Below are some frequently asked questions
and answers that may help
you in your decision to sign up for the program
Would this program be suitable for my children
who play sports, but have no experience in distance running?
A: Yes, it would. No
prior experience is required to join the club. The kids get that
experience step by step as they go through the program, and in the end
they really start thinking of themselves as runners. Besides running,
a lot of core fitness and agility training as well as many fun
What activities does a typical practice include?
We normally start with ~5 min easy jog for a warmup, some stretches and agility drills. After that, we either go on a group
run or do a workout. In the end, we play running games, do some core
exercises, and finish with another set of stretches. The length of runs
and intensity of workouts progress gradually through the season.
long are the runs? Will my child be able to endure them?
Coaches gauge the ability of athletes attending and form several
groups. The beginner group may use a mix of walking and running and go
for 10-15 min at first, gradually increasing the volume as season goes.
More advanced group may run for 25-30 min. We include
breaks and let the kids build their endurance and confidence step by
step - nobody has to go
over limits. Our regular group runs are done on trail loops within the
Tudek Park. We have coaches running in the front and in the back of the
pack to make sure no one is left behind.
big is the group and what ages do usually participate?
A: Usually, the fall program gathers 70-80 kids
(approximately equal boys and girls) of various ages, with majority
being 4-8 graders. At practice we warm-up together and may
split into smaller groups for runs or workouts.
Q: How many days per week do you have practice?
A: During cross country season we
typically hold practice 5 times a week
- Monday through Thursday at Tudek and on Sunday afternoons, when we
local parks around State College. Different coaches may be in charge of
practice on different days.
Q: Is attendance on all days mandatory?
A: No. It is quite common that the kids are
involved in many different activities in the fall, so feel flexible and
choose the days that fit best into your schedule.
many days is preferable to be at practice?
A: It depends on your goals. If you want to
see progress in
endurance, fitness, get faster, or if you have competitive goals, at
least 3 practices per week are recommended. Athletes who choose to be
on the travel squads for Championship meets should try to commit for
3 practices per
week. If you are not there yet - just want to try it, hang
out, and do it just for fun - even
would be fine.
we try it out before deciding to
A: Yes - everyone is allowed to join the practice
and check it out during the try-out period (before September 1st). Please fill out the waiver form, but
you can hold the fee payment until you are sure that your kids want to
stay in the club.
- parents are welcome to stay for practice (especially if they
accompany young kids who are trying it). It would be a good to ask your
kids if they like that idea though :) If you plan coming regularly and
can help coaching,
please inform Coach Mark who coordinates volunteer schedule.
Q: Is there a deadline for registration? Is
it possible to sign up later in the season after the soccer practice is
There is no deadline usually, but if we reach the capacity limit
registration may be closed. So even if you plan joining practice later
in the seasn, we still encourage you to register early. Registering by
September 1st guarantees a T-shirt.
Q: Are there any cross country meets and how do we
sign up for those?
There are a few local all-comers meets, which are run in
September-October. Those are free and open to athletes of all levels and ages. Then there are travel Championship meets in
November. For those, registration should be done in advance through the Club. Information on meets and
races will be sent
by e-mail to all club members and posted on the Club's website. NTF pays the meet registration fees for all club athletes.
Q: What distances do athletes run at the meets?
A: The youngest group
8 and under run 2k (1.25 mile), 9-10 and 11-12 groups run 3k (1.75
mile), 13-14 athletes run 4 k (2.5 mile), and older athletes run 5k
(3.1 mile), the same as high school.
participation in meets mandatory?
Not at all. Although we always encourage our athletes to try
competition, there is no pressure about this matter, especially if this
is the first year of them participating in cross country. It is up to
parents and athletes themselves to decide when they are ready
to race. Every year, there are quite a few competitive kids on the team
who train for racing goals and represent NTF at the Regional and
What is required for joining the Club's travel teams for the Championships?
A: Each team will include 5 to 8 runners from the same age/gender
category. Anyone who is ready to commit to training and travel to the
meet can join - it does not depend on your running times or ability.
Every runner is valuable. Quite a few first-timers participated in
such teams in previous years and got great experience!
What should athletes wear or bring to practice?
Well-fitting running shoes, water bottle, warm-up clothes (pants and
hoodie for cool weather). Please do not bring other sport equipment
(like soccer balls etc.)
Does practice get canceled because of rain (or snow)?
Light rain is usually not a problem. As cross country runners, we dress
accordingly and run through it. In case of strong, cold or freezing
rain, or thunder, the practice may be cancelled. Then, a notification
will be sent to all participants via e-mail before 5 pm.
Q: What safety measures are implemented at practice to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic?
Our Covid-19 safety plan lists a few measures, such as limited group
capacity, physical distancing, symptom screening, and using face
clothing when appropriate. As CDC regulations and local ordinances are
adjusted through the year, some of those measures may be relaxed.
Q: Do athlete need to run in face masks?
No - this is not considered a healthy practice. Masks are only used for
group cicrles and activities when physical ditancing cannot be
maintained and are not used during any aerobic exercise.
more questions: e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org