The first question is how to set up the Zone drill properly with the mens 110m hurdles. While Wilbur has grandfathered his style of training, I will share a collective approach based on what I have seen. One of the most challenging aspects is to ensure the set-up is matching the stride pattern because you must have an odd step pattern or you will having athletes take off with the lead leg. Taking
I traveled to Orlando last week to set up, observe, and discuss various timing scenarios with coaches Dennis Mitchell, Brooks Johnson, John Herbert, Stephen Maguire, and Lance Brauman. The NTC Clermont track was the perfect venue because it is a relatively busy track with three to six teams training at the same time. Lane 1 was more or less used for warmups and distance, so that left only 7 working lanes that were further subdivided into left side / right side for hurdles and sprints and around one turn for tempo. The ability to place the transmitters on the line with no loss in track real estate was a welcome feature.
Regarding the placement of transmitters for hurdles, I used the protocol that you and Coach Hegland have been using. I placed them six of my shoe lengths past each hurdle, which puts the trigger point more or less at the touchdown. Coach Mitchell was running four lanes of hurdles, two for women (lanes 3 & 4) and two for men (lanes 6 & 7). This allowed the athletes to run wide in 2 & 5 and 5 & 8 on aborted hurdle attempts. The men tended to crash through the hurdles on aborted attempts, and the six-step placement of the transmitters ensured they were sufficiently far from the falling hurdles to avoid being hit.
Coach Mitchell was using a modified zone drill where the penultimate hurdle was a scissor at about 2/3 height. We began with four hurdles, and then began adding a hurdle after a couple attempts at each distance, eventually getting to eight hurdles. Since the tx juniors can trigger watches in two adjacent lanes, I placed them between the hurdles in 3 & 4 and between the hurdles in 7 & 8. This setup allowed us to time four hurdlers simultaneously. Each time a new hurdle was added to each of the four lanes, I added a couple more transmitters, one between 3 & 4 and another between 6 & 7. The process was quick and easy with no interference with the normal training process.
I set up the transmitters for accelerations and fly-in sprints on a subsequent day, but I could have just as easily set up timing for all the hurdles, accelerations, fly-in sprints, and tempo runs for all of the athletes, all at the same time.
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