach all athletes how to run 100m even if they will never run the 100m.

    • In the 2004 Olympic Games, Pole Vault Silver Medalist Toby Stevenson spent the previous year improving his acceleration mechanics and max speed.

    • All acceleration activities in the sprints, hurdles and jumps are a variation of the 100m pattern.**

    • Acceleration mechanics and power development go together. The more powerfully an athlete can apply force to the track the better their acceleration will be.

      • Acceleration is POWERFUL not “quick”. As most developing athletes are learning how to accelerate they always say “but that feels slower.”

      • To accelerate optimally, the athlete must learn how to powerfully extend completely from the hips through the shoulders.

      • Make your athletes STRONGER and you will improve their ability to accelerate. Both specific strength and overall strength is necessary.



    • Posture and Rhythm – Always enforce good posture and teach a sense of rhythm.

    • Even as your athletes get stronger and more powerful their rhythm and body position during the acceleration phase never change.

      • For example as they start covering more ground in the first 0 – 5 steps the rhythm should remain the same.

      • An efficient high school athlete vs. Walter Dix, both of their rhythms can be the same but Dix covers more distance with each step therefore runs faster.


    One way to teach good acceleration mechanics

    • The only acceleration pattern chart that allows you to train at lower intensities and models progressive acceleration rhythms is Vince Anderson’s Chart for Progressive Acceleration.

      • Distances are competition specific ranging from a 13 second 100m rhythm to a 10.10 second rhythm.

      • Acceleration Rhythm for Long Jump (17’0” feet to 28’6” feet) and Pole Vault (16’6” feet to 19’6” feet) are also outlined.

      • Charts are Available during Clinic

    One way to teach good Acceleration Mechanics

    Acceleration at lower intensities and models progressive acceleration rhythms is Vince Anderson’s

    What to look for

    Full extension of knee, hip and shoulder (Hip Extension) at lower intensities and models progressive acceleration rhythms is Vince Anderson’s

    Front shin angle as it relates to body angle. You want to see a straight line from support leg to head.

    Recovering shin angle should be less than parallel to ground for first 3 steps

    Cue – “ push push push” “bomp bomp bomp”

    What to Look For


    Push-Push-Push at lower intensities and models progressive acceleration rhythms is Vince Anderson’s


    How to develop strength power for acceleration

    • Specifics- Acceleration is determined by the strength qualities of the prime movers and the angle of the body in relation to the track.

    • To develop explosive muscular strength, the most important quality to possess is high levels of maximal strength. There is no conflict between the possession of maximal strength and the application of dynamic strength. A higher level of max strength allows an athlete to readily obtain dynamic strength.

      • 1. Short Hills (10m-40m)

      • 2. Sled Pulls or Drags

      • 3. Weight Training - Develop max strength in the prime movers.

      • 4. Standing Long Jumps

      • 5. Sprints (10-60m)

      • 6. Box Jumps

      • 7. Speed Squats

      • 8. Limited Depth Jumps (Timing important)

    How to develop Strength & Power for Acceleration

    Max speed

    In maximum speed sprinting the following muscles are responsible for hip extension: the gluteal muscles, the adductor muscles, the hamstrings.

    Max Speed Mechanics


    Heel up

    Thigh up

    Hips Tall

    Step over the opposite knee

    Max Speed

    Max speed drills

    • Ankling “Toe Up” responsible for hip extension:

    • Heel Raise “Heel Up”

    • Quick Leg “Thigh Up”

      • Single

      • Alternating

      • Double

      • Continuous

    • Shorter Than Drill “Hips up” – Frequency

    • Longer Than Drill “Full extension”- Length

    • Straight Leg Bounds “Force Production”

    • Speed Bounds “Recovery Speed”

    Max Speed Drills

    Support phase

    • Muscles responsible for stabilizing the body. The quadriceps and gastrocnemius are responsible for arresting the body during the stance phase of the max speed.

    • A goal is to decrease ground contact time during this phase. Athlete must contact the ground with the foot in front of their center of mass. “Underneath you”

    • Athletes who can produce equal relative “negative” foot speed in relation to how fast they are running, decrease the braking forces at contact.

    Support Phase

    Recovery phase

    • The recovery is dominated by hip flex action of the free leg. The hip flexion at maximal sprint technique is controlled by the rectus abdominal, iliopsoas, and rectus femoris. The major muscles involved in max speed.

    • Of all the performance variables upper leg rotational speed is the most critical in sprint performance. Frequency! This speed is critical in recovering the leg after takeoff and producing the beneficial “high knee” position. (Ralph Mann)

    Recovery Phase

    Take off

    • The prime movers of the Take -off in max speed technique are the erector spinae, hamstrings and gastrocnemius.

    • Full extension at take off to get the most out of the ground has been shown NOT to increase performance times. The small increase in force is not worth the decrease in stride frequency.

    • The key to high knee recovery is to limit the leg extension action after take off. (Ralph Mann)

    • Analogy of riding a skate board. Tap Tap Tap

    Take Off

    Full extension flight phase

    • The key to high level sprint performance is emphasizing “FRONT SIDE” Mechanics and minimizing “Back Side” Mechanics.

    • Muscles responsible during full extension of max speed: Gluteus Maximus, Rectus Abdominis, Hamstrings, Internal & External Oblique.

    • Maximize force production at the ankle, knee, and hip.

