Teenage running

I am a 14 yr old runner having run 5k in 24 mins and am wondering whether I should continue with 5k's or aim higher to 10k, also, how much running is suitable for a girl of my age? Can anybody help me?


  • Hi Hapylory. Welcome aboard! That's a great time for 5K and you should feel mightily pleased with yourself.

    Have a look at the "girls running" thread a bit further down this forum list - it's relevant to you.

    How much you should be running depends a lot on where you are with your growth and development and maturity. Some 14-year-old girls are adult sized, have finished puberty and are would be psychologically capable of full-time work or starting a family. Others are still little girls with a lot of growing to do. If you're a strapping lass whose periods have started and who is as tall as her teachers, you'll be able to train harder than someone who is four foot three and plays with Barbie dolls.

    Which is a long way of saying "it's difficult to be sure without knowing a bit more about you".

    Someone who really COULD help you is the juniors' coach at a running club. Do you have a club near you that you could go to? A goos PE teacher might be a great source of advice too, although not all of them have the energy to go beyond the curriculum.

    Look forward to hearing more from you.

    Cheers, V-rap.
  • Welcome Hapylory,

    I can't think of any reason why you shouldn't go for a 10K if you feel that you can do it. Your 5K time is certainly very good. Does your school have an athletics team that you can join? Or perhaps a local running club has a junior division?

    Also, there are a few ideas on this very topic on Ian's thread Girls Running.

    Good luck and enjoy it and let us know how you're getting on.


    p.s. when I was your age, I ran 5 mile races with no problems.
  • Hi My name is Ron Grover and I have only just joined these forums to see what is happening having been away from coaching for awhile to concentrate on Film making.

    I have been a specialist womens athletic coach for over 30 years coaching women from your age upwards who are club ruuners up to National Champions ( from 1500m 10k - 10mile )

    Many years ago I developed a training method which I still use known as RPDL. It basicaly would answer questions like yours.
    It is difficult to just say to someone. "Yes it is fine to go up to 10k" just because you have done a 5k in 24 minutes. For instance that may be your limit for distance and you may find it best to go down to 3000m - 1500m etc.

    At 14 you are not allowed to race under rules at 10k anyhow so if you do one it can only be in a fun run and could be ok as a longer slower training run for you but I do not suggest you take it at all seriously yet.

    I know a 14 year old who could do 21 minutes for 5k and asked me to coach her because she wanted to do 10k like you. Indeed to prove she could do it she entered a 10k fun run did 44 mins 22sec and said " see I can do it. But I concentrated on her speed work and races between 800m and 3000m and it proved the best way for her, winning many titles. As for 10k's well 4 years later she could do sub 35minutes ( a time which would win many races )as a training run rest for 30 minutes and do it again.

    My point is 10k running will come in time for you if that is going to be your best distance. Enjoy what you do , what ever it is and if you feel like you can do it than have a go. But at some stage you will need to meet up with someone who can guide you through your running. Not just to train you ,which is what you will find in most clubs , but to coach you.

    If you want to find out more about RPDL methods ( which means Running-Pace-Distance-Limitations. please feel free to Email me at

    [email protected]

    All the best Ron.
  • Thank you everyone, I have read all your advice and i really appreciate it. I have now managed to find a running partner, my age and we are going to try to find a running club with a junior division. Thanks again!
  • Hi Hapylory. if you give us a clue which area you live in (County only will do) one of us will be able to recommend a club, or look on www.runtrackdir.co.uk for clubs near you.
    If you are in Northants, Corby AC have a good junior section.
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