Features Track and Field

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Updated: Aug 18, 2023
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Often, people refer to track as a sport you “play.” However, track and field is not a sport one plays, but instead a sport one runs. Track and Field is a sport that challenges individuals’ running, jumping, and throwing abilities through athletic competitions. The name emerged from the sport’s standard venue: a stadium containing a grass field encompassed by an oval running track, typically consisting of eight lanes. Usually, throwing and a few jumping events transpire on the grass field.

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A distance outside of the track is where the other jumping events take place. One can compete in various areas within this sport. Hurdling, a jumping event, requires skill and rhythm. Typically, an outdoor track is 400 meters. The 400-meter hurdles is one lap around the track, involving 10 hurdles. Armed with the required hurdling knowledge, one can master the efficient technique to hurdle 400-meter hurdles. Here, hurdlers hurdle; they do not jump, as jumping causes the runner to float in the air, which is counter-intuitive to the needed approach. The aim should be to sprint over the hurdle and return to the ground as quickly as possible.

The less time spent gliding through the air over the hurdle, the more contact with the ground, thus leading to a faster race time – the desired result. It’s common to be nervous when approaching the race line, but it’s essential to control your energy and concentrate it into a positive space. Once the race starts, it’s crucial to drive out of the blocks and dash out of the starting position quickly to build good speed. Typically, your stride should be between 15-20 steps to the first hurdle. The objective is to take enough strides to easily turnover and hurdle at a suitable distance. You should aim to maintain a reasonable distance from the hurdle, not too close or too far, so you don’t jump over it. During this phase, the runner should initiate a rhythm to hurdle that will carry them through the fifth hurdle.

Adopting such a strategy logically maximizes your energy for the first half of the race. Accelerating too much in the first half can significantly affect your acceleration in the second half – you may be too tired to have a strong finish. Consider this example: a runner starts at a 13-step pace but decelerates to a 15-step pace a few hurdles later. By the end of the race, this runner may be at a 19-step pace, as opposed to maintaining a 16-17-step pace if the initial 15-step pace had been maintained through the fifth hurdle. A 16-17-step pace is far superior to a 19-step pace. That said, knowing your limits allows you to push yourself and make the best decisions during the race. By the time you approach the third hurdle, you should have a consistent rhythm, an adequate tempo, and proper hurdling technique. Relax your body so your muscles aren’t tense, but remember not to slow down.

Don’t try to chase anyone or worry if you’re passing other components at this point either. When you get anxious and try to speed up to catch someone else or worry about other factors, your rhythm becomes disoriented. Run your own race and focus on your stride. After trial and error, you will eventually adjust to what works best for you, referring to your stride steps, rhythm, and speed. With consistency, your muscle memory will come into play and make the race much easier in terms of your racing method. You can make minute changes when put against good competition or striving to run a certain time. In general, once you find what works for you, don’t change it. Using too much or too little energy and altering your stride massively can affect the overall outcome of the race negatively. Hurdles six to eight are the tough hurdles. You will probably feel fatigue and start to get tired here. This is the toughest part of the race because you’re likely to want to ease up and slow down. Also, these three hurdles are located in the track curve. Because of that, it may also be the most fearsome part of the race. This part of the race will demonstrate your mental strength; it will make or break you. So, how do you get through it? You must relax and maintain. Try as hard as possible to maintain your 90-degree angle arm pump motion, hurdling techniques, knee lift, and drive. You will have a much slower turnover, so effort is key here. In order to run a good time, you MUST push through this phase! Your effort here must match.

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Features Track and Field. (2022, Nov 17). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/features-track-and-field/