TIMED DISTANCE REQUIREMENT
for black belts
Dear Coach Ed,|
A friend of mine runs a karate school and of course part of the clientele are those kids and adults who aspire to obtain their black belts. A segment of the black belt test is to run a 3 miler in a certain amount of time depending on age. She gives adequate time (months) for the candidates
to train. Are there any contraindications for this one time goal of the completion of the three miler and if so what are the ages and recommendations?
I have been really wrestling with this question. The body type and running experience of kids is so diverse I could not make a recommendation. To give you an example I have a nine year old girl on my track team who can run 1 mile in 6:43. On the same team there is a 13 year old boy who is our best sprinter and New England Champion at 200 meters. He has run a mile in practice and has a hard time running 9 minutes. The 13 year old boy even has more experience than the girl. They have two completely different body types and muscle fibers.
With that in mind I could not put a set time for a 3 mile run for any age division. One way to gauge if a three mile timed run is even possible with a few months training is to take the pace required and have the athlete attempt the pace for a half mile. Example: 3 mile run in 27 minutes. That would be a 9 minute pace. Go to a track and have the athlete run 2 laps in 4:30. If they can do it with a few months of training 27 minutes for 3 miles should be possible for young strong athletes.
I hope this helps answer your question.
Editor's Note: This is a huge issue. We've answered this question before and it really depends on the age/kids. It would be so much better if running was a part of their training for many parents don't have a clue as to how to prepare their kids for this. Sometimes we get kids through this, but not always. One karate school in a southern desert state had a 10 mile timed requirement in the middle of the summer! This was something that we didn't want to advise any young child to attempt. Thanks so much to Ed for tackling this one.
Ed Poirier, "Coach Ed", recently was invited by the United States Olympic
committee to attend a workshop and training seminar at the Olympic training
center in California.
Feel free to email the kid's editor at firstname.lastname@example.org with comments on this column.