Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2006) 05, 318 - 322

Research article
Steeplechase Barriers Affect Women Less than Men
Iain Hunter , Tyler D. Bushnell
Author Information
Brigham Young University, Provo, UT, USA

Iain Hunter
✉ 120D RB, Provo, UT 84602, USA.
Email: iain_hunter@byu.edu
Publish Date
Received: 13-10-2005
Accepted: 12-05-2006
Published (online): 01-06-2006
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ABSTRACT

Women began contesting the 3000 m steeplechase during the 1990’s using barriers of different dimensions than men. Whenever a new event is introduced for women, consideration should be taken as to whether different technique or training methods should be utilized. This study investigated three aspects of hurdling technique: 1) Differences in the ratio of the landing step to the penultimate step between men and women around each non-water jump steeplechase barrier, 2) differences in step lengths between the four non-water jump barriers, and 3) changes in the step lengths around the barrier throughout the race. The step lengths around the 28 non-water jump barriers of the top seven men and women at the 2003 USA Track and Field Championships were measured using a two-dimensional analysis. A t-test determined any differences between men and women for the ratio of the landing to penultimate steps. A 2x4 repeated measures ANOVA tested for differences between the four non-water jump barriers. Linear regression tested for changes in step lengths throughout the race. Men exhibited a smaller ratio between the lengths of the landing to penultimate steps than women (0.73 ± 0.09 and 0.77 ± 0.10 for men and women respectively, p = 0.002). No step length differences were observed between the four barriers in the step lengths around each barrier (p = 0.192 and p = 0.105 for men and women respectively). Athletes gradually increased the total length of all steps around the barriers throughout the race (R2 = 0.021, p = 0.048 and R2 = 0.137, p < 0.001 for men and women respectively). The smaller ratio between landing to penultimate steps shows that the barriers affect women less than men. There may be a need to train men and women differently for the non-water jump barriers in the steeplechase or slightly alter racing strategy.

Key words: Gender, physical endurance, running, track


           Key Points
  • Non-water jump barriers disrupt the stride of men more than women.
  • There is no difference between any of the four non-water jump barriers in the step lengths used around each barrier.
  • Stride length gradually increases throughout a 3000m steeplechase race even if race pace is maintain.
 
 
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