- June 1, 2004 at 5:40 pm #1562
debating if I should even touch this topic… it’s my 16 year old son… he’s run two years of XC-indoor-outdoor track… we’ve done 5Ks for quite a few years and he is LOTS faster than I am…
two years ago he jogged me in from a 20 miler (he had won the 5 mile race) and I found his encouragement the best part of the race… this year he ran a 10 K with me, well, he jogged, I ran… as a passing thought I said “I could REALLY use this the last seven miles of my marathon”… to which he said okay…
I’ll probably enter him & let him pick me up about mile 16.5(where the course loops back) and NOT wear his timing chip… it’ll be at the end of his XC season and I think he’ll be okay…
then this week he told me he wanted to run the WHOLE thing with me… I told him that we’d see what kind of miles he put in before the race… I’m concerned that the whole 26.2 might be too much, especially if he’s never gone 20 (my husband thinks he won’t put in near enough miles)…
I guess I’m wondering what you guys think, especially the ones who’ve run HS-XC and have done a marathon… he does a 5:18 mile and I’m hoping for a 9:25 pace… I’m not sure it wouldn’t be more painful for him to jog at my pace than run his own… but I’m still hoping for help for MY race, certainly don’t need any more worries and I think I would be too worried about him for the full race… I think he should wait a few more years for the full marathon… but how do I convince HIM? or should I?
- June 1, 2004 at 5:59 pm #14859
I would strongly advise against him running. If you haven’t already, you can see my thoughts here. I have seen not just high school runners but even collegiate runners ruin whole seasons, if not a complete year or more, of T&F and cross-country running by trying to do a marathon during the off-season. Your son only has one opportunity to compete with his high school team. He has the rest of his life to run marathons.
However, if my words are unconvincing, I would even more strongly suggest sitting down with his coach and discussing this before even thinking about the idea. Most coaches feel very strongly about this and your son’s coach would be able to explain within the basis of the training program your son will be following why or why not running a marathon would fit well or what modifications would be suggested.
- June 1, 2004 at 6:31 pm #14860
OK, I think you’ll find nearly 100% agreement here that your sone would be best served NOT running the whole thing with you. I’m guessing he wants to prove to himself that he can do it. To that I would say ‘of course you CAN do it, but look at the consequences’. Tell him he’ll have all sorts of time to do one. For a kid racing 5k in-season, there’s no benefit in running more than 90 minutes or so in one shot.
- June 1, 2004 at 7:19 pm #14861
okay… so you think about like I do… BUT how do I convince this kid the we know best… this is a 16 year old BOY, thinks he know lots more than his mom even if I’ve complete 7, two REALLY ugly ones…
I dropped it when he said he wanted to do the whole thing because I didn’t want to say the wrong thing… and… if you really want to get worried for him, he still runs in cotton socks, I bought him good ones but he says he likes cotton… right… and cotton t-shirts too… granted he’ll be jogging slow (for him)… but still, cotton?
I can NOT enter him till the last minute… or not at all if he gets too smart about this… though I would enjoy his company for 8-10 miles…
- June 1, 2004 at 7:41 pm #14862r-at-work wrote:if you really want to get worried for him, he still runs in cotton socks, I bought him good ones but he says he likes cotton… right… and cotton t-shirts too… granted he’ll be jogging slow (for him)… but still, cotton?
I still wear cotton t-shirts very frequently and cotton socks on occasion. What’s wrong with that? 😉
Seriously, though, if all else fails, this may be something that you just have to put your foot down on. Most marathons, if they allow minors to enter at all, require parental consent. If you don’t sign the waiver, he doesn’t get entered.
Personally, I would try to explain to him your concern. This is where his coach may also be able to help. You may want to approach his coach on your own and talk about this. The coach will most likely agree with you and then all three of you can sit down together and you and his coach can both express your concern as a united front. Don’t leave his father out of this, either. Letting him see that everyone who is generally concerned for his future, health- and running-wise, and letting him know where the concern is coming from may get the idea across to him. If that doesn’t work, then it’s time to do what good parents sometimes have to do. Just saying no may not be the easy thing to do but, sometimes, it’s what has to be done.
- June 1, 2004 at 8:03 pm #14863
Most marathons, if they allow minors to enter at all, require parental consent. If you don’t sign the waiver, he doesn’t get entered.
Yeah, but she doesn’t want her son to resent her either. If she doesn’t sign the waiver, that’s probably what will happen.
You gotta look at this from his point of view. What’s important to him? Hopefully, running fast in track and x-c. Running this marathon is probably going to take 4-6 weeks out of his summer training. Probably more, because I don’t think he’d be adequatly trained, therefore recovery would take longer. Like someone else said, he has the rest of his life to do marathons. I’d hate to see go into his first one unprepared – then never want to try another one.
