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Training an 11 year old

Answered By Mick Grant & John Molvar


Mick and John, I wrote to you last week for some advice for my 11 year old daughter...I need some more help. She is one of the most talented runners on her track team of 4th - 8th graders and as a result, is running with the older kids. I am concerned that she may be running too much or not running the right stuff. She has practice three times per week for 1 1/2 hours each, with an optional practice on Saturday. Would you be able to suggest a training/practice schedule that would be good for her? She would run all day, if allowed. She currently runs the 400 and 800 in meets as well as competing in the long jump. Her last 400 time (first time she had even run these events) was 1:16 and 800 was 3:06. Her best long jump is 12'1". At a recent practice, she stretched for 15-20 minutes, ran a mile, ran 6-400 sprints with little rest (2-3 minutes), ran another mile and a cool down. Last night she ran 3 miles, half on the track and half on the grass. What would be best for her? Thank you, Julie, Indianapolis


Dear Julie, Think about this. I think this is pretty aggressive. age 20 60 miles per week age 19 55 miles per week 18 50 miles per week 17 45 miles per week 16 40 miles per week 15 35 14 30 there will be a high school transition to higher level training 13 20 12 15 11 10 My young kids are focused on learning pacing, easy distance runs (2 miles or so), form drills, relays and fun games. I like to develop speed at a young age and strength later on. In my opinion, 6 x 400 at age 11 is inappropriate. I might do 6 x 200 @ 800m pace, or 6 x 150 @ 400m pace Mile warm-ups and cool-downs are ok. . BEST WISHES, Mick and John

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