Dear Carol, Thank you,
I'm glad to have come across the kidsrunning.com web page. Read about it in Runner's World.
I have a question that perhaps you can answer for me.
Is it safe or unsafe for a 12 year old to train and run in a marathon?
I have heard that the high mileage could possibly damage the growth plates.
I will soon be training (16 weeks) for a marathon ... my son who has run two years of
middle school cross-country would like to train with me to be able to run the marathon.
If you could give me any advise on the matter it would be helpful.
I'm glad that you found kidsrunning.com.
We do not advise marathons for kids. I am of the opinion that marathons are for strong experienced adult runners who have been running distance for at least two or more years.
Research has shown that if kids train too hard and too intensely, during growth spurts, and before the bones ossify, they can be prone to injury.
I'd suggest that you do some of your training with your son, perhaps he could join you for the last couple miles now and then or join you when you are doing a short run. He could actually help you with your training by running to a certain meeting spot with a water bottle for you when you go on your long runs.
On the day of your big race, why not have him crew and cheer for you and if the race permits it, perhaps run a couple of miles with you.
Best of luck!
Run for a lifetime,
Are you an adult training for a marathon? Let us know how you coordinate your training with running with your kids.
Do you have any questions about a child's running program?
If you do please email the kid's editor at firstname.lastname@example.org with your running questions or with comments on this column.