Young Runner's Guide

To Optimum Performance

A Comprehensive Guide for Today’s Young Runners written by Mark N. Curtis former Coach of a Junior Olympic cross country Team and training camp, and former United States Naval Pentathlon Individual Overall World Champion, as well as Canadian and Hawaii Ironman Military Title Holder.

Topics Covered

Racing Techniques

The formula for success. Warm Ups, drills for strength, form and drills that will help with racing performance.


How to guide parents, and motivate young runners to mentally and physically become a champion.


Curtis, Retired Navy SEAL Medic, gives expert medical advice on growth plate development.

Speed vS. Distance

Tips on how to find the magic number, or baseline for a young runner to start at.

Preview – Chapter 1

“This is not an easy task by any stretch of the imagination. It is very energy intensive and time consuming, it can even be compounded by the number of children a family may have, the number of different sports each child is in, and also by the number of working parents. But in the end this endeavor is very beneficial to the overall development of the young athlete and the search for their true passion.”

Mark Curtis

When I was first approached about writing a book concerning the training of young athletes, specifically young Cross Country runners, my first thought was what do I know about writing a book. But as I thought more about it and as a friend pointed out to me, the point wasn’t whether I knew how to write a book or not, the point was, do I have knowledge specific to youth runners that would be valuable and beneficial to them for a lifetime of running, and the answer was without a doubt, “Yes.” So, this book is a collection of some of the lessons that I have learned along the way and training methodologies and race strategies that have evolved with proven results.