‘Focused’ Cyclones use winter break to prepare for upcoming season

Dylan Montz

As fall semester at Iowa State drew to a close, students began traveling in large numbers to their hometowns, including members of the ISU men’s track and field team.

Winter break began a three-week period where the team focused mainly on individual workouts with not much contact from the coaches laying out workouts. Sprints and hurdles coach Nate Wiens said the runners were sent home with voluntary workouts but feels that the student-athletes treated them as if they were mandatory.

“I would be surprised if not every athlete did them,” Wiens said of the winter break workouts. “We just have such a focused group this year that everyone is really taking care of their business.”

Wiens also said the individual workouts during break provide the runners an opportunity to take ownership of the work that they are putting in, which he notices makes them a lot stronger when they return.

Junior distance runner Charlie Paul continued to do workouts over break, laying out his own individual plan breaking down day-by-day what each workout would be. He said training during break has made him very focused on the upcoming Iowa State Open.

Last season, Paul ran the 3,000-meter race with a personal record of 8:30, which he said he hopes to improve this season. He also said that the Iowa State Open will be a nice way to begin the track and field season.

“[The Iowa State Open] is just the start to the track season where the whole team is in action and everyone is more focused on the season at that point,” Paul said. “The competition also starts to get better in the upcoming meets.”

Jumps and multi-events coach Pete Herber said his kids have been preparing for the Iowa State Open to gain experience and the workout for his group was fairly simple over winter break.

“When everyone is gone here, the main focus is to still keep fitness level up, keep strength levels up and then we will come back and start hitting the technical stuff again,” Herber said.

Wiens echoed those comments, saying that the Iowa State Open will be a good starting point for this team.

“It’s still really early in the year so what you’re looking for in a meet like that is consistency,” Wiens said. “The training loads are still really high and we want to have good efforts. We want to run well [at the Iowa State Open] but we know that is not our ultimate goal.”

The Iowa State Open is scheduled for Jan. 21 and 22 at the indoor track facility in Lied Recreation Center. Herber and Wiens said that the team will be ready for competition to resume.

“My kids are excited and they are ready to go,” Herber said. “They are ready to get back into competition and are excited for the rest of the season.”