High School Boys & Girls: Training Differences

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jbarts
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High School Boys & Girls: Training Differences

Post by jbarts » Sat Aug 23, 2014 3:17 pm

Hi Everyone,

In your experience in coaching high school boys and girls, what general (or specific) training differences have you noticed, if any, between coaching them? In speaking with local coaches around here, viewpoints vary: one says he spends more time on strength work/injury prevention in the weight room with his high school girls, and another said her girls seem to respond better to progression style long runs than steady paced long runs.

These differences could be anecdotal or physiological. I'm just curious as to what everyone else has noticed and/or experienced.

Respectfully,
jbarts
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Re: High School Boys & Girls: Training Differences

Post by Tinman » Sun Aug 24, 2014 11:29 am

First, equate boys or girls recent times. There's an innate difference of 11%. For example, a girl who could run 20 minutes flat in the 5K is equal to a boy you to run 17 minutes 48 seconds for a 5K. Because you have experience coaching boys, once you convert girls times to boys times, you will have a much better idea how much training to assign girls . However, note that most girls can succeed with very little high quality work. They don't need a lot of anaerobic overload.
Last edited by Tinman on Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:18 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: High School Boys & Girls: Training Differences

Post by jbarts » Sun Aug 24, 2014 12:39 pm

Hi Tom,

Thanks for the quick response! I haven't had the same success with girls as I have with boys, although they do improve off of the same types of workouts, mainly CV repeats and Tinman tempo runs, and most of them PR. So, if I have a boy who runs 21 minutes for 5k, his CV pace is 4:19 per 1000 based on your calculator, so I should not train a high school girl at that pace for CV 1000s? Or am I off here? With some guidance I can figure the rest out on my own. This is very interesting to me!

jbarts
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Re: High School Boys & Girls: Training Differences

Post by FTIR » Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:42 am


runthe8
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Re: High School Boys & Girls: Training Differences

Post by runthe8 » Mon Aug 25, 2014 8:12 am

Not sure this is what you are looking for, but I have noticed that my "motivated" boys (not necessarily good runners, but they want to be, mostly boys who can run in the 17's or 18's for 5K) always want to run harder than they need to in just about every workout from recovery runs to CV work to tempo runs to how fast their hill reps are.  My "motivated" girls are content to run very slow (slower than they need to) in just about every workout except CV or tempo work, which they always try to run faster than they need to.  My "best" kids (Drew and Ciara) are happy to run the pace we ask them to on every workout, though Drew is starting to want to push the pace more on some workouts (I think he spends too much time reading what every other elite kid around the country is doing and freaks out a bit when he sees how fast they say they run.)  Ciara does like to run with her teammates on distance runs, and the pace is definitely VERY easy on those days.  She does NOT like to run with boys but  I have been having her run her CV and tempo work with them because otherwise she would be running by herself.

I do strength/injury prevention work with all the kids, but I have quite a few athletically challenged,  weak kids on my team, both boys and girls, and about equal numbers of "injured" boys vs. girls right now. You wouldn't believe the number of kids I have that can't break 30 minutes for a 5K after a summer of running (even some boys.)  Makes me wonder what I'm doing wrong.  I think we need to make cuts next year, because these kids take up most of my time and attention which just isn't right.  But I kind of hate to cut kids.

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Re: High School Boys & Girls: Training Differences

Post by FTIR » Mon Aug 25, 2014 10:44 am

Are you sure these guys can't break 30 min (or girls 33 or so min) after running some over the summer?

Back in HS we had some pretty athletically challenged guys and even a kid who survived a bad car accident that could at break 27.

My guess is that they are not actually trying during the race/time trial.  What if instead of actually cutting them, they have to run a certain time to attend AWAY meets?

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Re: High School Boys & Girls: Training Differences

Post by runthe8 » Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:03 am

Some of them may not be trying, or just don't know how to push themselves in workouts.  I have two girls who run everything together (9th grade best buddies.)  We have tried to separate them in workouts to no avail- they always find each other.  I have some boys who do this too- they want to run with their friends even though one kid is a 20 minute 5K guy (still pretty bad) but his friend is a 26 minute guy (even worse! )  We definitely won't be taking kids this slow to invitationals.  We only have one home meet so they will have to go to the midweek meets.  I have thought about having a try out standard they have to hit next year, maybe a 2 mile time.  Nothing too crazy fast, but something like 16:30 or 17 minutes for the girls and 15 minutes for the boys.  It would weed out a lot of kids that just do it for fun and show up the first day of the season after sitting on their tails all summer.  I got one girl this year who is 40 pounds overweight, can't jog for 2 minutes straight, and already has plantar fasciitis.  Her brother is running 26 minutes as a junior, so not much in the gene pool... Her parents are insistent that this will be a "good experience" for her.  I'm not seeing it...

I never had kids like this 20 years ago coaching in the neighboring county.  I can only remember one girl in 10 years of coaching there who had trouble breaking 30 minutes.  I don't remember ANY boys who couldn't run better than 23 or 24 minutes.  Kinda weird.

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Re: High School Boys & Girls: Training Differences

Post by FTIR » Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:31 am

My guess is those are pretty high standards for freshmen who decide to run at the last minute and haven't run all summer.

