What ages participate in the program?
We are open to ages 7 and up, youth and adults. We currently have ages 7-35, plus parents/mentors, most are ages 7-20.
Does my child/do I need to be a good athlete to join?
No. We are open to everyone regardless of athletic ability. Workouts at practice are tailored to individual abilities.
Does my child need to come to every practice?
No. BUT...If you are looking to develop: 1) general aerobic fitness; 2) run fitness; or 3) comfort in participating with the group, we encourage and greatly stress the importance of being as consistent as possible and coming out as often as possible because you will benefit the most from it. Please keep in mind that while running is a very simple activity, it is actually very hard to do and painful if you are not in shape. It doesn't take much to develop the fitness, but you have to do it regularly. The most improvement and success with our participants has come from those who attend 2-3 times a week regularly.
To harp on it...Over and over we see people who come out once a week or every few weeks and really struggle out there because they, 1) haven't developed the fitness and stamina needed to be able to enjoy running, 2) get frustrated because they never get a chance to realize achievement of a goal or improvement, 3) don't develop the routine to gain the familiarity of the environment. For fitness, children age 7-8 can benefit from once a week. Others should consider 2-3 times a week, or have a plan to run on non-practice days, or do some other true aerobic exercise (20 min. minimum).
If you can, we ask that if you know in advance that you will not be attending a practice that you let the head coach know. It's helpful for assigning volunteers and planning the workout.
How long are practices and what do you do at a practice?
Practices are 60 minutes. Depending on your child's needs, they may stay for the entire practice or for a shorter amount of time as works for them. Total distance is typically 1-3 miles depending on athlete. Weeknight practices in Cambridge utilize the grass hill for hill repeats, or as part of our cross country course runs. During cross country season, the main workout may be practice running a cross country type course, following cones through fields. Winter indoor season will include more focus on strength and skills, and shorter distance running.
TYPICAL SCHEDULE OF ACTIVITIES...
- Warm up walk/jog when you arrive
- Drills (as a group)
- Run Workout (break into smaller groups based on age/ability, everyone completes the workout to their own ability, they may be individualized as needed)
1. Run Segment 1 - Aerobic endurance/stamina (easy to moderate effort) - 1/2 mile to 2.5 miles depending on individual.
2. Run Segment 2 - Varying combos of the following (moderate to very hard effort): Shorter intervals (200-400m), sprints (50-100m), hills, shuttle relays (50-100m), low hurdle sprints/relays (30-100m), grass runs
- Core strength/Motor skills exercises (as a group)
- Stretching (as a group)
Do I need to be there while my child is practicing?
This is dependent on your child's needs. Please discuss with the head coach at your first practice.
Do I need to run with my child?
No, however, if we are short on volunteers and you are able to participate, it would be helpful. You can pair up with someone else if you prefer your child not run with you (recommended).
Will someone be with my child?
We have parents and volunteers to run with those who needs support. This may be one-on-one or in a small group. Please notify the head coach at your first practice of any needs your child has and if they need constant supervision.
Can everyone participate in races?
Everyone may participate in road races and team meets. There are minimum requirements for participating in track and field and cross country. (Eg.: You must be able to complete 1 mile in under 14 minutes to participate in cross country.) Coaches will decide when an athlete is ready to participate in events with minimum requirements.
Is there a fee?
In effort to support our commitment to being as accessible to all as possible, and to help encourage you to be active and develop your fitness as individuals and as families, there is no required up front fee for regular programs. However, a suggested minimum donation (listed on Programs Page) is appreciated. There may be a nominal fee for additional programs (also listed on Programs Page). Race fees are paid by participant. Scholarships are available for program fees and race fees to those needing financial assistance. Please let either AJ or Matt know if you need assistance.
How long does the program go?
We have regular practices in winter, spring, and fall, and camp opportunities during the summer. You can join us all year or for individual seasons. Once you sign up, you are considered an active club team member through the end of that year. Please visit our Calendars page for the schedule.
How do I sign my child up?
Do you offer training plans?
As requested, training plans may be provided for:
INDIVIDUALS who wish to advance their running, or to maintain a structured routine during a time when they are on break from school teams, or to train for specific events.
FAMILIES looking for direction, structure or motivation to run together on non-practice days.
VOLUNTEERS who have shown a commitment to the team may also request a training plan.