Running Training Plan for 12-Year-Olds

Running Training Plan for 12-Year-Olds: Setting Them Up for Success

Running can be a fantastic activity for children, offering numerous physical and mental benefits. If you have a 12-year-old who shows an interest in running, you may be wondering how to help them get started and provide proper guidance. In this blog post, we will discuss when to start training your child, how to begin their running journey, the importance of a training plan, how frequently they should run, and even provide an example of a running training plan for 12-year-olds. Let’s lace up our shoes and dive in!

When Should I Start Training My Child To Run?

The ideal time to introduce running to your child is when they express an interest and show the physical readiness for it. Generally, around the age of 12, many children have developed the coordination, balance, and endurance needed for running. It’s important to remember that every child is unique, so it’s crucial to consider their individual abilities and consult with a healthcare professional if you have any concerns.


How Do I Start My 12-Year-Old Running?

When starting your 12-year-old on their running journey, it’s essential to begin gradually and focus on building a solid foundation. Start with shorter distances and slower paces, allowing their bodies to adapt to the new demands. Encourage proper warm-up exercises, including dynamic stretches, to prepare their muscles and joints for the activity. Also, emphasize the importance of proper running form, such as maintaining an upright posture, relaxed arms, and a midfoot strike. Remember to make it enjoyable and encourage them to listen to their bodies and take rest days as needed.

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Should 12 Year Olds Follow A Training Plan?

Implementing a training plan for your 12-year-old can be beneficial, as it provides structure, progression, and ensures a balanced approach to their running. However, it’s crucial to choose an age-appropriate plan that considers their current fitness level and goals. The training plan should gradually increase the intensity and duration of their runs over time, while still allowing for proper rest and recovery. It’s important to keep in mind that the focus at this age should be on fun, participation, and developing a love for running, rather than strict performance goals.


How Many Times A Week Should A 12 Year Old Run?

The frequency of running sessions for a 12-year-old can vary depending on their individual abilities and goals. As a general guideline, aim for two to four running sessions per week, with at least one rest day in between to allow for recovery. On rest days, encourage cross-training activities that complement running, such as swimming, biking, or playing other sports. The goal is to strike a balance between training and rest, allowing their bodies to adapt and reduce the risk of overuse injuries.


Example Of A Running Training Plan For 12-Year-Old

Here’s an example of a beginner-level training plan for a 12-year-old:

Week 1: Start with three running sessions of 15-20 minutes at an easy pace. Include a warm-up and cooldown.

Week 2: Increase the duration to 20-25 minutes for each running session. Introduce some short intervals of faster running (e.g., 30 seconds to 1 minute) with recovery periods in between.

Week 3: Continue with three running sessions. Increase the duration to 25-30 minutes and include longer intervals of faster running (e.g., 1-2 minutes) with recovery periods.

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Week 4: Maintain three running sessions. Increase the duration to 30-35 minutes and incorporate hill repeats or gentle inclines for added challenge.

Week 5: Keep the frequency of three running sessions. Increase the duration to 35-40 minutes and focus on maintaining a steady pace throughout the runs. Introduce a longer run at an easy pace once a week, extending the duration by 5-10 minutes.

Week 6: Continue with three running sessions. Increase the duration to 40-45 minutes. Incorporate tempo runs, where your child maintains a comfortably challenging pace for a sustained period (e.g., 10 minutes) during one of the sessions.

Week 7: Maintain three running sessions. Increase the duration to 45-50 minutes. Include a mix of intervals, alternating between faster-paced segments (e.g., 1-2 minutes) and recovery periods.

Week 8: Begin tapering down the intensity and volume. Reduce the duration of each running session to 30-35 minutes, focusing on maintaining a comfortable pace. Allow for more rest and recovery before any upcoming events or milestones.

Remember to adapt and modify the training plan based on your child’s progress and individual needs. Pay attention to any signs of fatigue or discomfort and make adjustments accordingly. It’s essential to prioritize their enjoyment and well-being throughout the training process.


Final Words

Introducing your 12-year-old to running can be an exciting and rewarding experience. By starting them off with a gradual and balanced training plan, you can help them develop a lifelong love for the sport while minimizing the risk of injuries. Remember to consider their individual abilities, provide proper guidance on form and technique, and prioritize rest and recovery. Running can offer numerous physical and mental benefits for children, promoting a healthy and active lifestyle. So, lace up those shoes, hit the pavement, and watch your child thrive on their running journey!

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