Saturday, September 03, 2011

Pair of aces at Oakmont; full hand at Woodcreek


Anonymous said...

Great news to see Karlie Garcia back in form. Love to see Karlie and Clare Carroll race.

Anonymous said...

it would be fun to watch, but a healthy Clare Carroll gets Karlie every time--no comparison in terms of raw speed or endurance. 20 second difference in 1600 PRs and nearly 30 second difference in their freshman state meets times at Woodward.

MadMatt said...

Clare beat Karlie head to head by about 5 seconds at the Pac Assoc./Reg 16 championships in 2009 in Reno (Clare as an 8th grader and Karlie as a 9th grader). From the schedule does not look like a head to head until Stanford. Both are VERY good but both have suffered health issues as have other female athletes who have practiced over 40 miles a week before they were 15 yo. Read an article years ago that females should not run high mileage until they are 15 or 16 y.o. and my own experience with club sports - Pac Assoc. - does kind of support this.

Dave Bayliss said...

MadMatt, I'm curious what article you're referring to that said females should not run high mileage (over 40 miles per week) until they are 15 or 16 years old. You said it was "years ago," yet sports science has continued to evolve and many things once believed true regarding female athletes have turned out to be nothing more than male-biased prejudices, just ask Katherine Switzer and countless other female pioneers that have helped shatter those misplaced beliefs. I don’t believe you were trying to convey a prejudice, but I also don’t believe you can infer that their injuries were due to their mileage and the fact that Clare and Karlie are females.

Youth athletes definitely have different needs and tolerances than adults. The simple fact that they are growing (often rapidly) makes things more complex for both boys and girls and makes them more susceptible to injury. Is there a best age range for starting to do "high mileage" (over 40 miles per week) for either boys or girls? I believe that if you surveyed most youth coaches they would say somewhere in high school which, of course, is around 15 to 16. Why? Because most runners begin their competitive careers as 14-year old freshmen and will take a season or two or three to build up to that level if s/he is serious about trying to progress. Moreover, I and many coaches who've worked with youth athletes in high school and younger, will tell you that it's often not so much the volume of what's being done that leads to overuse/repetitive-stress injuries, rather it is intensity or more often the rate of increasing one or both volume and intensity too quickly.

I happen to personally know Clare. More than one factor probably contributed to the injury that sidelined her this past track season. High mileage was not one of the reasons that medical professionals named as a cause. I do not know Karlie or the nature of what sidelined her for most of last year so can not comment on whether mileage was a factor. Both young women are exceptional runners and it will be exciting to see both of them racing up to their potential and continuing to progress. Let's hope that their injuries are behind them and continue to support both of these role models for other female youth distance runners.

Ultimately, it is up to the coach to work with an athlete to develop and implement a training program that best enables progression. Sports science continues to provide us with valuable information that we can utilize in creating a training framework for our entire team and tweak for individuals whose needs fall outside the general parameters. However, it is both and art and a science and one with many, many variables so it is not perfect.

Dave Bayliss
PAUSATF Youth Cross Country Chair

MadMatt said...

Dave – I was not implying that any particular injury to a particular female athlete is due to overuse. Well, my post may have implied it actually – but it was meant in a general sense. Obviously I do not have sufficient information or expertise to make such a conclusion as to any particular athlete. However, I do feel comfortable based on my own observations, experiences and discussions with my kids own doctor and several coaches that as a general rule it is not good for young girls to over train in running and there are differences from boys. I do agree with you absolutely that duration vs. intensity can be critical.

The article I referred to was one given to me by a parent several years ago when my kids were in elementary school cross country whose daughter had suffered injuries - and I do not remember the author or name of the article - I believe it was circa 2004 or so. There is an article that is somewhat similar by Marc Bloom from a few years ago on the net. And when my kids were younger I read Ed Poirier a lot and his advice on Kids Running.

I am no doctor nor am I representing myself as an expert by any means. But it is my understanding that girls are indeed very different than boys from a "sports perspective" due to the physical differences in anatomy, bone density and muscle mass. Girls also use their bodies differently than boys with respect to sports as a result of such differences. I think some coaches (at all levels) – and probably a lot of parents –(and the girls themselves) simply do not understand this when it comes to training for girls – especially for young girls - and employ a one size fits all approach to training.

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