what is it good for, absolutely nothing say it again wrote:
Running 70+ mpw in high school is obsessive, unhealthy and unnecessary. Of course it can be done. Of course it is done. But should it be done- even with proper nutrition, sleep and recovery? Probably not. Kids are more likely to burn out, get injured and suffer from over training with that type of mileage. So, I'll say with confidence that the vast majority of parents/coaches/responsible adults would not want their kid subjected to that type of training.
All of the above doesn't even touch on WHY a parent/coach/athlete would want to run that type of mileage. If one is that obsessed with excelling that they would ignore the obvious risks, then they should be seeing a therapist.
I think you are correct that athletes are more likely to overtrain when they have committed to actually train, so I think that point is accurate. It's pretty hard to overtrain running 40 miles per week, although it can be done if you crank the intensity up high enough. Otherwise, I disagree with most of what you say, or at least the veracity with which you say it. Whether 70+ mpw is unhealthy I think depends entirely upon how the athlete builds to it and how it is executed. Whether or not it is unnecessary depends on the athlete's ability and goals. When people say burnout, that can mean a lot of things. I've been coaching high school cross country and track for 14 years and in that time I've had 7 boys who have run over 70 miles per week and 5 girls run over 60 miles per week. Those who wanted to went on and ran at the college level and did fine. I would probably consider one of those athletes a victim of burnout. So I think 13/14 is pretty good. We've had a lot more athletes who run a lot less mileage leave the sport citing that the commitment to school and sports was too much, but generally, the athletes that do the most, find a way to manage it the best. I attribute that to a few things. 1) For them, running is a high priority. 2) They were the human beings who already managed their lives pretty well, ie getting their school work done and getting to bed.
I've had a few athletes who have asked to run higher mileage, but have told them no until they can get other aspects of their life under control to the point where they could make the extra mileage productive...and they never do.
I guess I'd ask about the obvious risks. What are the obvious risks of running 70 miles per week if you have consistently built your body to withstand and absorb that training? For a fit male athlete who runs 6 days per week, we're probably talking about running for a little less than 80 minutes per day. There will probably be a long run in there, which makes the average on the other days even lower. Factor that in with some drills, some stretching, recovery time on the harder effort days, and maybe some work in the weight room and you're talking about a workout that will last about 2 hours. That's still less time than most other high school sports are spending on their training. So that's the piece that needs some clarification for me.
Also, coaching high school for 14 years and signing up for year 15, it may be me who will eventually need a therapist.