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Running through the barriers: rules and technique


3000m obstacle course, or steeplechase (English steeplechase - jumps with obstacles), - discipline related to the average distances of the running athletics program. It includes the following elements: running between obstacles, overcoming obstacles and overcoming a pit with water. It requires endurance from athletes, mastery of the technique of overcoming obstacles and tactical thinking. It is carried out only in summer stadiums (without the use of water pits they can also be carried out indoors, but usually only in competitions of a small rank). It is an Olympic track and field discipline for men since 1920, for women - since 2008.


3000 meters hurdles run at a specially profiled distance. In this case, the obstacle (pit with water) is placed on a special turn, so the start of the distance is given from a separate mark that differs from the start smooth 3000 meters. The distance includes overcoming a total of 35 obstacles (including 7 water pits), 5 on each lap.

The height of the barriers in men is 914 mm (36 inches) and in women 762 mm (30 inches). The length of the pit with water is 3.66 meters (12 feet). The depth of the pit varies from 700 millimeters at the barrier to zero at the edge of the pit. All barriers are fixed, and it is impossible to shift or overturn them.

Tactics [edit |

Discipline history

The first time they spoke of hurdling was in the 19th century on the territory of the Kingdom of Great Britain. At that time, his interpretation was the competition of shepherds from England competing in the speed of jumping over sheep pens.

The barriers were the simplest structures with the shape of a "goat" for cutting firewood that were dug into the soil. A little later, they were replaced by obstacles that resemble the inverted letter "T" in shape. At a distance of 110 meters with barriers, Forrest Smithson, the 1908 Olympic champion. In 1935, experts developed an “L” -shaped barrier with a weighted base that could only be turned over if more than 3.6 kg of force was applied to it, which guaranteed the safety of the athlete during the implementation of jumps.

For the first time, as an independent discipline, hurdling was included in the program of the Olympic Games in 1896. Only men could participate in it. Women managed to present the discipline at the Olympics only after 24 years, in 1920.

Competition Rules

The main rules of this sport discipline are based on the sprint, with the only significant difference - the presence of obstacles.

  • the presence of an individual track along which the athlete moves,
  • L-shaped barriers are located (when viewed from the side) at regular intervals,
  • obstacles are set so that the legs of the structure are directed towards the start. Such an arrangement will reduce the risk of possible injuries for athletes when the barrier is flipped.
Given all the rules of discipline, athletes should not:

  • knock down the structure intentionally with your hands or feet,
  • carry the leg from the side or outside the obstacle,
  • move under construction.

for women:

  • 60, 100 m: height - 84 cm, inter-barrier distance - 8.5,
  • 400 m: height - 76.2 cm, inter-barrier distance - 35 m.
for men:

  • 60 and 110 m: height - 106.7 cm, inter-barrier distance - 9.14 m,
  • 400 m: height - 91.4 cm, inter-barrier distance - 35 m.
It should be noted that running 400 m is carried out in a circle, and running short distances - in a straight line, without turns.

Barrier Technique

Despite the apparent simplicity, the hurdling technique is quite complex, because it is based on several athletics disciplines.

During the distance, the athlete goes through four stages: the beginning and acceleration, taking the first obstacle, moving along the main distance and completing the race. Let's look at each of the steps in more detail.

Start and acceleration

Competitions begin with a low start, which has a number of unique advantages: a position convenient for an athlete and a quick start through pads. At the command “Attention!” The athlete changes his position by raising the pelvis to shoulder level. At the “Start” command, the athlete is repelled by a strong push from the pads and gradually, using wide 3-4 steps, aligns and slightly bends the body forward, lowers his head down.

The starting stage is considered completed after the erection of the fly leg, which should carry out an attack of the obstacle. At this time, the jogging leg is placed from the structure at a length of two meters.

