O Coach wrote:
But they rarely run for that amount of time continuously. I have kids the same age and I would never judge another parent, but that seems like quite a bit for a 13 year old. At 13 most kids can decide that for themselves and quit if parents push too much, but 45-50 seems a little excessive. As a parent, I believe we need to do what is best for our kids down the road, not just what is best right now. I have a kid who would rather run longer every day, but I do not allow it. I make him vary the long runs with speed so his weekly mileage stays around 20-25 max. It works well considering he has been on the podium several times in the past year for events ranging from the 800m to 3000m. His 400m is very competitive around our area, but at nationals he is a good 6 seconds off the top guy. I tried to get him to stick with that as well, but he wanted to try the 3000m instead. So I made a deal with him and said he can do the 3000m but we will not train specifically for it. We will continue to train for the 400m as well as the 800m and 1500m until he is at least 15. Now he did extremely well in the 3000m at nationals (top five finish), but it worries me that he jumped to the 3000m as a 13 year old. We tried to wait even longer, but it got to the point where if we didn't allow him to run at least that amount, he would have quit. He was ready for it and was so excited to see his hard work pay off as I am sure Grace is. I would just exercise some caution. If your kid can't be successful at the mile at this age, adding longer distances may be a recipe for failure. When the great half and milers start to come in 6th, 7th, etc. they will move to the 5k and considering it is easier to train for distance than to gain speed, I believe they will have a leg up on kids who go to the 5k so early in their lives.
We are actually working our way back down to the 400m thanks to a timely growth spurt. So he is happy because he is back to being extremely competitive in the 400m, and we are happy that he didn't feel the urge to stay with the 3000m and Lord knows what after that.
I don't push my 12-year-old son to do anything, but he can run 5 miles without breaking a sweat faster than I can keep up. Is it possible that you are making too much of one the best 13-year-olds in the world maxing out at 45 miles?