Hurdles Performance Analysis

Romain Beney, June 16 2022

In hurdles events, keeping a constant speed over the hurdles through a consistent stride pattern and rhythm is a key factor to a good performance. However, it can be hard to gather precise information on these parameters with video or visual analysis only. Archinisis' solution for track and field provides you with the tools to combine a quantitative insight on those key parameters with (an optional) qualitative video analysis of the run.

Picture showing an athlete going over a hurdle

Speed Analysis

One of Archinisis' standard performance measures is the instantaneous speed of the athlete. This helps you to identify whether the athlete can maintain a constant speed going over the hurdles and throughout a sprint.

Instantaneous and step speed of athlete A
Fig. 1: Speed values of athlete A in a hurdle training with 5 hurdles. The thin blue line is the instantaneous centre of mass speed (measured 200 times per second). The orange and blue dots mark the initial contact of the left and right foot, respectively. The hurdles were at approximately 45 m, 80 m, 115 m, 150 m, 185 m.
Instantaneous and step speed of athlete B
Fig. 2: Speed values of athlete B in a hurdle training with 5 hurdles.

In the two example figures above, you can clearly see that athlete A has difficulties maintaining his speed before each the hurdle (Fig. 1) whereas athlete B shows almost no variations going over the hurdles (Fig. 2).

Step Length Analysis

A second output of Archinisis' system is the step length.

Step length of athlete A
Fig. 3: Step length of athlete A for the same hurdles sprint as above. The steady-state step length is slightly above 2 m and the step over the hurdles is between 3.5 m and 4 m. Athlete A's leading leg over a hurdle was always his left leg and the right leg was the leg "pushing the athlete over the hurdle".
Step length of athlete B
Fig. 4: Step length of athlete B for the same hurdles sprint as above. Athlete B had a steady-state step length of around 2.3 m and changed the leading leg for each hurdle.

In this example, you can easily see that athlete A has difficulties keeping a consistent stride length and that he tends to take 3 to 4 very small steps when approaching the hurdle (Fig. 3). On the other hand, athlete B can keep a more constant step length between the hurdles (Fig. 4).

Providing Athlete Feedback

In the case of athlete A, by combining the information of the two graphs, you can see that he loses a lot of speed because of his 18 strides between the hurdles. Based on his normal stride length between the hurdles, he should be able to run in 16 strides. With this information, you could orient his training towards a change in stride pattern, from 18 to 16, to help him achieve better results.

Picture giving performance feedback to athlete and coach


The system was set up in under one minute and results were available immediately after each sprint. As a coach, Archinisis' data enables you to get an in-depth measurement of the performance on the track without the hassle that usually comes with more complex systems. As an athlete, you can match numbers with your feelings to bring your performance to the next level.