The older brother of one of my daughter's friends ran rec league XC last year and only ran 21:00 for 2 miles or grass.  While he hadn't
run all summer, I KNOW he could not possibly have tried any harder, he was trying to keep up with his little sister.  At the end
of the season, they ran a road 5k near 30.

You want to be sure to keep the last minute option open and have no confusion about it because you might get a few soccer players
who are cut or not playing as much as they thought they would.  You might be able to get some self selection if you tell them in the
spring that you are looking for kids who can run under 30 and are not sure there will be room for those who can't even if you don't
actually have the cuts.

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Re: High School Boys & Girls: Training Differences

Post by BoilerTom90 » Mon Aug 25, 2014 11:50 am

[quote="runthe8"]
Some of them may not be trying, or just don't know how to push themselves in workouts.  I have two girls who run everything together (9th grade best buddies.)  We have tried to separate them in workouts to no avail- they always find each other.  I have some boys who do this too- they want to run with their friends even though one kid is a 20 minute 5K guy (still pretty bad) but his friend is a 26 minute guy (even worse! )  We definitely won't be taking kids this slow to invitationals.  We only have one home meet so they will have to go to the midweek meets.  I have thought about having a try out standard they have to hit next year, maybe a 2 mile time.  Nothing too crazy fast, but something like 16:30 or 17 minutes for the girls and 15 minutes for the boys.  It would weed out a lot of kids that just do it for fun and show up the first day of the season after sitting on their tails all summer.  I got one girl this year who is 40 pounds overweight, can't jog for 2 minutes straight, and already has plantar fasciitis.  Her brother is running 26 minutes as a junior, so not much in the gene pool... Her parents are insistent that this will be a "good experience" for her.  I'm not seeing it...

I never had kids like this 20 years ago coaching in the neighboring county.  I can only remember one girl in 10 years of coaching there who had trouble breaking 30 minutes.  I don't remember ANY boys who couldn't run better than 23 or 24 minutes.  Kinda weird.
[/quote]

In the Long Green Line movie, it talked about how the legendary York coach Joe Newton wouldn't give a team jersey to a kid until they proved the run could run the 3 mile course w/out walking.  It's a badge of honor to earn that jersey. Some of the kids know they will never touch running varsity, or even JV, but they just want to be part of a powerhouse program.

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Re: High School Boys & Girls: Training Differences

Post by Tinman » Mon Aug 25, 2014 3:22 pm

jb -

In terms of the amount of training you assign runners of differing genders, using my 11% rule of thumb works well. Let's say you have discovered that boys running near 17:48 fir 5km need 35-40 miles per week; with a  girl who can run 20:00 for 5km, you can generalize that she will need similar mileage. That's my point! You don't have a 20:00 girl run at CV pace that aligns to a 17:48 reference time; you use whatever 5km time the girl can achieve at the moment.
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Re: High School Boys & Girls: Training Differences

Post by dkggpeters » Mon Aug 25, 2014 4:17 pm

[quote="runthe8"]
My "best" kids (Drew and Ciara) are happy to run the pace we ask them to on every workout, though Drew is starting to want to push the pace more on some workouts (I think he spends too much time reading what every other elite kid around the country is doing and freaks out a bit when he sees how fast they say they run.) 
[/quote]

This is one of the reasons why I have really trimmed down my running social media as it is so distracting. It can derail you from what you should be doing and not what others are doing.

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Re: High School Boys & Girls: Training Differences

Post by Tinman » Mon Aug 25, 2014 9:03 pm

Drew should remind himself that he has succeeded by training smarter, not harder.
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Re: High School Boys & Girls: Training Differences

Post by runthe8 » Tue Aug 26, 2014 6:23 am

Don't worry, he knows what he has been doing has worked well for him.  He also really understands how his consistent daily training has contributed to his success and doesn't want to mess that up by getting run down, injured, or sick.  He hit 65 miles this past week for the first time.  He was a little tired last week so I had him split one of his days into two runs which he said felt nice for a change.  He did a 5 mile tempo yesterday (about 9 with warm up and cooldown) and averaged 5:25 or so and it felt great.  4x200 at mile effort on the turf field afterwards. He said the longer he went in the tempo run, the easier it felt.  Today will be EASY.

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Re: High School Boys & Girls: Training Differences

Post by dilluh » Thu Aug 28, 2014 6:20 pm

I am impressed that something informative came out of RunnersWorld:

http://www.runnersworld.com/race-traini ... your-gains

To me the last section is misleading because no context is given for what Simmons is calling, "keeping in touch with your anaerobic system."

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Re: High School Boys & Girls: Training Differences

Post by monica » Thu Aug 28, 2014 7:57 pm

[quote="dilluh"]
I am impressed that something informative came out of RunnersWorld:

http://www.runnersworld.com/race-traini ... your-gains

To me the last section is misleading because no context is given for what Simmons is calling, "keeping in touch with your anaerobic system."
[/quote]

to me what's misleading is this statement: "one can race fast off of just endurance or base training."

no, I cannot. maybe some people can do that, but this statement is not true for everyone.

in my case, if I don't do race pace specific work regularly then my legs just don't move well in the races..lacking the necessary speed. though maybe for the real long distance races (half marathon at the minimum) I can still pull off a good result
Last edited by monica on Thu Aug 28, 2014 8:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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