The Three “Fs” of Rogue Youth Training
As many of you have recently seen, Rogue has much to offer young runners. We have been training for local races including; Congress Mile, sMiles for Sammy 5k, Sunstroke Summer Stampede and more. This training has been enjoyable and many want to know more. In the following I will explain our approach to youth training programs by focusing on the three “Fs”: Fitness, Fun, & Future.
Fitness being a focus should be the most obvious of all three. This is a running community after all. So as coaches we not only take into consideration the current fitness of each athlete, but also the desired fitness. We train athletes according to their specific strengths. We find that some kids thrive in shorter distances like the 100, 200, or 400. We can also spot the future distance runners of America and are not shy to speak that into kids’ lives. For either athlete, we want to ensure they are aerobically fit. The body’s greatest need in performance is to send oxygen to the working muscles. So we emphasize becoming aerobically fit through training. But we also know humans are multi-dimensional beings. Running just to run can be difficult for many, especially the younger the kid. So having fun is a key focus in the mind of a Rogue coach.
In order for training to be sustainable it needs to be fun. Sometimes we get this idea that training equals; “pain” “hurt” “war with self” etc. Sure, there is an aspect of training that hurts. There is a certain discomfort that every runner must face in order to improve. However, we don’t have to hate our training in order to develop. In fact I find the opposite to be true. I believe those that enjoy themselves in the process are more likely to show up to practice ready to go. The kids who have fun come back for more. The kids who occasionally grab a pizza or burgers with a friend start building positive associations with the sport and end up looking for more out of it. At Rogue we have a blast with out training and we have had parents get in trouble the week they caused their child to be late or to miss a practice. (This is no joke. We had a very upset 6th grader who hated missing his opportunity to train with friends.) Most importantly though, we never want to see time and money wasted. It would be sad to see a child dragged to practice for x amount of years, only to grow up resenting a talent they have but didn’t want. We want to create life long athletes who gain something special from their training both now and in their future.
The child’s future is the third and most important consideration we keep in mind while training young runners. As previously mentioned, we want to build life long athletes. We know that some of our kids will and do participate in other sports throughout their lives. Their running will only help with that. We also take into consideration that our young runners’ bodies are still developing. Special attention is given to appropriate mileage and strength building. We would hate to develop a successful high school runner who becomes injury ridden in college due to over training and a neglect of support muscles, etc. We think about their future. We encourage them to think about their future. This focus is the backbone of our youth training programs.
So again, we have much to offer middle – high school aged kids. We focus on the development of fitness, we keep it fun to ensure long term success, and we care about their future. If your child is interested in becoming a runner or taking the next step in their running, then visit us at:
(click “youth” in drop down menu)