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8 year old trying to be a sprinter.

Answered By Mick Grant & John Molvar

Question

I have a son who did track this year in the spring (400m & 800m) and cross country this fall (2k). He really likes running and has improved his endurance tremendously and his body. he was not able to qualify for Sprints (100m) and He really wants to try running the 100 meters this year, but I think his body or his mentality may be made more for middle distance. I don't want to discourage, because he is only 7 (turning 8 in Jan), do you recommend any fun activities or exercises to help him with his speed? He currently runs 2000m in about 12 minutes in XC and the 800 in about 3:50 in track. He wants to improve on that, but I really care about this for his health. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks

Answer

I wouldn't recommend anything structured at this age. Encourage him to develop his sprinting development, even if you think he'll eventually move up in distance. Let him have fun and the sprint improvement will serve him well in the future. He can get more into a little endurance & strength training as he gets older. A race distance progression example might be 50-100-200 age 7-8, 100-200-400-800 age 9-10, 200-400-800 age 11-12, 400-800-1600 age 13-14. Only move up when you think speed and strength both indicate readiness.

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