Training for an 11 year old

Hi fellow runners! I run 4 times a week totalling 30 - 40 miles, but am struggling to decide what I should do with my 11 year old son who is keen to start running. He has loads of energy and can run quite far around 1 mile already. Would try an athletics club but my nearest one Bracknell AC is not excepting any youngsters as over loaded from Olympics! I was thinking of getting him to run between 1/2 a mile and 1 mile maybe twice a week to start with. Can anyone advise me what's best, don't want to injure him as I'm very aware he is growing. Thanks


  • My son is almost 11 and has been training with a local club for the past 18 months or so. In training they do interval sessions on the track mainly I think. He does races sometimes but I think the longest he has raced is about 2 miles. Important thing for now is that he enjoys it. I would have thought best to stick to short distances at aged 11. If you had a local park run you could try taking him to that, even if he has to walk some of it to start with.
  • Yeah, I see quite a few kids at my local parkrun.

    You could also check out some athletics clubs' websites to see if they list the training programmes they put their junior athletes through - that might give you an idea of what's generally agreed on to be a safe amount for kids to run.

  • DeanR7DeanR7 ✭✭✭

    i do intervals with my kids eldest aged 8 & 6.  We do 400m * 4 reps with 2mins recovery.  They run at their paces they feel happiest with but each 400m is broken up into 50m fast 50m jog and repeat.  No pressure about times in fact i often time and say you beat last rep by 2 secs congrats.  Lots of high fives and make it fun.

    If you cant get to a track run around a footy pitch.

    My kids ran a 1 mile trail race around a hilly course last yr which i think is far enough distance at their age , personally a parkrun at 3miles seems a long way even if they walk part of it.  Of course there are loads of kids that do park runs.

  • Hi, you say Bracknell is your nearest which means you must be fairly close to Reading?  Reading AC are holding 'try' sessions throughout the winter for those intertesed in athletics.  My daughter had a go on two Sundays and is going to start joining them every other Sunday when they re-group in March (she's 9). 

    Have a search on-line for the Reading Junior A/C number adn give them a ring.  They have been inundated with calls since the olympics but also seem very happy to accomodate new runners.


  • I'm 15 and I'm going to try dean richardson's idea. 100m is my event but I want to get better at 200 and 400. So I'll be doing that tomorrow!
  • Where exactly are you? There's loads of clubs around here - Reading, Windsor Slough Eton Houndslow, Bracknell, Woking, Camberly, Aldershot, Fleet, loads of triathlon clubs... 

  • Thanks for all the responses. I'm in bracknell right near bracknell AC which is why I was hoping to get him in there. Problem is I already train 4 days a week so don't want to be travelling far on the other days. I ve decided to run with him twice a week doing a mixture of 1 mile with some shorter runs in. I ll see how that goes for 6 weeks then maybe change it. Also hoping places will become available at some point at bracknell AC maybe towards summer. At least if he is running until them he ll be ready. Just going to make it fun until then.
  • My old club used to do kids on the same night and time as adults club night. That way runners with interested kids could take their kids there and get a training run in themselves. Even if you can't find a club that does that, if you have to travel to get him to a club, why not use the time to do some training yourself while you wait?

  • don't forget the good old parkruns - I know that ours is great for kids - some of whom regularly come very high up the finishing list too! 

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