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Iowa City West creates virtual meet to motivate track and field athletes

Alex McKane, an Iowa City West High sophomore, trains on his own while spring sports are on hiatus during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Photo date: Tuesday, April 14, 2020. (Mike O'Brien/KCRG)
Alex McKane, an Iowa City West High sophomore, trains on his own while spring sports are on hiatus during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Photo date: Tuesday, April 14, 2020. (Mike O'Brien/KCRG)(KCRG)
Published: Apr. 14, 2020 at 6:38 PM CDT
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On an average Tuesday, Iowa City West sophomore Alex McKane would be running laps around the track on campus, but with all spring activities suspended until May 1, his runs are now around the neighborhood.

“I’ve adapted to it and trying to listen to podcasts and just keep my mind occupied and just make it part of my routine of just gotta get out there and I know I have to put in the work," McKane said,

McKane is not alone. Thousands of spring-sport athletes are training wherever they can find the space, with home workout plans provided by their coaches.

“Whether the workouts are that quality or not, it's just a piece of their day and some routine and some schedule through these unprecedented times,” Josh Kidman, Iowa City West cross country coach, said.

Kidman, along with the Trojans' track coach Travis Craig, wanted to take things to a new level. They created a group on the run-tracking application Strava. Athletes from across the state can input their distances and times after their runs so instead of having someone in lane five pushing you towards your limit, the motivation can be found online.

“Meets for track and field people are places to prove that what you’re doing is working, and we want to provide an opportunity," Craig said. "Using Strava or even using the GoogleDoc we’re saying you know what, you might not be running races but the things you are doing whether they are normal or not, the things you are doing are actually helping you get better.”

That's the coaches' ultimate goaL: Having the athletes take matters into their own hands, to be ready to compete, whenever that time comes

"You sort of see who you are in a time like this when there's no coaches, nobody riding next to you pushing you, and its all that individual time trial and all that individual motivation to get you out their and train," Craig said.

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