Any 2 mile runners here

KsRancher

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Jun 6, 2018
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Hopefully this isn't too long. Needing some help/advice for my 14yr old son. He has NEVER been a runner. Didn't have track his 7th grade yr due to Covid. Starting his 8th grade yr he played football. He was 5'4 and a half in tall weighing 135lbs. This winter/spring decided to give track a try. So around March 1st he started going out and running a couple miles. First track meet rolls around mid April. He is now 5'7 and half tall weighing 125lbs.



Starting out track season the coaches didn't know what to put him in. so he ran the 200, 400 and did shot and discuss. It was rough, best he got was 6th. Did the same thing for the second meet. He was super discouraged. So decided to try the mile. Third meet comes around and he ran the mile in 6:18 which got him 3rd place. That finally put little pep in his step.



He decided to try the 2 mile in the next meet. He ran a 12:23 which got him a 2nd place. First place ran a 12:21. Next meet he runs a 12:18 which gets him 1st place. Next meet runs a 12:09 and gets 1st. Those two meets there wasn't much for competition. Last meet of the season is up next, it's out league meet. Twice as many schools as other meets.




He is shooting for a time 12 minute 2 mile, but says whatever it takes to win. Gun goes off, he starts off really fast. But a kid is still right on him(3-4ft). So he keeps that pace hoping to lose the kid right behind him. Runs the first mile in 5:38. Comes the 7th lap, he is still in the lead by about 3-4ft. He gets passed on the back straight away of last lap. Could not take back the lead. Ended up 2nd place with a time of 11:19.32 first place ran a 11:19.15 He was bummed he didn't get first, but I was super excited about the time.



Sorry for all that rambling, but hoping to give a little backstory. What am needing advice/help on is what to do from here. He wants to be good at it and I know absolutely nothing about running. And at our small school our coaches aren't really there for much other than a formality. There wasn't even a coach watching him run in the 2 mile at the league meet. (I am not griping about our coaches, it's just he wants to be better). Is it just all on how bad my son wants it? Or is there something he could be doing to really help him. He is currently running from 3-5 miles a day, with 1 rest day a week.
 

SWOHTR

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Wow, that’s blazing fast. I can’t offer much other than keep it up and hopefully the coach knows what’s good for the kids.
 

Northpark

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Running high intensity intervals on those 3-5 mile runs will help with time. Watch the knees, and don’t over do and end up with a repetitive stress injury. That’s really fast though. Might be worth looking into some professional help for him. These days coaches have virtual access from anywhere so finding some solid coaching might be a Zoom call away.
 

big44a4

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Find qualified running coach. Shoot me a PM and I’ll get you in contact with my wife. She was a D1 collegiate distance runner. Worked as a D1 strength and conditioning coach and is full time coaching for herself now. She qualified and ran in the Olympic trials in the marathon this last February. Coaches runners from all levels all over the US.
 

P Carter

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^ is the correct advice. I don’t have experience coaching kids, and didn’t run myself, but both my siblings ran D1 track. The kids that succeeded long term did a lot of low intensity mileage in high school, with some intervals to sharpen up for races. Kids that ran too much too fast improved quickly but burned out. Exciting stuff!
 

Fatcamp

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That's cool. We have a 12 year old we are guiding into cross country this Fall. Keep us posted.
 

mtnrunner260

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Online professional coaching would be a great option. Make sure it won't cause conflict with the school coaches.
If thats not something you want to do there are countless books, online resources etc you can use to generate some ideas. Get on Strava i bet some other kid with similar times has his training posted
But really above all keep it enjoyable for him.
Tell him great job on keeping his mile splits super close. That rarely happens at this age.
Consistency is the key to fast distance running.
 

Red Letters

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Its been years ago so I don’t remember the details, we put our boys in fast twitch type training, jumping boxes, running ladders that kind of stuff. It made a huge difference in their speed and vertical jumps.
 

Hooverfb

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Theres definitely distance work and speed. Work distance to keep capacity capable, but work in some intervals to get speed. I was more of a distance runner than sprinter, but had the same issue in track. I'd do sprint the straights of the track, jog the turns, for a mile, then either rest and jog another mile, or do some shorter sprint work (10 sets of 40m) with some jogging for active recovery.
Another interval for distance is minute of sprinting, minute of recovery. Can start at 30 secs sprinting, 30 secs jogging.
In the distance days, the volume of mileage can be there, but needs to be low intensity.

Online reputable coach would go a long ways since hes self determined. Best of luck!
 

Vaultman

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CONGRATULATIONS to him and to you for being behind him. By the way those are AWESOME times. And a huge improvement when he got some competition.
I loved cross country in HS and track too. Great advice above. Running hills, intervals, and negative splits is good training. If a private coach is an option that would not be unheard of at all.
 
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K

KsRancher

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Thanks everyone. He is planning on running cross country this fall. Will be 10 months from now till he gets to compete in a 2 mile. Will be interesting to see how it goes.
 

Eiger

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I was a decent, but by no means great runner some years ago. I will second what others have said about hiring a coach. A less expensive option you might look into as well is the book "Daniel's Running Formula" by Jack Daniels.
 

bdg848

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I ran cross county (5k), in high school. I agree with the above suggesting intervals. Start off doing 15/30sec sprint hard for 15 seconds then recover with a 30 jog, then sprint, then jog, etc. move to a 30sec/60sec ratio, then a 60/120second ratio as he progresses. Intervals will help far far more than just running straight.
 

Ranger619

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That is a great time for someone his age. I ran quite a bit of track way back and found when I started doing some lifting I got better in the wind. I am not talking about bulking up type of lifting. Just make sure he knows the #1 strategy of all races from 400m and up: RUN LIKE HELL AND TURN LEFT! :)
Good luck to him and enjoy the wins.
 

FatCampzWife

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Thanks everyone. He is planning on running cross country this fall. Will be 10 months from now till he gets to compete in a 2 mile. Will be interesting to see how it goes.
Cross country was my favorite. We ran in state parks & golf courses. If he treats his body right (don't ignore injuries, give the body 'rest' days), he could be running for 50 more years. We have several students at my university who are getting a mostly full ride for running, and are getting a fantastic education (most are pre-med, nursing, etc). Find a good mentor for him. Good tips & guidance will make a world of difference. Remind him he's running against himself, & first place is just gravy... Running was the best meditation & therapy when dealing with nasty crap in my life years back.
 

540-Virginian

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Im a runner and ran track in high school. When i was 14-15 i hated it cause it hurt and i went from fast to slow; I was fast until i ran track, it made me slower. At 14-15 its a rough time to be doing a sport that has a lot of repeat compounding on a very specific set of muscles and bones. I was growing then and had to do PT as i just hurt. Strength training was needed to help me not suffer. It really got me down as i was a 5 min mile runner, but would get smoked on the 200. I just was struggling and got slower as the season went on.

i eventually ditched it and went to soccer and got stronger and faster and had way more enduarance because i got more of a whole body workout vs just running.

Even now as an adult, i have to supplement with strength training when i give myself hell and run 5 miles or more a day. I can go a few weeks without strength training an run 2 miles almost everyday, but im always slower.

so if he's nit doing some general strength training in between running it may be the missing link. Theres gotta be some YouTube vids on basic exercises, ill ask my wife for some good ones, shes a physical therapist and would actually know what would help...ill post something here tomrrow. But off top of my head, squats, bird dogs, planks, one legged squats, hip thrusts, one legged hip thrusts, mountain climbers, and burpies.
 
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