How do you fully develop an athlete?
Keep them in sport.
This requires paying attention differently than if you were seeking to improve them.
It also requires you to remove things that can knock them out of sport, and make training less fun.
For running, the #1 risk is injury from impact forces.
Learn about, and limit, impact forces – Jason’s Book is a good place to start (figure, below, is available free at the link, scroll down on Jason’s page)
- The forces by WALKING, not by slowing down
- Downhill, hard surface running will send the forces through the roof (avoid)
- Uphill, walking & running, can be used to get intensity up with less impact
Jason’s book, on Ultrarunning, makes a nice complement to the sprinting book (below).
To those titles, you could add a mobility book. Ready To Run was available at our local library, link is to Kelly Starrett’s webpage.
My blog on pain-free running gives you a 10-minute program you could do with the kids and have them repeat on their off-days.
Keep the kids healthy because injury:
- Is not fun
- Keeps us away from friends
- Limits development
Simple adjustment for new runners, “no back-to-back training days“
Do something different – swim, jiujitsu, climbing, sewing, starts, a few excellent sprints, walking, hiking, biking.
Do not worry how fast the kids are running.
Do notice HOW they are running.
Proper running mechanics, and pace selection, feels smooth.
Teach the kids to relax.
Unsure about great technique?
Here’s a thread, and book reference (pic below).
In the back is an appendix showing kids running, frame-by-frame.
Design the program so the kids are looking forward to every session.
Keep in mind… All kids love to run – only few like to train.
The teen runner’s ultimate development will be determined by what THEY choose to do as adults.
Keep them in the game.
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