Track/Equipment: How to Wind-Proof Your Practice Hurdles
Practice Hurdles Weighted by Ziploc bags Filled With Sand, Versus Unweighted Hurdles (see arrow for the latter).
Practice Hurdles Weighted by Ziploc bags Filled With Sand, Versus Unweighted Hurdles (see arrow for the latter).

Track/Equipment: How to Wind-Proof Your Practice Hurdles

Dick Moss, Editor, PE Update.com

Practice hurdles are great to work with. You can buy models that can be adjusted, so you can work at lower-than official heights which is great for doing speed and rhythm training and also for working with beginners.

Practice hurdles are light in weight, which makes them easy to move, unlike regulation hurdles. They also have short bases which allow them to tip over easily. This makes them less intimidating for your hurdlers because banging into them isn't terribly painful.

However, the fact that practice hurdles are light in weight and tip over easily also makes them a liability when practicing in high winds. A good gust can leave a complete lanes of hurdles lying on the track instead of standing upright ready for your next athlete.

Solution to the Tippy Hurdle Problem
Fortunately, there is an easy solution to this problem. Simply fill some plastic Ziploc bags with sand from your jumps pits, or even with water, and place them on the base of your hurdles. These temporary counterweights will help to anchor your hurdles in heavywinds. And they can simply be left at the side of the track after practice.

One caveat. Make sure you don't put so much weight in the bags that the hurdles won't tip over at all. As a safety feature, you want them to tip or fall apart when a hurdler bangs into them with their foot or knee.

Reference: Dick Moss, Editor, PE Update.com. Dick Moss is the founding coach of Track North Athletic Club and the head women's track coach at Laurentian University, in Sudbury, Ontario.


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