Steeplechase Tips – How to race smart and fast in the toughest event on the track.
Do you need some steeplechase tips? It is the toughest event I have ever ran in, and I needed all the help I could get to run it fast. Not only do you have to battle against other runners, but there are 35 barriers, seven of them are water jumps, and over 3000 meters to conquer.
Before you run this race, if you don’t have them already, you really should have running spikes or racing flats. They are way lighter than regular training shoes. When you hit the water jump, big trainers just suck up water like crazy and slow you down. You can compare prices here for both men’s and women’s running spikes.
1. My first tip. Don’t wear socks. In my first steeplechase, I wore some thin socks and my spikes. After the first water jump, my foot was all wet. The friction between my wet socks and my feet for the rest of the race created some nasty blisters. I ditched the socks on the next race and my feet felt great. Now I never wear socks when I run in spikes no matter what race it is.
2. Have a strong core! I can’t stress this one enough. You had better do something to make your midsection really strong when you start doing the steeplechase. Try different sit up routines, or maybe pilates. The core work you do will pay off big time. The race requires you to get your legs up and over the barriers multiple times. Also, you don’t always land smooth. A strong core will help you keep your body in control and prevent a side stitch.
3. Run big. Running in any distance race where you are in a pack is tough. Now throw in some barriers to leap over and you have a disastrous mix if you aren’t careful. Find some space by staying outside, or being on the inside, but edge away from the first lane line a little to give yourself some space on one side. If people try to crowd you, lean towards them to make your presence know.
4. Don’t go out too fast. It is nice to be out in front and out of traffic, but if the pace is too fast at the start for you, the later stages of the race will be a death march. This race is unforgiving and just imagine being extremely fatigued with countless water jumps and barriers to make it over. Every hurdle is another momentum killer, so don’t burn up your energy too soon.
5. Learn to use hurdle with either leg. Out of all the steeplechase tips, this one is the most difficult to follow. You have to keep your momentum going, and you aren’t going to be counting steps between hurdles. Don’t do that choppy step routine or the long leg strides right before the barrier. Practice hurdling with your opposite leg. It makes a huge difference to be able to leap and not mess up your stride.
I hope at least one of these steeplechase tips help you. It is a brutal, but beautiful event. Only the best athletes can handle it. Are you ready?
– Written by David Tiefenthaler