Ed's message: Run miles with a purpose rather than just running miles to reach a number goal.|
Mileage by Coach Ed Poirier
I just discovered your great website while I was searching for the answer to this question - How many miles per week should my 13 year old son be running? I couldn't find any range of weekly miles for this age group. My son began running last year in 6th grade in XC and loved it. He joined track in the spring and was completely hooked. He "trained" with a local private high school running coach all summer long doing distance, speedwork, etc. She was great and really encouraged him and he was so good that he was faster than many of her kids who were going to be entering 9th and 10th grade. This year in 7th grade he made the varsity team in XC and moved up through the season to be their #3 or 4 runner. He is very driven and had me sign up for a youth membership at our local YMCA so he can run during inclement & winter weather and he also wants to start lifting weights. He keeps a log book of his runs, but is not sure how many miles per week he should be running.
Could you please give us a weekly mileage range?
Thank you very much,
Photo courtesy of photosbyjohn.net
There is no really set mileage range for that age group but there are factors that will determine weekly mileage. For adults or at age 13 athletes athletes should put together a good balanced schedule and not think in terms of mileage. For a XC athlete who will be running 800m & up for track a weekly schedule should have:
1. A long run *(4-7 miles),
2. Fast high leg turnover speed workout like 100 to 200 repeats *(3-5miles)
3. Interval workout 400 or 800 repeats (3-5 miles)
4. An easy recovery run a day after a hard workout or race (3 miles easy)
5. Sometimes an easy run the day before a race. (2-3 miles easy)
That's a 5 day running schedule. On the low side that's about 15 miles and the high side 23. Those are miles with a purpose rather than just running miles to reach a number goal.The mileage suggestions are for a good competitive runner and can be tweaked 10% up or down depending on the individual. This type of schedule will also prepare him for just about any type of high school schedule a coach will give him. For off-season running, that being when he is not in a training cycle or race cycle, he can easily run the miles on the high side without doing any speed work like during the summer. Look for some actual XC/middle distance schedules on the KidsRunning.Com website under Coach Ed's page. I hope this was helpful.
Coach Ed is a Youth Fitness Specialist with the Attleboro YMCA. The Attleboro (Massachusetts) YMCA is the first YMCA in the nation to embark on a healthy youth initiative.