SPARTAN HARRIERS – FIRST JUNIOR RUNNING CLINIC
On 10 – 15 July, we at Spartan Harriers very successfully hosted our first junior holiday running clinic. Facilitated by Coach Michael Faulmann, and with the help of various other volunteers and athletic professionals, a fun-filled, challenging and informative 5 days were had by all. Many of the young athletes enthusiastically expressed a wish to continue to train with our junior squad at the club, or at least to attend many more running clinics in the future. With this kind of response, we certainly do hope that this clinic was the first of many!
The young runners who attended the clinic ranged from approximately ages 12-15, and as there is in any group, there was also quite a spectrum of experience, fitness and ability. Throughout all the activities and discussions, we took care to emphasise the importance of competing against oneself before comparing oneself to everyone else, and realising that no matter what the range of ability is, learning to run as a group and to train with partners will always elevate the performances of everyone. (Team work makes the dream work! Even in a solo sport like running).
Across the 5 days, the athletes were challenged to a 5km time trial to gauge fitness and learn about pacing, they were introduced to some light hill work and the importance of interval training for improving strength and speed, as well as a trail run, a regular steady-state run, and discussions on appropriate running form over different terrains.
Physiotherapist Nicole Faulmann discussed and demonstrated the importance of a correct warm-up, stretch and cool-down routine, and lead a group core and strength session on the last day. The athletes were also presented with a talk on Keto low carb nutrition (something we are interested in learning about, but not necessarily something we would condone for all young distance runners), a discussion with elite athlete Heinrich Wagner on his experiences training in Ethiopia, and on the last day each athlete recieved a certificate and T-shirt or completing the challenging but rewarding junior running clinic.
The 5 days were eventful, well-organised, fun, and filled with lively, smiling young runners – happy to learn new things, proud to have completed something hard!