Annual Planning for High School Hurdlers (Part II)

Posted by Tony Veney

In Part One of the annual planning for your high school hurdlers; I covered 8 questions that every hurdle coach should be concerned with as they plan for the coming track season. In part two I will cover how to model the hurdle race so your boy or girl will go into each race ready to optimize their performance opportunities. Included in this presentation will be an entire year’s program to allow you the opportunity to establish your own approach to the year for your high school hurdlers.

Race Modeling

100 meter hurdlesThe 100m/110m hurdle events are run as an even paced event that closely mirrors the acceleration, transition to top speed, and speed maintenance exhibited in the flat 100 meter event.

Teach patience in the hurdles and work on the first 2-4 hurdles (acceleration), hurdles 4-8 (speed maintenance) and hurdles 8-finish allowing your high school hurdler to run each portion of the race building on each transition. Similarly, if a sprinter in the 100 meters gets out too slow or too quick thinking they will come home stronger, they will discover the deficit they placed themselves in is insurmountable at the finish.

Every race on the track has a “critical zone” or the place where the race is ultimately won or lost. That is why you must run workouts that mirror the acceleration, top end and maintenance portions of the race. If you run indoors, you get tremendous competition opportunities to stabilize the first phase. Starts over 2-4 hurdles are great during this period of the year (January to March) and makes the work over the next two phases easier to bleed into. Never do starts over less than 2 hurdles and always run to the finish working on your finish.

When the outdoor season starts, you can start running 8-9-10 and more hurdles to establish rhythm endurance (the ability to sustain the hurdle movements under the duress of ever increasing fatigue). Always run over the first hurdle lower to make sure you run at next hurdles as fast as you want them to. This is critical for the new or younger hurdlers who tend to know they are not running as fast as they can so they tend to bound over the first barrier (notice I used the word barrier because that’s what it looks like to a newbie). But if you can get them to run over a lower first hurdle, they will run more aggressively and carry the type of speed to each successive hurdle the way you planned.

Your high school hurdler is both a dual hurdle kid, they run the 100 and 200 meters, one or both relays, or they can jump. With that in mind, plan your workouts so they show up on Saturday (and mid-week meet) ready to get the job done. On the next page is an entire year of sprinting and hurdling showing you how important it is to organize your year so your hurdler is getting the most out of their genetic potential and your skill as a coach.

More on ‘Developing the High School Sprint Hurdler’

What you will see in the charts below are the number of races and accumulation of work your hurdler will experience during the course of an entire track season. Week #1 is the state meet and week #14 represents the first week of work. By making your state meet #1, you are forced to count back and count the cost of all of your training ideas and “Pet” workouts you just love to use. Instead of doing what you “LIKE” to do, this approach requires that you do what you “NEED” to do. Good luck with your season hurdle coaches.



1 – State Prelims/Finals 100-200 Relay – 6
2 – District Prelims 100h-200 Relay – 3
3 – District Prelims 100h -200 Relay – 3
4 – League Prelims & Finals 100h -200 Relay – 5
5 – Dual Meet & Invitational 100h – 200 Both Relays – 6-8
6 – Dual Meet 100h-200 Both Relays – 4
7 – Dual Meet & Invitational 100h- 200 Both Relays – 8
8 – Dual Meet & Invitational 100h – 200 – 4
9 – Dual Meet 400 – Both Relays – 3
10 Training Week
11 Training Week
Total Races for the Year 42-44



1 Monday – M; Tuesday- H; Wed –E; Thurs – E; Fri – C; Sat – C; Sun – R

2 Monday – M; Tuesday- E; Wed –M; Thurs – E; Fri – E; Sat – C; Sun – R

3 Monday – H; Tuesday- E; Wed –M; Thurs – E; Fri – E; Sat – C; Sun – R

4 Monday – M; Tuesday- E; Wed –M; Thurs – E; Fri – C; Sat – C; Sun – R

5 Monday – H; Tuesday- M; Wed –E; Thurs – C; Fri – E; Sat – C; Sun – R

6 Monday – H; Tuesday- M; Wed –E; Thurs – C; Fri – E; Sat – E/R; Sun – R

7 Monday – M; Tuesday- M; Wed –E; Thurs – C; Fri – E; Sat – C; Sun – R

8 Monday – H; Tuesday- M; Wed –E; Thurs – C; Fri – E; Sat – H; Sun – R

9 Monday – H; Tuesday- E; Wed –E; Thurs – C; Fri – E; Sat – R; Sun – R

10 Monday – H; Tuesday- E; Wed –M; Thurs – E; Fri – H; Sat – R; Sun – R

11 Monday – H; Tuesday- E; Wed –M; Thurs – E; Fri – H; Sat – R; Sun – R


Tony Veney - Tony Veney is entering his ninth season at the helm of the Pirates' men's and women's track and field teams, his 10th at Ventura College. He brings over 40 years of extensive track and field coaching and teaching experience from all levels of competition, and is a nationally certified instructor and lecturer. In the fall of 2017, Veney was awarded the Fred Wilt Coach/Educator of the Year Award by USA Track & Field. Coach Veney is a USATF Level I-II-III instructor with a master of coaching certificate. He is a regular speaker at national track and field clinics, and has produced and published several videos and books related to the specialized areas of sprints and hurdles. Veney is a 1976 graduate of UCLA with a degree in History. He was the former 800 meter record holder for the Bruins, and was a member of two NCAA outdoor track and field championship teams. He received his Master's Degree in physical education from Azusa Pacific University.

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