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seekingadvice
05-23-2013, 08:56 AM
How do you convince a parent that running 5-6 days a week for a freshman girl should not result in injuries especially if that runner has already been running 4 days a week (20-30 miles) since 6th grade?

Mark Gardner
05-23-2013, 10:25 AM
You share the training plans from ALL of the top programs in the state and the results that follow.. Direct them to http://www.campotrack.com/xcPAGES/xctrainingPAGE.html
for starters. INCREDIBLE website with loads of tools that can assist you.

ThreeTrees
05-23-2013, 12:41 PM
You share the training plans from ALL of the top programs in the state and the results that follow.. Direct them to http://www.campotrack.com/xcPAGES/xctrainingPAGE.html
for starters. INCREDIBLE website with loads of tools that can assist you.

Not sure I’d ever want to convince that parent that running 5-6 days a week for a freshman girl is never detrimental. For most parents, I agree. But if this girl has been running 4 days a week (20-30 miles) since 6th grade, her parents and the girl already know a few things (and maybe a lot). What were her best times? How did she perform when her mileage increased before? Is she made of glass? Who was her club coach? What was their philosophy? What surfaces did she run on? Was she ever injured before? When and why? Did she attend camp and how did she perform when they increased the mileage? What are her goals? Why is she running? What’s driving the parents concern? Her concern?

I've seen coaches run the “cars and concrete” as their staple and destroy kids. Ask any reputable orthopedist that deals with running injuries and they’ll tell you that excessive running kills the body. The number of injuries has increased with the lengthening of the (training) season and the increase in the number of races. What is excessive is a case-by-case analysis. Even the pros recognize the excessive running on hard surfaces can be counterproductive. Cam Levins runs 150 miles a week; Lagat runs 40. Seems like both work for those individuals. And there’s a good reason Salazar is using an underwater treadmill. Cross-training may be necessary for some kids.

While it may make a lot of sense to develop a running program and to try and keep everyone on the same schedule (it’s efficient), does it make sense to be too inflexible so as not to consider unique circumstances or reasons for varying the program for individuals? The LA84 manual even suggests flexibility. Ultimately, programs may need to be tailored for the kid at best they can be. You seem to have an informed runner and informed parents. Maybe the conversation needs to go a whole lot deeper.

seekingadvice
05-23-2013, 01:54 PM
Her last 3 years:
never once injured
almost entirely on concrete
trains for fun and wants to be competitive one day
fast open 5k is a 21:20

rnrdad
05-23-2013, 02:57 PM
What I learned, and tried to copy, from LA84 clinics was patience.

In my club team when parents brought the younger siblings of pretty good runners I would just let them hang around and run if they felt like it. After awhile some would start running, then run some more. Eventually they might get the bug and actually start doing the workout and becoming pretty good. Often parents would want them working out immediately, but I inisted that they run when they want. By the way, there was no profit motive as I never charged a fee for coaching or team membership. All race fees, uniforms, water, etc. were split by the parents on a per kid basis. (not a saint, by any means)

As I progressed to school coaching and some of my runners became pretty darn good the usual parent questions and "input" began.

I knew that you cannot force a person to change their mind or opinion on something they believe to be true. This is especially true with parents opinions involving their kids.

When faced with a situation that you describe, I simply stated my philosophy and why I thought it was good , but then said no problem he\she can do the work you think is best, and did not make an issue of it. When other kids said "no fair" I told them they could do less, too, but the others would keep doing the workouts designed to make them better.

Eventually, when the kid doing less began to fall behind, sometimes they would voluntarily start doing what the better ones were doing. Most of the time the parents wouldn't say anything more and that was fine.

True, it didn't always work and some kids I thought had real potential did not progress as well as I thought they could and some dropped out altogether. That was frustrating for me but I reminded myself that I could only help those willing to be helped, including parents.

My club group was fairly small so it was less disruptive than I am sure you face. My school teams were fairly good sized and it was more disruptive but I thnik less disruptive to everyone to mimize conflicts.

By what you describe I think she will eventually come around to full participation and her parents will not object. If not, then if she falls behind the ones following the program will learn that following the program was a real good idea.

