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Women tracksters use time off to rest and rejuvenate

BY AMY TIFFANY | FEBRUARY 08, 2011 7:10 AM

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Last week seemed a little bit longer than usual for the Iowa women’s track and field team.

The week had the same number of days, and the training regimen was still somewhat consistent with that of previous weeks, but the ending was different.

Instead of winding down at the end of the week, freshening their legs and bodies with a little bit of rest and preparing for a meet, they kept training hard through Feb. 4.

“[It was a] longer week because we didn’t leave for the weekend,” senior Bethany Praska said. “At least for my training group, we had similar workouts in relation to the volume. We kept getting good workouts instead of having a lighter day to freshen the legs for competition.”

After the Hawkeyes competed at the Razorback Invitational on Jan. 30-31, head coach Layne Anderson made the decision not to send any athletes to the Meyo Invitational this past weekend.

In previous weeks, Iowa traveled to compete in Minneapolis and Fayetteville, Ark. Junior Betsy Flood said the bus ride to Fayetteville took about nine hours. Minneapolis, although a little closer, was still a long trip to make in a weekend.

Senior captain Tiffany Hendricks explained that when the Hawkeyes came back from winter break, they were put through very difficult practices and the season was quickly underway. Since then, there has been no chance to recover from the “residual tiredness” and soreness of workouts and traveling.

Until last weekend.

Flood said the time off was beneficial because the Hawks had the time to catch up on schoolwork, sleep, and anything else traveling makes difficult to do.

“[Traveling is] a big time commitment,” she said. “And you have a lot to do when you get home.”

Anderson said having time off over the weekend was a physical and mental boost for the Hawkeyes after two weekends of grueling travel. The feedback Anderson said he received after Sunday’s distance workout was that they felt better than they had all week.

Maybe it was lack of sleep or tired bodies that simply needed an upgrade, but the weekend came at the perfect time in the season for the Hawkeyes to let their bodies and minds catch up to the date.

Eighteen days from now, Iowa will begin competition in the Big Ten meet at Purdue. Even though they were granted a relaxing weekend, the work put in at practice last week was still built around the season-long focus.

“[We are] still trying to work hard up until Big Tens,” Praska said. “Get good workouts in and not go too light so we can still stay fit.”

Praska said last week’s practices consisted of conditioning, volume, and speed work. The distance group went through challenging workouts on Feb. 1 and 4, as well as two days of weightlifting.

After the long week, the Hawkeyes’ sprinters and mid-distance runners received a couple of well-needed low-key training days.

“I think based upon practice yesterday and feedback, the weekend off did what we all hoped it would do,” Anderson said. “[It] rejuvenated some people, recharged some batteries.”


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