There are critical periods in the life of a young person in which the effects of training can be maximised. It is also a known that it can take anything from eight to twelve years of training for a talented athlete to achieve elite status.
North Belfast Harriers junior training sessions are therefore based on taking the appropriate time to develop the young athlete both physically and mentally. Training in the junior section develops from the younger group (9-11) to the older (11-15) group and in the older group all children train over distances that they are likely to race over in Cross Country races. This means that although there may be one group, children of differing ages and abilities undertake relevant training for their age and ability, with this slowly increased relevant to the individual. The training is supervised by appropriately trained coaches, some of which have lived experience as successful junior athletes themselves when they competed.
The current coaching team is Andrew, Margaret, Matthew, Séamus, Michelle and Lynn.
North Belfast Harriers has a successful senior and under 20 squad with a number of NIrish and Irish female and male senior and U20 internationals. The junior training is based on developing our athletes so that they can seamlessly integrate into that training squad. In addition, we hope to engender a life time love for running in the children and young people.
The form of our current training is
Junior Track Tuesdays for 9-11 year olds, 6.00 – 6:50 Girls Model Track
Fundamentals – where the emphasis is on fun, developing basic fitness and conditioning and general movement skills – training years 1 to 2 and ideally a chronological age of boys 9 to 11. Tuesdays are likely to contain an element of endurance training appropriate for their age but to prepare them for the transition to the 11-15 year old age group.
Junior Track Endurance Tuesdays for 11 – 15 year olds, 7.00 – 8:00 Girls Model Track
Learning to Train – where the emphasis is to learn how to train and develop their general skills, warm up, flexibility, cool down, stretching, building strength etc.
The emphasis of the training is around endurance training and preparing the child and young person to run Cross Country races by having them undertake endurance sessions covering the distance that at their age they are likely to race over.
Junior Track Thursdays for 9-11 year olds, 6.00 – 6:50 Girls Model Track
Fundamentals – where the emphasis is on fun, developing basic fitness and conditioning and general movement skills – training years 1 to 2 and ideally a chronological age of boys 9 to 11. Thursdays for this age group will lean slightly towards speed again to help them prepare for the transition to the 9-15 year old age group
Junior Track Speed Thursdays for 11 – 15 year olds, 7.00 – 8:00 Girls Model Track
Learning to run fast – where the emphasis is to learn how to sprint with good form and develop their general skills, warm up, flexibility, cool down, stretching, building strength etc. that aids this
The emphasis of the training is around 400m to 800m speed. All the children and young people will undertake a number of sprints with good recovery. Unlike the endurance training each child should be able to undertake the whole session