At least, we can hope so.

cush
05-23-2013, 10:25 PM
there are more than a few ways to answer this post, as well as the parents' questions.

first, and you probably already know this, you can't promise running 5-6 days/week (or 4 days/week) will not result in injuries. life, and sports, is full of risk; this is one of them.

second--and this is in response to some who automatically categorize some coaches as the "my way or the highway" type--i always try (meaning i'm probably not always successful)--to impress upon parents and athletes that i am not an expert, but i am always trying to make my best educated guess on what's right in terms of training. and, trying not to sound arrogant, i also try to impress upon them that my educated guess is based on more experience and education than their guesses. and, if i have questions about training--or even doubts--i have resources and people i trust (some post on this forum regularly), so i'm not necessarily shooting completely in the dark, or going it alone. in the end, though, they have to respect my educated guesses. or move to saugus.

third, as for the actual philosophy of less is more, all i can say is look at where it got distance runners in the 90s. that's not to say 6-7 days/week is for everyone, or 7-10 workouts/week; but, and here i WILL risk arrogance, i once trained 5-6 days/week, and i was fairly fast. then i started training 7 days/week, and i got faster. then i started doing 10 workouts/week, and i got even faster. then i started doing 12-13 workouts/week, and i got even faster. yes, this is oversimplifying things and i do not prescribe this regimen for everyone; however, i'd like to think i am physically gifted when it comes to running, yet if i don't work hard, i run slower. if there are less gifted athletes out there who can do less and get more, well, i guess i missed that seminar/clinic/book. i have tried it, though, and, risking further arrogance, i felt that if anyone could get away with doing less and getting more it would be me. it didn't work. but i will acknowledge that we are test subjects of one, so i can only fall back on my second point above.

fourth, despite my third point, it ultimately comes down to the athletes' goals. there's a reason why "nothing ventured, nothing gained" is a cliche. there's also a reason why "i cut corners and achieved greatness" is NOT a cliche.

finally, maybe be flexible the first year. hopefully you can let time, and your other athletes and parents, sell the program without you having to mandate anything. yes, this is risky to team chemistry, but so is requiring an unwilling athlete/parent to fall in line, even if it is what you think is best.

if you find the easy answer to this question, please let me know,
cush

Doug Soles
05-24-2013, 06:54 AM
How do you convince a parent that running 5-6 days a week for a freshman girl should not result in injuries especially if that runner has already been running 4 days a week (20-30 miles) since 6th grade?

Don't. It isn't a negotiation, don't let it become one. You have a team, and if they want to run on it then you will coach, they will parent, and the kids will run. If the parents have concerns about too much running, let them know you too have those same concerns and have built it into your program the best way to safely bring your athletes along. End of discussion.

The worst thing any coach can do is give away their ability to make decisions through promises or behind the scenes agreements. Never tell a kid or their parents they can "only run the 100 if they join track," as that is the kid that will for sure be a sub 50 split on the 4x400 but won't run it because you promised they only had to run the 100. Look for team members and supportive parents. If they don't fall into that group, nicely remind them they have the option of created their own schedule or running USATF and guiding their child themselves.

As a parent of 3 children myself, I can tell you when I look at their sports options I am aware:

-Football might give them concussions or broken bones.
-Soccer might lead to blown ACL/MCL's or Meniscus.
-Running has a good chance of IT Band, stress fracture, or iron issues over time.
-Swimming, dude they could drown. Literally just not come up and that concerns me.
-Basketball again might blow out an ACL/MCL (Nerlens Noel).
-Baseball. Apparently they hurl this really hard ball toward my kid as fast as they can. I have concerns. I have really big concerns. BTW, that pitcher is not 8 years old, he is at least 12! Why do they keep calling him "Moose?"

Almost all of us are parents ourselves. We have these same concerns as other parents, and yet we still coach the sport. We still put our kids in sports. Why? Because there is a risk of injury in everything we do. Either put your kid in sports and support and accept those risks, or take piano lessons.

Doug

Coach Razor
05-24-2013, 07:05 AM
Doug... You seem not to realize the inherent risk of carpal tunnel for piano players. It is very insensitive of you to think being a musician does not have its own risk factors.

Please try to be more sensitive in future posts.

Doug Soles
05-24-2013, 07:10 AM
Doug... You seem not to realize the inherent risk of carpal tunnel for piano players. It is very insensitive of you to think being a musician does not have its own risk factors.

Please try to be more sensitive in future posts.

Hahahaha! You got me on that one! ;)

See you tonight!

Doug

Coach Razor
05-24-2013, 07:16 AM
Hahahaha! You got me on that one! ;)

See you tonight!

Doug

;)
Look forward to it...

Jeannette
05-24-2013, 09:03 AM
Personally, what is helpful, as a parent, is to hear from other parents, especially parents of older students. I have developed much faith and confidence in our coaches and am happy to share with incoming parents what I have learned about our program. Over the years I have learned that what teachers, administrators and coaches tell parents is a large part of what we need to know but there are always a few missing links, and parents helping parents is part of the big picture.

hanklaw
05-24-2013, 02:44 PM
Doug... You seem not to realize the inherent risk of carpal tunnel for piano players. It is very insensitive of you to think being a musician does not have its own risk factors.

Please try to be more sensitive in future posts.

Piano??? Heck, you can get CT from just being on the computer too much. :)

hank