Age and Time
Graphic from Happy Feet, Healthy Food
Are there standards, in terms of times, that you know of for young women? I coach high school basketball and was wondering what time my kids should be running a mile in.
Dear Steve and KR Visitors,
This is a great question and I'm so happy it came in at this time. Fall is around the corner and school will be starting with many walk/run clubs, teams will be getting in gear for their autumn practices, and we hope parents will be exercising with their kids before or after school. That brings us to the mile! It's the most popular standard distance in our country that you'll use to measure your run/walking, throughout your life. It's long enough to give you a good workout and short enough to be doable by everyone, if approached in the right manner.
For standards, check out the three age-graded levels of Qualifiying Standards from PresidentsChallenge.Org.
Please use common sense with these. Steve will be using them to be a bit less aggressive with his girls' team.
From Steve: We have different (slower) times for bigger (post) players and younger players who are generally not as well-conditioned. I expect my more experienced players to have better endurance than an incoming 9th grader. I was just looking for some national standard times (if any exist) b/c I've been told that my times are a bit aggressive.
We don't cut individuals who don't make their times, we just keep running them until they make it or close to it. So, maybe they will have to run 1 or 2 miles extra per week.
For younger runners, you may choose to not use the standards at all - just encourage them to eventually do the distance at their own comfortable pace.
Here are ten tips, KR style:
1. Map different mile routes: more than one in your neighborhood, on the school track, and in the gym.
2. Build gradually to the mile.
3. Start with 1/4 mile if the child is well conditioned. If not start with less! A 1/4 mile is considered the longest sprinting event, but for a new runner it manifests as a long distance run.
4. At the beginning, mix up your jogging with some walking. And yes, jogging not sprinting. Build up some endurance before you consider working on speed.
5. Alternate easy and hard days. So take some speed or distance breaks. Cross train. Cycling is a great running break and your running often feels better after being on a bike.
6. Target a fun run or a race to do later in the season. Mark it on the calendar.
7. When you are running strong and confident over a period of weeks, you may want to take a baseline time and then start working on speed with shuttle runs, sprints and the old standard: telephone poles.
8. Set your own personal time goal and have some fun working on it.
9. Some days, just jog easy and enjoy nature.
10. Time your mile. Ready, set, go! Start out easy, then speed it up, and let 'er rip!
Feel free to email the kid's editor at email@example.com.