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General Running Questions


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So, I usually post in Runner's World about my daughters that all run; however, they discontinued their forums and I don't like posting on Facebook so here I am.

Currently I am wondering about my 15 year old daughter.... So, I've talked repeatedly on there about how she ran EVERY SUMMER from 7th-10th grade and every year the star runner was lazy all summer but within a few weeks was beating my daughter and mentally it really got to her. Hard not be upset when someone is lazy and beats you even though you run every day of your life. So, this year, within 3 weeks of the season beginning the star runner was back in shape and beating my daughter again and then suddenly the last 2 weeks my daughter is beating her. But not JUST beating HER, beating PRs, getting first in the race, etc...

What I'm trying to figure out is if this new found speed is because of something that changed... mentally? physically?

1. The last two races were not really early in the day. (Usually they have to get up at 5 something and got to sleep in until almost 8 the last two weeks)

2. She had full breakfasts because the races were later in the day. (bacon and eggs and usually only has time for a clif bar or something similar)

3. The coach moved from speed work to working on the second mile (second hand from coach to my daughter to me.. her words) They were doing 3.5 miles on Monday, 400s on Tuesdays, easy day Wednesday, 800s Thursdays, then swimming on Fridays. Now they have been doing 5 miles Mondays, ladder workout Tuesdays (400,800, mile, 800, 400), and pyramid on Thursdays which is like 6 min sprint, 5 min jog, 4 min sprint, 3 min jog, etc... until 30 seconds then done.

4. My oldest moved out with a friend for college. (they argued a lot LOL)

She literally beat her own time on this week's course by almost 2 minutes.

Could it be that her summer foundation running is paying off now when it was not paying off at the beginning of cross country season? She did focus more on the 1600 and 800 over the summer than that second mile... mostly because she was running in summer track and those are her favorite races. Could is possibly be that not running all summer has forced this star runner to finally realize a physical limitation? Is it easy to take four months off and then get right back to race speed but not improve much farther? I wasn't a runner as a child so I don't have a whole lot of knowledge in this area but I'm hoping upon hope that her hard work (and the other girl's lack-thereof) is finally paying off after 4 years??? lol

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Two grown daughters here, so I feel qualified to comment. The real news here is her PRs. Hard to say what goes on inside the adolescent mind. Performance improvements and drop offs are common with young girls as they mature physically. They are greatly affected by those changes. They are also subject to all sorts of mental and emotional pressures that Dads have no clue about. My guess is this has much less to do with the training and workouts than with the non-physical aspects. Keep loving your daughter and make sure she receives a consistent message from you that she's more important than any athletic performance. If she feels good about herself, she'll continue to work hard and, I expect, to excel.

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With my 2 girls there is so much going on with them besides the physical you always expect the unexpected! 9_9

None of my kids were into sport (??) but from my experience in coaching some high level kids in different sports, the highly talented will only get so far without a good work ethic. There's a tipping point where those with a high level work ethic will eventually outstrip those more naturally talented. My guess is the platform of consistent hard work plus talent is coming together for your daughter and lack of this is holding back her competitor.

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My daughter worked ALL summer to improve her 1600 to a 5:43 and today during practice and according to her without even meaning to she ran a 5:44. It was the first thing she said when she walked in the door because all she could think was "What time could I have gotten if I had actually been trying to PR?" I have no idea but I was there when she ran the 5:43 and she looked like she was exhausted, today she described it as if she wasn't even tired afterwards.

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