Need an honest answer please

I am a mother of a XC and distance track runner. He runs the 1600 and 3200 for track, sometimes the 4x8 or 800 (though he really doesn't like running those events)

He is a junior this year and track practice is about 1-2 weeks in.
He trains often on his own, and outside of school. His school team is somewhat disorganized and lax. He is the most conditioned on his team as he trains (and does road races) off season... where his school team does not even have XC training start until a week into the school year. He also does appropriate weight and cross training, core workouts, warm ups, etc... where no one else on the team does.

Because of this the first 3 weeks of track practices at school are mostly conditioning the kids, making them run long distances and bleecher miles. Exercises that my son feels are a waste of his time.

This year my son signed up for his first half marathon. He will run it in 4 days.

My specific question is; Will running a half marathon at this point in track season negatively effect his potential track times for 1600-3200?

I have heard it from several coaches and local runners...
"it is a bad idea" most site that it is because of injury potential... which I can say he has NEVER once had any running injury. Not saying it can't happen, just saying he is not prone to any.

What I would like to know is, will participating in a half automatically make him have slower track times this season?
His first track meet is not for several weeks... and the BIG meets are a couple months away yet.

His current marks are 5k this year @ 16:05
1600, last season, 4:30
3200 last season, 10:01

Also, not sure I can convince him to not run it... maybe, but he is excited about it and already registered. I mainly want the information for myself, and to share with him. Thank you in advance.

Hello there,

From the way you describe how the track team trains, I don't see how the half marathon will hurt your son. For one thing, he will definitely have the aerobic base that is necessary for faster times in the 1600 and 3200.

I've often thought about this type of training approach for my cross country runners in the summer. During the XC and Track season, the kids get plenty of speed work. They get it during their workouts, and they do with the fact that there are lots of HS races.

I say run the half marathon. It sounds like your son is a "true" runner. He likes to run just because he likes to run. He doesn't need track or cross country, and I bet he will keep on running after HS and College is over. I hope he does well in all of his races.

If you want to keep some of the criticism away, don't talk too much about his running during the off season. Part of the problem with some HS runners is they look down upon those who work hard. It's really just jealousy. I say let runners run!

Happy Trails - Coach Tief

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Feb 21, 2013
Glad I could help!
by: Coach Tief

Great work on the half marathon. That's a quick time! I'm glad everything worked out.

Jan 28, 2013
Thank you
by: Anonymous

We did check that, and there are no rules here about that. Also, thank you Coach for your wonderful answer! He did run, and finished in 1:19:23.

Your insightful answer put my worrying parent nerves at ease!!

Jan 28, 2013
Run half
by: Tim

Check to make sure your son can run half marathon , during track season , most states there not allowed to run outside school events.

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