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9 year old in 3000

Answered By Larson Rett

Question

My son is 9 years old and is running the 3000 meter run in the Junior Olympics. He started by running a mile or two with me on the weekends, then did a fun run. Some of his mother's friends think that for a 9 year old kid we are letting him run too much. Is there a standard on how much 9-10 year olds should run or work out?

Answer

As long as your son is having fun - let him run! It's not like he's training to run ultra-marathons or working as a sherpa on Everest over the summer. Some of my favorite memories are from tagging along on my dad's distance runs back when I was your son's age, and I've grown up strong, tall, and injury free. So here's what you should tell his mother's friends: studies show that athletes his age who work-out are more likely to be bigger than kids who don't because working out produces growth hormone which contributes to muscle tissue and bone growth. It also builds confidence, stronger relationships with fathers (ok, that one's not based on studies as much as personal experience), and work ethic. Plus, running distance teaches efficiency of movement, especially if you're watching him and correcting his form when necessary. My advice would be to mix in some sprint workouts as well to make sure his muscles don't forget that in most other sports, speed is key. Plus, taking your shoes off and racing each other across a big grass field a bunch of times is pretty fun. Enjoy.

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