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Here is my story. Back in year 7 I was a proficient cross county runner achieving a county vest on the lower distances (3k abouts). However when the distance increased I found the races a lot harder and my position gradually fell back through the field. I did train for the distances but not too much as I was told not to overdo it at a young age. Why I could not cut it has eluded me, maybe my body was not developed at the time. My training soon focused more on the track.

My main event was the 800m where i was usually successful. My best achievment was 2nd in the county and running in the south of england championships. However I had lots of coaching trouble where I lost my coach and then my club didn't want anything to do with me. They did not give me a new coach and never achnolaged my achievments. Despite this I carried on competing for a while, although I ran the same time 2:10 over and over again. This time was great when I first ran it but I should have been nearer 2 minutes in the years after, it was immensly frustrating.

Probably due to my lonelyness in the sport I strayed to what my friends where doing- rugby. It kept my fitness up and improved my power and core strength aswell as giving me a sport with lots of team mates for company. For the past 2 years I played rugby but I was recently driven away by injury and training problems.

Now aged 16 I have the question- what to do next? The longer distances (10k give or take) attract me as that is what the local adult running club do. However I do not know if I can cut it, the woes of my early cross country days haunt me and tell me no. Please give me your advice on the matter.

Apologies for the masses of text. Much thanks for your time.
 

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Without a doubt your name should be changed to YAY! You've obviously had a bright past in the sport and at the tender age of 16 you potentially have a very long running career ahead of you. You'd be silly not to give it a go.

It's a difficult subject to post about I think, this is my third typed response as my previous efforts have been very leading, ultimately you need to find what works for you rather than simply following what others suggest, after all I'm just another average guy who enjoys running!

The few things I'd say in response to your post that you should consider are:

* Talk to like minded people (such as people on this forum), and by all means listen to their opinions, but use them to extract nuggets of info that you feel will benefit you. Very rarely is there a single correct answer, and what's perfect for one runner, may be a terrible solution for another.

* To be able to run you don't need a coach. A coach can help you improve, but it's still the same body doing the same work to get the same improvements, they can only really help you improve if they know more than you... Personally I find it hard to simply accept what other people say, I'll listen, but also question and research myself before accepting the logic.

* Start with a standard 10k running schedule and see how you go. Enter a 10k race and see how it goes - try not to develop expectations. Once you've had a race you'll know where you're at and can assess where to go from there, also I'd imagine that with your training you'll learn where you're weakest and be able to work on it. It sounds like you've struggled in the past with endurance, so work on running longer distances more slowly...

If I think of anything else I'll post again, but I think you obviously have a lot of potential and should at least see what longer distance running can offer you!
 

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I agree with Richard. You're young still, so there's plenty time for you to mould yourself in to the kind of runner you want to be. the great thing about running is that (with a bit of advice from others) you can be your own coach really easy, and now, when you're starting out, you can try lots of different things, and see what works for you! At the end of the day, you should set goals (as you have) and work towards them in your own way. If you find something is going wrong, then you can change it. So yeah, I reiterate the point made that you should try running longer times/distances at slow paces, distance first, then speed! You'll have ran that 10k before you know it :)
 
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