After a fifth-place finish at the NCAA Indoor Championships, the
Michigan men’s track and field team begins its outdoor season
this week.

Sports Department
Nate Brannen is redshirting the outdoor season to prepare for the Olympics in Athens (TONY DING/Daily).

According to junior Nate Brannen, Michigan uses the indoor
season as a building block for the outdoor season, with less speed
training during the winter and gradually faster workouts as spring
approaches. Outdoors, there are some additional events, including
decathlon, steeplechase, hammer and javelin. But for the most part,
the Wolverines will continue the same training that they used in
the indoor season.

“The sprinters run 100 meters outdoors instead of 60
meters — same with the hurdlers,” Michigan coach Ron
Warhurst said. “It’s a little longer, but we’ve
been training to run outdoors all season.”

Junior DarNell Talbert — who was a member of last
week’s NCAA champion distance medley relay team — will
compete in the hurdles in the outdoor season and said that the
biggest change from indoor to outdoor is the intensity of the
workouts.

“Running a 400 outdoors is like running a 600
indoors,” Talbert said. “You need to add leg work.
There’s more volume to the workout.”

Despite the extra work, Talbert looks forward to competing in
these events.

“I can definitely say that I prefer the outdoor season to
indoor,” Talbert said. “I’m naturally a hurdler.
I was made into a 400 runner. Also, it’s nice to be outside
training when the weather is nice.”

Brannen and sophomore Nick Willis may have to make the greatest
adjustments, as they will redshirt the outdoor season to prepare
for the Olympic Games in Athens this summer. Brannen and Willis
will continue to train with Warhurst, and plan to compete
unattached in several races throughout the spring.

“Training will be a lot different this season,”
Brannen said. “I can focus on getting a good base and some
good mileage in and not worry about racing as early. In terms of
competition, my focus is on the 800 for the Olympics.”

The Wolverines look to continue their success when they travel
to Tallahassee, Fla., to compete in the Florida State Relays over
the next few days. With some members of his team competing in two
or three events for the first time this season, Warhurst is not
anticipating great times or a perfect meet.

“It’s like opening something up and not knowing what
to expect,” Warhurst said. “It will basically be a
training session. We just want to get the guys used to the
different environment outdoors.”

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