Posted by
Member since Nov 2017
409 posts

Cross Country: Training 14 yr old Daughter
Wondering if any of you have experience training a young runner? We also have access to Wellness for weights and cardio.


Toledo Fan
Member since Sep 2015
2845 posts

re: Cross Country: Training 14 yr old Daughter
1. Long and Slow.
2. Fartleks.
3. Increase mileage 10% per week.
4. Lots of core training and plyometrics.
5. Profit.

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Member since Sep 2004
54509 posts

re: Cross Country: Training 14 yr old Daughter
My 11 year old did Cross Country this year. She had never ran in any way prior. Her tryout time was 9:35. She was next to last to make the team. Her best time of the year wa 7:10. Wish we would’ve had another month or two in the season. Just huge gains.

They ran distance twice a week, tempo runs once a week, and sprints once a week.

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Ole Miss Fan
Oxford, MS
Member since Apr 2012
3084 posts

re: Cross Country: Training 14 yr old Daughter
Ran cross country growing up and have a sister 2 years younger that did as well. She typically did everything the same just a little slower/lighter.

Looked something like this:

Monday: long run (5-8 miles depending on how deep into the season we were). Starting out that young, focus on time continuously running more than distance or speed. So like week one try to do 30 minutes. Then 35 week two etc until you want to measure distance/speed.
Tuesday: speed/weights: track intervals and then usually “pull” muscle groups in the weight room.
Wednesday: recovery run day (up tempo pace, but shorter distance. Not a long run) 3-4 miles or a shorter time than Monday’s long run if you’re just going for time.
Thursday: another speed day, but something different. 1200m repeats, plyometric drills, Indian runs, turn and burns, etc. “push” weight day.
Friday: in season (race season) usually did some light conditioning race prep. Out of season we did stadiums.
Saturday: race day
Sunday: off

Weights aren’t super critical for cross country at that age so no need to max anything out or go crazy. 3 sets of maybe 3 to 4 different movements. Bodyweight exercises (push ups and pull ups, bench dips, light squats) are great.

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Baton Rouge
Member since Dec 2013
5326 posts

re: Cross Country: Training 14 yr old Daughter
Get Daniels Running Formula. At that age she isn't going to be fully developed, so take it easy and do it right or you're going to risk some kind of hip/knee injury.

Weights aren't necessary, we always did body weight exercises and turned out fine. Do a lot of strengthening exercises if you can: hurdle drills (stepping over them, squatting underneath them, etc.), core work, plyo. You wouldn't believe how much your form suffers if you have a weak core. The hurdle drills will strengthen her hip flexors and prevent injury.

For running, she has to have a solid base first. For about 6 weeks have her do easy distance runs until she's comfortably finishing ~6 mile runs. After that phase, a regular week will include easy runs, some "faster pace" interval work, a fartlek, and maybe a long run. Don't let her burn out: easy days should be easy, rest days should be rest.

I can post some more advice if you're interested but the book I recommended has all this, including full length training plans.

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Missouri Fan
Member since Nov 2015
3437 posts

re: Cross Country: Training 14 yr old Daughter
I don't know where you live, but news reports unfortunately would make me want to have my kid carrying a weapon if they are running in the wild (instead of track or treadmill)...

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