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April 14, 2005 - Image 12

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2005-04-14

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12A - The Michigan Daily - Thursday, April 14, 2005

returns from
oot injury
By Chastity L. Rolling
Daily Sports Writer
After recovering from a foot injury from earlier
this year, junior Katie Erdman is back and ready to
run for the Michigan women's track and field team.
Erdman, who finished 11th at the Big Ten Champi-
onships and earned a second team All-Big Ten hon-
ors for the second year in a row, suffered a stress
fracture in her left foot following the cross country
season this fall.
"After cross country, I trained for indoor (track)
with a sore foot," Erdman said. "I kind of expected
that - transitioning from cross country to track. So
I ran on it for three weeks, but it wasn't getting any
Though she was having problems with her foot, she
didn't know exactly what was wrong. All December,
her left foot bothered her, and she could not train to
her full potential. And then she was diagnosed with
a stress fracture in her right leg at the end of Janu-
ary. Upon finding out exactly what the problem was,
Erdman changed her training program from running
distance races to bicycling and a few pool runs.
"The purpose of the pool run is that running in
the water takes the impact off of running," Erdman
While injured and unable to train, Erdman focused
her energy on getting healthy and supporting her
teammates. Even though she could not run herself,
she made a conscious effort to support her team-
mates though Erdman said that watching her team-
mates run was not always easy.
She admitted that running is not just a sport to
"It's a lifestyle," Erdman said. "It's not something
I do for an hour a day. I eat (healthy) so that I can
run well. I go to sleep early so that I can run well. I
lift weights so that I can run well. So, when you take
away running, I'm only left with pieces."
"(My teammates) are not random athletes, they
are my friends," Erdman said. "Sure, I would rather
run in a meet than be on the sidelines, but my natural
(tendency) is to support my friends."
Erdman said that conversations with her team-
mates about their injuries helped her to recover.
"Most of my teammates have gone through inju-
ries, and, because of that, they can say, 'Katie, I
know it sucks right now, but you will get through
this,' " Erdman said.
Erdman ran her first 800-meter race of the outdoor
season at the Florida State Relays, and she finished
in 2:12. She also contributed to a meet record when
she ran the second leg for the Michigan 4x800-meter
team at the Blue Devil Invitational last week. The
team clocked in at a time of 8:42.
"I'm glad that I'm not using eligibility," Erdman

Completing a Michigan is .
no easy task for 'M' runners

By Ian Robinson
Daily Sports Writer
In men's track and field coach Ron
Warhurst's office on the upper floor of
Weidenbach Hall, it is difficult to find
any empty space on the walls. There
is so little room on the walls - which
are covered with plaques honoring
All-Americans and national champi-
ons - that a picture of 1984 Olympic
bronze-medalist Brian Diemer lies
on the back of a chair, waiting to be
Each of the athletes whose names
appear on the plaques and most other
distance runners who have run for
Michigan during Warhurst's tenure
have endured his famous grueling
training run: the Michigan.
"Incoming freshmen are scared to
death the first day we do a Michigan
because they have heard about it,"
Warhurst said. "It is probably one of
the most challenging things we do, but
the kids love it."
Completing a Michigan entails
running a 4:14 mile on the track and
then going for a 4:32 mile loop around
the athletic campus. The athletes
then return to the track to run 1,200
meters in 3:04 and then repeat their
loop around the campus. After return-
ing to the track, the runners complete
800 meters in 2:04 and complete the
loop one more time. After the loop,
the runners finish the drill by running
400 meters in 0:53.
Warhurst can adjust the workout
by adding a half-mile to the loop or
swapping the placement of the 400
and 1,200-meter runs.
The Michigan was developed in
1979 by modifying one of Oregon
track coach Bill Dillinger's workouts,
which involves a 1,200-meter run on
a track. Under Dillinger, the runners
would run three miles to a park where
they would run one additional mile.
Then, the athletes would run the three
miles back to the track. After hearing
about the Oregon workout, Warhurst
changed the run to follow the struc-
ture of a typical cross-country race.


Michigan Junior Rondell Ruff couldn't complete a full Michigan until this year.

Michigan junior Katie Erdman finished 11th at the Big Ten
Championship and earned second team All Big Ten honors.
said. "It's true what they say - one year older, one
year stronger. I was encouraged with my times. I
mean, I am not expecting to run 2:04 (in the 800-
meter race) just yet because I am not 100 percent fit,
but my injury is healed."
This was not Erdman's first injury. She has also
suffered avulsion, where her ligament tore from her
bone, a stress fracture in her right leg as well as mild
tendonitis and sprains throughout her collegiate car-
rier. But this injury was different, because she knew
what to expect for recovery.
"It just reminded me to take care of my body,"
Erdman said. "It didn't take much for me to go out of
commission I learned that, if I feel any discomfort,
stop doing that particular thing."

"It combines a lot of different train-
ing methods into one," Warhurst said.
"It simulates what a race is like. It has
an element of a timed run because it is
seven miles. It is like a fartlek because
you are going fast and slow. It is like
an interval session, and it has a little
bit of a hill."
The effectiveness of the workout
is evident in how other schools have
copied it.
"A lot of college coaches use it,"
Warhurst said. "A lot of high school
coaches use it as well but tweak it for
high school kids."

If you're an athlete on the Michigan track and field team, you have this workout
to look forward to:
" Start out by running a 4:14 mile on the track.

Warhurst would not identify a single
athlete who excels in the Michigan.
"Anybody that finishes the workout
is the star of the workout," Warhurst
said. "When I was young and excited,
I would ask the kids to see how fast we
could go, but do it more controlled."
Many of the athletes cannot com-
plete a full Michigan workout until
later in their career, if at all.
"I did not do a full Michigan until
my third year here," junior Rondell
Ruff said.
Around the track team, the athletes'
opinion of the workout varies depend-
ing on the individual.
"It is one of my most enjoyable
workouts," sophomore Nick Wil-
lis said. "It fits into the style of run-
ner that I am. The harder surface of
the road and the track suit me better
than the softer surfaces of the golf
Ruff does not get the same satis-
faction out of the Michigan that Wil-
lis does.
"I hate that workout," Ruff said. "I
would rather do a cross country race
than the Michigan."
The athletes that can complete
it realize the magnitude of their
"It is an accomplishment to finish
the Michigan," freshman Victor Gras

* Next, run a 4:32 mile around the athletic campus.
" Run a 1,200-meter on the track in 3:04
* One more mile loop around athletic campus in 4:32.
*An 800-meter run in 2:04.
eAnother mile loop around the athletic campus.
*Finish off the workout with a 400 in 0:53

"You only get one chance to make a first impression."

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