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How bad is it for a freshman in high school to run a marathon? (Read 920 times)

    How bad is it for a freshman in high school to run a marathon? I've run 16 miles and i want to run a marathon but not if its going to ruin my xc season.
    “Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death”-Pre To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the Gift." Pre I'm going to work so that it's a pure guts race at the end, and if it is, I am the only one who can win it." Steve Prefontaine It's at the borders of pain and suffering that the men are separated from the boys." - Emil Zatopek
      When is it? And when does XC season end? And how far does your team run for your long runs? There is also some discussion about whether it is healthy for someone who is still growing to run that many miles. But I will let you sort that out. (When you say "bad" you seem to only mean "bad for XC season" not long-term health and height.) Do double check that the one you are considering allows runners under 18 to participate.
        How bad is it? There are a lot of worse things than high mileage a kid your age could be experimenting with. If xc is in the fall and you can find a Spring marathon, you might not even hurt your xc season at all--you might even go into the following season with a nice base. Do you run Winter and Spring track too? That could add a layer of complexity.

        Runners run.

          Check with your XC coach... they should be able to help you coordinate the training.

          Roads were made for journeys...

            Since you asked in the 'health and nutrition' forum, I'm assuming that's the aspect you're wondering about. To which I can only say the obvious: ask both your coach and a doctor - and make the doctor one that specializes in sports medicine. There are obviously some health concerns about kids running marathons. Actually, I don't think its the marathon that's the issue - it's the training for a marathon. Personally, I think for kids your age hard-core weight training is probably more risky than long distance running ... but I only play a doctor on television. So ask a real one. Whether it will be healthy for you will probably depend on a wide range of factors like: how old you are, how much growing you've got left to do, your weight and bone structure, etc. Ask your coach. Ask a doctor. Not one. Both. And add your parents to that, too. As for the actual marathon - Abbaroodle (who is a soon-to-be hardcore marathoner herself) is right. You may not be able to find one that will let you do it, even if the doctor clears you. I checked around a bit. At many of them, you have to be 18. (Like our Country Music Marathon). There are a bunch of others (say Chicago) that you have to be 16, and have parent's permission. (Blame the lawyers, by the way.) I'm not saying there isn't one that'll let a 14-year old run ... but I've never seen one. If it's out there, you may have to search a bit. On the plus side, looks like most of the half marathons let in kids 12 years old and up.
            E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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            vicentefrijole


              Hey! Awesome to see some XC runners on here! Here's my LONG answer (sorry about that.. lots to say on the subject.) I ran XC in highschool and I had this same question. My advice: Hold off on the marathon and find a good running camp for the middle distances (5K, 10K). You've got your whole life to run a marathon (don't worry, you'll get around to it) but you'll not always be young/strong/eager enough to do the speedier stuff. That said, it is of course, a personal choice. I think the answer to this question depends a lot on what you want to get out of your XC season. From the 5K PR you've got posted on your log, it looks like you're already pretty strong in XC (not back of the pack, I'd bet?). So, I suspect that if you focus on the XC 5K distance, you could really excell (go to State, set some school records, etc?). If you train for a marathon (even in your off season), you'll put in a ton of miles (way more than is necessary for 5K training) and you'll necessarily miss out on speed training (you can't do it all). Those extra miles will make you a stronger runner in general but you probably won't have as much raw speed as you would if you focused on a 5K training program. I say that because I knew a runner from another school in HS that trained/ran a marathon in the spring/summer before his senior year XC season. He was an amazing runner, don't get me wrong (placed at most invitationals, ran at state, etc) but, after his marathon, he didn't have 'wheels'! He just couldn't push past a certain pace... He would run a moderately-strong 5K pace throughout, but when it came to that last 800m of the course, he would get burned every time. I think that has something to do with the development of 'slow-twitch' vs. 'fast-twitch' mucles, but I'll leave that to the PT experts on this forum to address... All that said, I don't want to discourage you from increasing your running. If the choice is between training for a marathon and sitting around on your assplaying X-box, do the marathon. Any way in which you can make yourself safely (avoiding injury) increase your mileage will help your XC times. I went to a running camp run by the Univ. Wisconsin XC coach and athletes (called "Camp of Champions".. corny name, but a good program). It forced me to train throughout the summer (we ran 2 or 3x a day at the camp) and I went from being a middle-pack runner in my Soph year to placing at invitationals my Junoir and Senior years. Plus they taught us all about the sport of running and how to train yourself intelligently. (And did I mention that the camp is co-ed?) Good luck with your decision.. keep us posted.
                I asked my XC coach awhile ago and he says that i could run a ultra marathon if i wanted to. And about finding a marathon that lets me run at my age i cant find one around me during the summer at all and i have track during the winter and spring which i'm probably better at than xc. So now if i want to run one i'll probably have to measure out a marathon on the internet and run that. My PR is kinda miss leading that was on a really fast course in perfect weather. I was only on varsity for 3 or 4 meets. But i did win a jv meet by about a quarter of a mile (that was awesome).
                “Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death”-Pre To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the Gift." Pre I'm going to work so that it's a pure guts race at the end, and if it is, I am the only one who can win it." Steve Prefontaine It's at the borders of pain and suffering that the men are separated from the boys." - Emil Zatopek
                vicentefrijole