First barrier

Barrier running is not based on jumping over the fence, but rather on overcoming it. During the competition, the athlete should move forward, and not aim up. It is especially important to take the first obstacle, since in this way the rhythm of the entire distance is set. The jump involves several stages:

  • attack: during the attack, the athlete raises the fly leg bent at the knee joint, then straightens the lower leg and directs the heel forward. At the same time, with this the removal of the opposite fly leg, arm takes place. The knee of the pushing leg is slightly turned to the side, while the body and head are placed on the same line,
  • bounce: The jump starts from the elevation of the fly leg bent at the knee joint. The fly leg moves down, the fly arm goes back, the parallel arm goes forward,
  • gathering: during landing, the fly leg becomes a roll from the toe to the heel, while the distance from the obstacle should be about 130 cm.

Main distance

The main distance of this discipline in its technique is akin to sprinting. The athlete takes three steps during overcoming obstacles: the first is the shortest, the second is the longest and the third is preparatory before the attack, about 15–20 cm shorter than the second. The main task of the athlete is to set the running rhythm correctly and not to knock it down, even after the barrier falls. Running between structures should be fast enough, powerful, but plastic at the same time. The body should be slightly tilted forward while moving.

After the attack of the last construction, the finishing stage starts, which can be performed in two ways:

  • with a breast throw, in which the athlete, on the last centimeters of the race, moves the torso to an inclined position, with the arms laid back, and thus tries to touch the finish line with the breast first,
  • side, in which a few steps before the finish, the athlete turns one side and thus carries the shoulder forward.

What exercises will help improve your hurdles?

To improve the results in hurdling, athletes practice in other sports aimed at:

  • endurance improvement: swimming, classic long-distance running, downhill runs, shuttle running, running with variable acceleration and deceleration,
  • tremors training. Jolt force is required during a sharp start, quick take-off, acceleration at a distance. It can be improved well with such exercises as: running with weights, jumping up and long, squats with jumping,
  • acceleration. A quick start makes it possible to set the rhythm for the entire race, as well as get a certain “head start” in front of the rivals. To train the reaction rate, it is recommended that you practice a quick start regularly.
In addition, the athlete must constantly practice jumping over the barriers without losing time and affecting the crossbar. To do this, he trains the correct approach to the design, the choice of the position of the push, throwing the legs, the necessary position of the body, the correct discharge.

For men

Bit rates for men in hurdles:

View Ranks Discharges Youthful
400m (Sat) 52,555,058,51,02,51,08,01,11,0
400m (bus) 49,5052,7455,2458,741,02,741,08,241,11,24
60 m (sat) 8,38,89,410,0
60 m (aut) 7,758,108,549,049,6410,24
110 m (Sat) 15,016,017,218,5
110 m (aut) 13,7014,3415,2416,2417,4418,74

at the same time, sat - free run, auto - auto-timing (with auto-timing, the norms increase by 0.15 s).

For women

Bit standards for women in hurdling:

View Ranks Discharges Youthful
400m (Sat) 1,00,01,03,51,07,51,13,01,20,01,25,0
400m (Sat, Bus) 56,001,00,241,03,741,07,741,13,241,20,241,25,24
60 m (sat) 8,89,410,211,0
60 m (aut) 8,158,549,049,6410,4411,24
100 m (Sat) 15,016,017,218,520,0
100 m (aut) 12,9514,2415,2416,2417,4418,7420,24

World records

As in any sporting event, athletes in hurdles measure their strength in order to achieve maximum results - world records.

The world famous champions among men are:

  • at 400 m - Keving Young, an athlete from the USA, who in August 1992 covered the distance in 46.78 s,
  • at 110 m - Aris Merritt, an American athlete who became a champion in September 2012, having covered a distance of 12.80 s.
Among the fair sex world records noted:

  • at 400 m - Julia Pechenkina, a Russian athlete who, in August 2003, ran a distance of 52.34 s,
  • 100 m - Kendra Harrison, an American athlete who, in July 2016, covered the distance in 12.20 s.
Barrier running is one of the most interesting and at the same time complex types of running athletics program. It requires the athlete not only good coordination of movements, instant reaction and strength, but also endurance, good jumping ability, speed. To achieve high results in this discipline, you need to work long and hard, directing your efforts to the repeated repetition of special exercises.