Strength and Conditioning Key to Women Tracksters

April 19, 2010

IOWA CITY, IA – The University of Iowa women’s track team is fast approaching the mid-point of their outdoor season. Under the direction of Head Coach Layne Anderson and his staff, an important emphasis has been placed on all aspects of strength and conditioning. While the track athlete spends countless hours training on the track for their specific event, they also spend a large amount of time in the weight room, working to further develop the specific strength and conditioning qualities needed for their event.

“The strength and conditioning program at the University of Iowa is a vital component in our development of elite collegiate runners,” said Anderson. “The atmosphere promotes working hard while at the same time learning and having fun.”

While the track season is lengthy in nature, with certain competitions holding more significance than others, careful planning and implementation of strength and conditioning programs is needed throughout the year to ensure peak performance at the correct times. Strength and conditioning coaches Rusty Burney and Dan Hammes work closely with the women’s track and field staff to adjust weight room regimens to coincide with the demands being placed on the athlete via their track workouts. Along with strategic weight room routines, the Iowa strength and condition staff strives to create a unique hard working atmosphere.

“Here at Iowa we take pride in creating the most up tempo, high energy atmosphere possible,” said Hammes. “With the amount of time each student-athlete spends with the strength staff, we have a vital opportunity to make a positive influence on their experience here at Iowa, and one way to do that is through the atmosphere we create as coaches.”

The student-athletes agree the strength and conditioning program has been instrumental in their development.

“Our strength and conditioning program is something I look forward to coming to and enjoy doing,” said junior Amanda Hardesty. “We always have fun, but are always working hard and getting stronger”

“The atmosphere in this program is very high energy and inspiring, it makes you want to work hard. I love it!” said freshman Raven Moore.

“The coaches are extremely dedicated to the improvement of each individual athlete. They focus on how they can help you improve the most, while at the same time allowing you to have fun and push yourself and your teammates,” said junior Kara-Aretha Graham

“Strength and conditioning at Iowa has allowed me to train and compete at the highest level of collegiate distance running,”
Junior Amanda Hardesty

Strength and conditioning is an integral part of a track athlete’s success because the sport depends greatly on rate-of-force development, applied force to the ground, ground contact time, and mental toughness.

“While we place a great emphasis on peaking strength and power levels at the correct time of year, we also place a great importance on injury prevention exercises,” added Hammes. “We work closely with our athletic training staff on identifying muscle imbalances in each student athlete and then working on ways to implement injury prevention exercises into our weight room regimens.”

The University of Iowa track staff understands the direct correlation of how gains in the weight room can translate to gains on the track – a direct benefit to the student-athlete.

“Our strength and conditioning program has allowed me to push myself through a number of mental barriers,” said senior Rhonda-Kaye Trusty.

“Strength and conditioning at Iowa has allowed me to train and compete at the highest level of collegiate distance running,” said junior Amanda Hardesty.