Is there any other race associated with the marathon, like a 10k or a half marathon? Maybe he could do one of those races. Maybe you can persuade him to run a half marathon on a different weekend.
- June 1, 2004 at 9:21 pm #14864Zeke wrote:Yeah, but she doesn’t want her son to resent her either. If she doesn’t sign the waiver, that’s probably what will happen.
That’s why I suggest first trying to explain to him why it would not be a good idea, with both parents and his coach if possible. However, if push comes to shove, which is more important? Making the right decision for him and his future or not having him resent her? As I have seen and heard stated many times, parents need to be parents, not friends. This means making the difficult decisions that are in the best interest of the children, even if it means they will resent you for it. In the end, they will realize that you did what you felt was best for them and be thankful that you cared enough for them to make the difficult decisions. Until then, teens will always find something to resent their parents about.
Of course, this is a running forum, not a parenting forum. So I will finish by reiterating that I think a high schooler has much more to lose than to gain by running a marathon too early. I am very glad I ended up waiting as long as I did to run my first and, when I have children, I will do whatever is within my power as a parent to make sure they don’t make the mistake of running one too soon, even if they resent me for the decisions I have to make.
- June 2, 2004 at 11:20 am #14865
yeah… it’s not a parenting forum… but since I’ve never been a HS boy that ran track I needed you guys to give me THAT insight…
1. what’s important to him… a good XC season whicht would be affected by the training needed to complete the marathon and a good winter track season which would be affected by the recovery
2. include the coach… he’ll listen to the coach WAY easier than me
3. forget his dad (not my husband)… dad is an overweight couch potato who played football & doesn’t understand why anyone would run if they weren’t going to WIN…
and yeah, I wear cotton shirts on my short runs, but not cotton socks 🙄
and as much as I’d like him to help me out, he’s got lots of time to grow up and run his own races (but I won’t tell him that)…
- June 2, 2004 at 12:17 pm #14866
I’ve seen this happen. A girl on the girls xc team at my school (and a captain too) was intent on running Boston with her dad one spring.
She started training in the summer and did lots of distance running. Obviously you need to do a lot of distance, but what she did was overkill. Her body couldn’t handle it and her xc season was ruined. Something about scar tissue that developed in her legs or tears or something? I don’t even remember.
She thought, naturally, that the distance woud help her in the fall xc season, but it had the opposite affect, a negative one.
That’s my 2 cents.
From a high schooler’s perspective: why would you want to slow down and run 26.2 miles when you have the opportunity to run smokin’ fast 5ks and track races? 😉
- June 2, 2004 at 12:27 pm #14867
“From a high schooler’s perspective: why would you want to slow down and run 26.2 miles when you have the opportunity to run smokin’ fast 5ks and track races?”
it’s a family thing… I’ve been the runner in the family the longest, and we (my son and I) had a major falling out last fall… well, I’ve been to all his meets, his dad works evenings and weekends(by choice)… so now we’re on better terms and the one BIG thing we have in common is being runners… he asked me what I wanted for Mothers’ Day and I said a PR at 10K… so he jogged with me to keep me motivated and on pace…(got the PR)…
so I guess the best thing to do would be to take him to 5K-10K type races and let him run his own race and be content with sharing the bagels aftwerwards…
- June 2, 2004 at 12:27 pm #14868r-at-work wrote:3. forget his dad (not my husband)… dad is an overweight couch potato who played football & doesn’t understand why anyone would run if they weren’t going to WIN…
I guess I should have said your husband. Whoever is playing the role of father figure should be there if both of you agree it’s appropriate.
- June 2, 2004 at 1:56 pm #14869
do not let him run it….NO NO NO NO…DO NOT.
he has of time to do a marathon…..but LATER.
The ONLY good thing he will do is help out his mom. If he runs the whole thing he risks injury from runing with a different gait, and much more….give him my e mail adrress and I can tell him about 7 reasons why not for each reason he can think if why.
- June 2, 2004 at 1:56 pm #14870
do not let him run it….NO NO NO NO…DO NOT.
he has of time to do a marathon…..but LATER.
The ONLY good thing he will do is help out his mom. If he runs the whole thing he risks injury from runing with a different gait, and much more….give him my e mail adrress and I can tell him about 7 reasons why not for each reason he can think of why.
- June 2, 2004 at 1:58 pm #14871
A good idea would be for your son to ask us the question himself – either on this site or any other experienced runner’s web site. Then we could be the bearer of bad news and not you. We (as you know) would be very supportive and informative for him while keeping him grounded in reality and what is best for him.
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