Marathon kids: Too young to run? (Read 1047 times)

    The high school track program I ran for included much more intense training and had a much higher injury rate than the marathon training most people on this board are doing. My high school football team had a 100% injury rate. I had surgery to repair a mangled thumb from a football injury. Several other kids on my team had surgery to repair torn knee ligaments. Plenty of kids tear their ACL and need surgery for soccer injuries, hockey, gymnastics, basketball...every sport has it's risks. Walking down the street has risks. Sitting in front of the TV and doing nothing is even more risky, long term. People's reaction against kids running the marathon just reflects our natural tendency to want to make the marathon out to be some kind of Everest-esque challenge. It's not. Especially not for a young healthy kid. If one of my kids wants to train for a marathon I'll help them and coach them and supervise them to make sure they are being safe and giving themselves the best possible chance for success--just like I do now with softball, gymnastics, piano, dance, basketball and any other extra-curricular activity they want to do.

    Runners run.


      I wouldn't really recommend a marathon for anybody that hasn't finished growing, but I also wouldn't stop them. The danger is in the training, not the distance. I remember reading a study about 10 or 12 years ago that said that 10 year olds had bodies that were ideally suited to marathoning, because they were old enough to have the determination to train and they had a better fuel reserve to body mass ratio than adults. I also remain convinced that I stunted my growth when I went to college and immediately jumped into minimum 85 and average 95 mile weeks. All through high school, my feet went up a size, my height went up a few inches, my feet went up a size, my height went up a few inches (I was premature and didn't hit the real growth spurts until late sophomore year) - right before college, my feet got bigger but then I was training hard and never grew up any more. I put on 10 pounds while eating less food than I had been at home, though. Kids are capable of amazing things even at a young age. Don't hold them back. Braxton Bilbry wasn't held back by his parents when he wanted to be the youngest swimmer to swim into shore from Alcatraz a year and a half ago. He put in the work to be able to do it, and when it came time to do so he managed the swim in 47 minutes.

      Run to Win
      25 Marathons, 17 Ultras, 16 States (Full List)

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        Says the man who ran a marathon with ITBS... Wink
        ..and paid for it!
        Show me the studies.
        Read 'em, can't find 'em, am not going to worry about it. I don't disagree with you completely, just think we should all make safe well eductaed decision when it comes to our children. I set a bad example running a marathon with bad ITBS so it's not like I am a good example to anyone. But I would feel terrible if I OK'd my child to increase to a marathon too soon and shorten their carreer.
          Just messing with you, Daddyo. Good to see that you've been able to get out and run a couple of times. I've been through the bear of ITBS, and you must be one tough SOB to run a marathon on it.

          Go Pre!

            ugh, I look back on it wondering what made me do it. It was tough, and for some reason I had to do it, even knowing I was going to finish half hour slower than I had (er, started) training for. I cold have rested and continued on for Philly or Vegas but for some reason I played it out. Although I ran it only a minute faster than my previous - I feel great satisfaction for enduring it. Still, I hope to set a better example for my kids in the future Smile