High School Cross country08/21/10
Answered By Not an expert
My daughter runs cross country for her High School. She is 15. There are children as young as 8 who run with the team. Elementary, middle, JV and varsity all train together. The kids always compete on the grass, as you probably some of the terrain is pretty tough. Since they compete in the grass wouldn't it be more beneficial for the kids to train in the grass instead of concrete 5 days per week. I also think it would be very beneficial for injury prevention. When I bring this up at practice the parents all look at me like I'm crazy. I run and comp[ete in all distances up to marathons. I personally always try to run at least one time per week in the grass. I think the kids should at least do this. I tried to talk to the school Athletic Director....his statement, "I run on the pavement 4 days per week and I'm o.k." Am I competely off base. It is more difficult to maintain a fast pace in the thick grass than on the pavement becasue there is less energy return, It makes sense tome to have the kids train won a surface they will compete on...... but no one else seems concerned.
There are many benefits to training on grass and trails, but there are more benefits to having fun with the team. I'm not sure I'd have 8 year olds training with high school kids, though. School coaches typically do the best they can in less than ideal conditions. If your daughter loves running, she can go on grass and trails with you on days the team doesn't practice. It's possible the school is concerned about ankle sprains, ticks, etc. and have decided that roads and sidewalks are safer. Have Fun Stay Healthy