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18 Jan 2006

two times per day
My son (11) has just started jogging. He is very enthusiastic and jogs even twice a day (4, 5 days per week). Isn't that too much? Will he get fit sooner jogging twice a day than only once per day (he jogs for 25 minutes each time).
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Expert
FitnessDoc
fitnessdoc

01 Jan 0001

HI there

I really do think that twice a day, 5 days a week is far too much. In fact, if it was up to me, once per day, 3 times a week is the absolute maximum anyone younger than 12 should run. The body (and mind) are simply not up to more than this, and if one takes time developing a young athlete, then I do think that the end product is a much better mature adult than if the training is too extreme early on.

Having said this, you are in a relatively difficult situation. If he loves to run, then stopping him may do a little more damage than good, in that you will build a resentment towards running. Perhaps you can compromise and find a balance. The one good thing is that for a young child, running short sessions twice a day is better than one long session. Young children recover so fast that this is feasible. However, I think that you can do one of two things. One is to allow him to run twice a day, only two days a week. The other 3 days, he must run once, and no more than 30 minutes. And he must have at least 2 days a week off, preferably three, where he does absolutely no running. The second option is to encourage him to cycle or play another sport - it's still activity and he still gets out to exercise, but the load is different and he may recover better.

Goodluck
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