                  My PR is kinda miss leading that was on a really fast course in perfect weather. I was only on varsity for 3 or 4 meets. But i did win a jv meet by about a quarter of a mile (that was awesome).
                  Perfect conditions still = PR in my book! And winning a JV meet is no small accomplishment! I would really encourage you to find a running camp during the summer... even if it means a trip to Madison WI for a week... I think you'd be amazed at the improvement you could make in your XC and track events. Every guy who went to such a camp on my XC team experienced this amazing improvment... those who didn't train much during summer got left behind! (Of course, no matter how you train in the summer, be sure to do with really gradually so you're not one of those guys who gets injured a couple weeks into the XC season!)


                  Needs more cowbell!

                    I would really encourage you to find a running camp during the summer... even if it means a trip to Madison WI for a week... I think you'd be amazed at the improvement you could make in your XC and track events. Every guy who went to such a camp on my XC team experienced this amazing improvment... those who didn't train much during summer got left behind!
                    My HS friend who is an elite at age 33 also attended this camp and it made a huge difference in her already outstanding running.

                    Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

                    '14 Goals:

                    • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                    • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                      Clowning around Hey, can I go to running camp? I'm 34 and I think it would be fun to be an elite... Clowning around

                      Roads were made for journeys...


                      Needs more cowbell!

                        Clowning around Hey, can I go to running camp? I'm 34 and I think it would be fun to be an elite... Clowning around
                        Hey, I will be 34 in 2 months, we can be bunkmates! Wouldn't it be cool to go to a summer camp for adult runners? Big grin k

                        Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

                        '14 Goals:

                        • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                        • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                          I'm not saying there isn't one that'll let a 14-year old run ... but I've never seen one. If it's out there, you may have to search a bit.
                          Top of Utah, Ogden, St.George, and the Valley of Fire Marathon allow runners 12 and under run. Youngest runner at St. George this year was 10.
                          My Masters (>50) Race PR's: 5K - 20:17 10K - 42:36 HM - 1:31:22 Marathon - 3:20:48
                          vicentefrijole


                            Hey, can I go to running camp? I'm 34 and I think it would be fun to be an elite...
                            I'd love to go back to this camp! I'd love to go to any camp! Hell, I'd just love a week off work! Tongue


                            Needs more cowbell!

                              We should organized a RA camp! I'll bet we could find a place not far from here with big cabins to rent...or even a beach house! How cool would that be?! Maybe organize it around a race... Big grin k

                              Kirsten - aka "Auntie Kirsten"

                              '14 Goals:

                              • 2 olympic distance duathlons -- 6 days apart -- PR at least 1

                              • 130#s (and stay there, gotdammit!)

                                A couple links for you: the first is another discussion, the second covers some of the medical aspects. http://www.43things.com/entries/view/1104599 http://www.kidsrunning.com/news/krnewsmarathonstatement.html
                                E-mail: JakeKnight2002@aol.com
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