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My daughter is a 6-year old sprinter

Answered By Mick Grant & John Molvar

Question

Hi Coach Mick,

Just want to start off with a big thank you because I brought and read your book "The Youth and Teen Running Encyclopedia". And since then, It had changed my running routine with my daughter (she is 6.5 years old). Before reading your book, Coaches in Hong Kong (where I live), instruct me to do 60m / 100m Sprint with my 6 yrs old girl, they also said it is non sense to run over 3km, as that will be over load. The local track and field event for elementary student only have 60 100 200 meter which support their argument. One of the Hong Kong track and field managing associate even massaged me saying I am harming my child asking them to jog excessively.) I was scare and decided to go with the flow for a month or two, until I read your book. Since then, I had stopped all sprint training with my 6 yrs old child. And we had been winning many different event ranging from 800m to 3km in her age group. However, there are now some school event at 60m and 100m... ahead of us. I am thinking, if I should get her in the sprint training, with proper 4 point start technique and etc. But in the back of my head, I always remember what you said; Kid so never do interval or sprint training, until later age. So here I am.. hoping to seek your advice, with a school event ahead of us (60m and 100M). Should we adjust our training? Or keep on doing the long easy jog for cardio improvement.) Many thanks for your time. (Btw, some coaches in HK actually followed your style of training also, know as the able to talk comfortably pacing.)

Gerard. C from Hong Kong.

Answer

Stay on the plan. All easy running at that age. In 10 years, she will be in high school! Racing short distance is good for developing speed. Learning technique like blocks is also fine. Maybe she will develop into a sprinter, so you never know. If school practices are not too strenuous, they are ok. It is too early at her age to do any running too strenuous. If she doesn't think it is playing, it might be too hard. Please review the recommendations for race distance. She can do "fun run" races up to a mile, but not on the track. 100m is about the longest I'd let a 6 year old do on the track. 60 and 100 sounds good. Thank you for reading the book! Mick Rule 1, Have Fun Rule 2, Stay Healthy

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