The high hurdles races – 100 meters for women and 110 meters for men outdoors, 60 meters for both genders indoors – are sprints, but they’re also technical events. The goal for all hurdlers is to do as little hurdling, and as much running, as possible. That means competitors must sprint, clear the hurdles, then resume sprinting as quickly as possible. The key is to maintain momentum while clearing all ten hurdles, keeping your center of gravity as close to normal sprinting position as possible.As with all sprint races, high hurdles competitors begin in starting blocks. Unlike a straight sprint, however, sprint hurdlers must move into an upright position fairly quickly, generally by the midpoint between the starting line and the first hurdle. Senior-level outdoor hurdlers, for example, are generally running upright by the fourth of their eight strides leading to the initial hurdle. If you take an even number of strides to the first hurdle, begin with your lead leg in the rear starting block, and vice versa if you take an odd number of steps to the first hurdle.Sprint hurdlers maintain their speed leading up to each hurdle, but they also shorten, or cut, the final step before their lead leg rises to clear the hurdle. This drives your plant foot under your hips and allows you to shift your upper body weight forward. At the same time, it’s important to remember proper arm technique. The arm on the opposite side of the lead leg, or the “lead arm,” pushes forward and literally leads the runner toward the hurdle.Your lead leg’s knee drives to the hurdle, then the lower leg extends forward until your foot reaches the hurdle’s height. The body leans forward. Your head should be up with your eyes looking toward the next hurdle as the lead arm rises to about eye level. Your lead knee remains slightly bent as you continue forward.Lean sharply forward from your hips as your lead foot clears the hurdle, your lead hand extends forward and your opposite arm stays back for balance. The trail leg rises, with the shin parallel to the ground.Another view of the lead leg reaching the hurdle, with a better look at the trailing leg. Also note that the lead leg never fully straightens as you clear the hurdle.As soon as the lead leg’s heel clears the hurdle, snap that foot down. Remember, you want to return to a sprint as quickly as possible. Maintain your forward lean to preserve your momentum. The lead arm is bent, with the forearm approximately parallel to the lead leg’s shin. The trailing arm remains back as the trail leg rises to about a 90-degree angle to the body. The trail leg is bent sharply at the knee, foot fully flexed so it doesn’t hit the hurdle.Once your lead leg has cleared the hurdle and is snapping down, pull your trail leg over the hurdle quickly and prepare to resume sprinting.The trail leg’s knee rises to begin the first stride toward the next hurdle. The opposite arm swings back to maintain balance. The landing foot is upright, with the body slightly behind the foot on impact.Keep running hard, repeating the process of the previous steps before each succeeding hurdle. Senior-level hurdlers will take three strides between the hurdles.Remember, you can’t slow down at any point because sprint hurdles races are too short. Remember, too, that your arms also have jobs to do when clearing the hurdles, mainly to keep your balance. Good balance is essential to maintaining your momentum.