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Why is my 14 year old daughter getting slower?

Answered By Mick Grant & John Molvar

Question

Hello our duaghter is 14 years old. She is currently in the 8th grade. She has been running the 50m, 100m, & 4x4 relay since the 6th grade. All years she has came in 1st place with impeccable timing. This year she has lost her first race and she is no longer anchor & she continues to lose. She is very frustrated because she does not know what is slowing her down. Is this normal? Aren't you suppose to get better each year?

Answer

You do want to see gradual improvement, but the path is not always straight and smooth. You also cannot always judge by what others are doing. The information provided is incomplete, but I will do my best. Rule 1 Have Fun Rule 2 Stay Healthy Follow these 2 rules and then follow a long term development plan. You must realistically evaluate "current reality." Then, pick some 1-3-5 year long term goals. Plan training to get from here to there, including lots of pretty easily attainable short term goals along the way. All goals can be updated/changed/modified along the way. For example, she might think she is a 100m runner now, but in high school, she may discover she is a miler. Things change, so embrace these discoveries! If that happens, understand that high school girls might run 40 miles per week or more. It is important to understand current reality and what it takes to work towards goals. Also, embrace competition. Competition is good and will HELP your daughter improve. She should not measure her success or self-worth based on the improvement rate of others. Training must be consistent, and should work on both endurance and speed. Your daughter has only been running for about 2 years or less, but I don't know if it is year round or a few months. I also don't know her times. Sometimes, girls will get slower during rapid growth and many quit the sport. This is unfortunate. Running is a lifelong sport and is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Having said this, ALWAYS follow rules 1 and 2 No carefully laid out plans will be sustainable if you don't follow those rules. Have Fun!

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