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Age disparity

Answered By Mick Grant & John Molvar

Question

Our school has an XC program involving kindergarten through 8th grade. The coaches are all parent volunteers and the 8th graders are BORED! Are there some tips for challenging the early teenagers while not totally losing the 4th-5th graders? Thanks. Mel

Answer

Each individual should be coached based on gradual progression and the level he is at. One size does not fit all. Stronger runners run a bit longer and faster. Some experienced 8th graders might be running 20-30 miles per week or more. A weekly set of 2 x 200m with 200m rest is fun-if kids are ready for this type of practice. This should not be a sprint workout. For example, in the fall, the 200s might be at cross country race pace, in the winter, maybe at mile pace and in the summer, maybe 800m pace.

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