    • John Smith describes this phase as “Jumping down the track”. Force production at contact determines stride length.

    Full Extension/Flight Phase

    Women s 60 meter
    Women’s 60 meter “FRONT SIDE” Mechanics and minimizing “Back Side” Mechanics.

    Women s 60 meter1
    Women’s 60 meter “FRONT SIDE” Mechanics and minimizing “Back Side” Mechanics.

    Tasks to develop max speed

    • Flying 30m’s (5min rest) “FRONT SIDE” Mechanics and minimizing “Back Side” Mechanics.

      • Run in is based on ability of athlete to achieve maximum speed usually 15-35m

      • Teach athlete to sprint RELAXED. Focus on feeling what their body is doing.

    • Flying 60m’s

      • “Six second rule” – after six seconds its impossible to run any faster in a 100m.

    • Downhill running (2-5% grade)

    • Over Speed Training

    • Shorter Than drill

    • Longer Than Drill

    • Flying 30s w/ weight vest

    • Sprint-Float-Sprint or Float-Sprint-Float

    • Power technique – Activator Belt

    • Sprint Drills

    Tasks to Develop Max Speed

    Speed endurance 200m 400m

    Speed endurance is an athletes ability to maintain high levels of speed for long periods of time.

    • One approach is to develop Maximum Speed over short distances and stretch it out over longer distances while maintaining high level of speed.

    • **The higher the maximum speed your athlete can attain, the faster they will be able to run when performing at sub-maximal efforts.**

    • Max speed can be held for about 10m-40m. (90-100% effort)

    • Speed Endurance is trained in the 60m-150m zone (90-100% effort)

    • Special Endurance (Long Speed Endurance) is trained in the 150m-300m zone. (80-100% effort)

    • Special Endurance (Lactic Acid Tolerance) is trained in the 300m-600m zone. (80-100%)

    • KEEP THE INTENSITY OF WORK BETWEEN SUB-MAXIMUM AND MAXIMUM. Allow the athlete to run as far as their technique will allow.

    Speed Endurance(200m-400m)

    Maximum volume ranges

    Speed levels of speed for long periods of time.

    100m 500m max

    200m/100mh 800m max

    400m 900m max

    Speed Endurance

    100m/200m/100h 800m max

    400m/400ih 1200m max

    Maximum Volume Ranges

    Most bang for your time

    MEAN IMPROVEMENTS IN RACING TIMES levels of speed for long periods of time.


    Long & Steady .10 2.60 6.30

    FartLek .15 2.05 7.65

    Long Sprint .20 3.90 8.40

    Interval Sprints .20 3.40 7.80

    Interval Series .20 2.95 8.00

    Endurance Intervals .10 1.95 7.50

    Pace Intervals .30 3.60 11.05

    Uphill Intervals .30 3.85 12.85

    Combinations .25 3.30 9.35

    Most Bang for your Time ($$)

    100m race model
    100m Race Model levels of speed for long periods of time.

    100 race model
    100 Race Model levels of speed for long periods of time.

    200m race model

    0 – 60m Accelerate “Get out” take advantage of 6-7 secs of FREE ATP

    60-90m Transition “Relax/Maintain” but don’t slow down. Take a breath

    90 – 150m Accelerate “Surge” off the turn. Open up increase stride length, cover ground, relax upper body, take a breath

    150-200m Short and quick, increase frequency, drive elbows back, stay forward.

    200m Race Model

    Task specific drills

    • Specific Drills secs of FREE ATP

      • Straight Leg Bounds to dynamically strengthen gluteus and upper hamstrings as it relates to actual sprint cycle -

      • Speed Bounds to develop Hip/Flexor and Hip Extensor Strength and teaches correct cycling – Dynamic Strength

      • Shorter Than Drill to develop stride frequency and front side mechanics

      • Longer Than Drill to develop stride length and teach how to push from track to get stride length WITHOUT overextension

      • Lunges (LOTS OF LUNGES) contributes to Acceleration, flexibility, stride length, strength/muscular endurance, hip mobility/flexibility – Static Strength

      • Long Hills/Stairs Workouts help in developing strength endurance and/or power development, ground contact time - Dynamic Strength

      • Strength Circuits use in general preparation as part of general conditioning. Be sure to include exercises that condition specific muscles involved in sprinting.

    Task Specific Drills

    Task specific drills1

    • Ins and Outs, Sprint/Float/ Sprint secs of FREE ATP teaches breathing techniques and how to run relaxed while focusing on mechanics

    • Short Hills/Sled Pulls/ Bullet Belt helps teach and develop acceleration mechanics, hip flexor and extensor strength

    • Hurdle Hops/Straight Leg Hurdle Hops, Single leg hurdle hops develop hip flexor and extensor strength, ground contact,

    • Sand Routines (barefoot) excellent for developing foot strength, lower leg endurance, elasticity and stability, power, acceleration, muscular endurance

    • Multiple Throws (A MUST) helps with power development and serves as a low level plyometric exercise. Teaches motor firing patterns,

    • Multiple Jumps : ex) Skip for height, skip for distance, double leg hops fwd and bkwd, single hops, LLRR, Lunge exchange. Explosive Strength, Acceleration

    • Balance Stability/ Core/ Physioball – If not incorporating core in your training programs start now! Contributes to athletes ability to hold positions and correct posture. Good core strength clears pathway for force application. Corrects imbalances and some biomechanical weaknesses.

    Task Specific Drills