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Video Athletics

Timing Hurdle Cycle Splits


Video Transcript for Hurdle Cycle Splits

Hi, Christopher Glaeser, Freelap USA. In this video I review the placement of the Freelap transmitters to acquire hurdle cycle splits.

Traditionally, coaches have used the touchdown to mark the beginning and ending of each hurdle cycle. To be consistent with existing practice and historical data, we will set up the equipment to trigger at the touchdowns.

To collect the timing data, the athlete wears a Freelap watch. Each watch can store 765 splits, which is more than sufficient to store the hurdle splits for an entire workout.

Given that the athlete’s body position is the same for each hurdle cycle, it is possible to get consistent results when wearing the watch on the wrist. However, for best results, we recommend wearing the watch on the hip using the sprint belt.

To trigger the Freelap watch at each touchdown, we will use the TX Junior transmitters. We will need one transmitter for each hurdle split, plus one. For example, to acquire three hurdle splits, we will use four transmitters.

Given that touchdowns are approximately 1.2 meters past the hurdle, and given that the Freelap watch will trigger 0.8 meters in front of the transmitter, we will place the transmitter at the sum of those two distances, or a total of two meters between the hurdle and transmitter.

To save time, I measure the distance from the hurdle to the transmitter using steps. I use six shoe lengths. Depending on your shoe size, five to seven steps may work best for you, as long as the number of steps is consistent across all the hurdles.

One, two, three, four, five, six, and place the transmitter. It’s that simple. Repeat that for each hurdle and you are ready to begin timing hurdle splits.

Placing the transmitters two meters beyond each hurdle also ensures that the transmitters are well beyond the reach of falling hurdles.

In this video clip taken at the National Training Center in Clermont, Florida we see Kellie Wells using the Freelap timing system to acquire hurdle splits. Accurate timing data is available for review immediately after each sprint.

One nice feature of Freelap is the ability to time multiple athletes simultaneously. For example, it is possible to time two hurdlers running in adjacent lanes using one set of transmitters. In this setup, we have the hurdles placed in lanes three and four, with the transmitter set on the line between lanes three and four.

You can time additional lanes by adding another set of transmitters. For example, coaches can set up two lanes for men and two lanes for women, and record the hurdle splits for all four lanes simultaneously.

Conventional timing systems typically use tripods that require extra lanes for the equipment. When training in environments where you must share lanes with other coaches and athletes, track real estate can be a premium. The Freelap transmitters are placed on the line between lanes and do not require extra lanes.

Laser timing systems on tripods are top heavy and tend to blow over on windy days. The wide base and short profile of the Freelap transmitters allows them to remain standing during windy training sessions.

The TX Touch can be used to measure the time from the blocks to the first hurdle.

That’s all for this segment. Please send your questions and comments to Thanks for watching.

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