Are you racing Mt. SAC this weekend?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

What's the right distance for girls' cross-country? (interesting article about determining the right distance for cross country in Minnesota.  What do you think?)


Anonymous said...

High School 5k is fine for both boys and girls. But in college it should be 8k then 10k for the championships like the men. I guess they are scared to lose interest on the women's side as not many would want to run that far. Classic sexist thinking. The men jump all the way to 8k and 10k so can the women. At least run 6k then go to 8k for the championships. What they have now is nothing more than an extension of HS. Sad.

Anonymous said...

College coaches are split on the women's distance. A disparity in college is a program's emphasis on distance running or an overall track team. There is a belief that a longer distance favors the distance emphasis programs and the battle rages on.

Anonymous said...

I think 5k is the right distance for HS Girls. That last "mile" is a separator combining a mix of maintained "speed" with endurance. A lot happens sometimes during that last 1000m.

My issue has been over-training/poor training and I have had push back on that issue. But I think some development of training protocols and distance training goals (not strict limitations)for freshman girls (and boys) could perhaps lesson some of the injuries I have seen to girls xc runners. Many schools have summer running programs with incoming freshman running a fair amount of miles - some for the first time - without coaches or trainers.


Anonymous said...

In my opinion there is nothing magical about 5k. A 3.0 or 2.95 (Crystal) or 2.93 (Mt. sac) is fine. Running 4k or even 2 milers early are fine too. But championships should be around 3 miles for boys and girls.

Interesting note, the San Diego section runs a shorter distance for girls on the challenging Balboa Park course for their section championship.

Anonymous said...

As a measure of standard, 5k is better than 4k, but early season, some 3k and 4k prepare the girls for 3m or 5k courses. SD section is not the only place where section championships is a shorter distance. It is 3m in NS, but the course is grueling, too.

At the top comment @ 7:52 AM, completely disagree with bumping college women to 8k. The sport is cross-country, not Iron Woman. 6k is completely sufficient, and it allows some separation in the final kilometer, much like MATTT E stated in the last mile in HS.

Cross-country still draws your 800 and 1500 runners, and sure, go to 8k, but in doing so, you are going to diminish your field.

Anonymous said...

I have to disagree. 6k is too short for cross country. if you are calling an 8k an iron man you are the crazy one. The men run 8k and 10k in college. I see no problem with women running 6k and 8k. What you are saying is that women are inferior and can't handle the longer races. You are wrong. Cross country is about technical running, endurance and a challenging terrain. Does the 10k distance diminish the men?

Anonymous said...

@ 11:12 AM - You fail to recognize the obvious.

Have you ever watched American Ninja Warrior? You don't see too many women advancing do you? Is this because they are inferior? Absolutely not. It is called design!

Are you familiar with Sam Gordon, the 10 year old girl who is a football star? When she is 13, 14, 15, she will not be, and you know who owns up to it? She does because she is not hoodwinked by PC BS.

There are many outstanding girls and women who are better runners then boys and men, but those are absolutely the exception, and not the rule.

There are differences between men and women, but you probably haven't noticed that, have you?

Marty Beene said...

I think 5k is fine for both boys and girls at the varsity level, and even JV. The only reason I can think of to make girls' distances shorter is that girls are, on average, shorter than boys. If you have shorter legs and/or a shorter stride length, then running any given distance takes more effort. The problem with that argument is that there are plenty of "short" boys who are shorter than some girls, and they can handle it. Bottom line, if you know the race is 5k, there's no reason you can't train for that distance - some runners, whether girls or boys, will take longer to complete the distance than others, but so what?

In our league (and many others), the frosh-soph and junior-senior (kind of like JV) run a shorter distance in the league meets. This seems like a great alternative for any runner who struggles with the longest distances (5k, 3 miles). The article was talking about, in some cases, middle school kids running in high school races. Having a shorter distance for runners who are not ready for the longer distance seems very manageable....

Peter Brewer said...

It's a matter of training. It has nothing to do with height or weight or gender. Women are innately more capable of enduring discomfort than men and therefore the distance of the races is a moot point.

What is really the issue is the preparation for racing. What are these coaches doing for workouts? A girl can't do a three mile run in training? Then she is capable of running three miles in a race.

Any training plan that has any sense of physiological reality can train a teenage girl to do steady state runs of 30, 45, 60 minutes and more in a given season. 5K is not an irrational distance recommended by sadists. It is just a distance.

Anonymous said...

I agree that physiologically there is no reason why boys and girls should run different distances. One logistical argument is to make the race times similar (although, at the varsity level the difference is small).

As an aside, the notion that women are innately more capable of enduring discomfort is a myth. For example:

Peter Brewer said...

9:17 AM:

Well, even if the pain tolerance levels are the same doesn't change much. That only reinforces the idea that women can tolerate at least as much as men. So, a shorter distance (which implies an easier run)is unnecessary if the research is correct.

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