Frequently Asked Questions

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What ages are the athletes in the club?

9 years and older (including adults).  For children younger than 9, we highly recommend team sports, and running races for fun without formal training.

What age division am I in?

Your age division is determined by your age on December 31st of the current year for AAU or USATF competition.  


* Per USATF Rule 300.1 (c) “Athletes must be at least seven (7) years of age on December 31 of the current year to compete at the Youth Athletics or Junior Olympic National Championships.”

** Athletes who are still 18 through the final day of the USATF or AAU National Junior Olympic Track & Field Championships are eligible to compete in the 17-18 age division through that meet. This extended eligibility does not apply to cross country events.


 Cross Country Age Divisions And Distances
Year Of Birth: AAU Divisions and Distances: Footlocker Divisions and Distances: USATF Divisions and Distances:
  9 – 3000 meters 10 & Under – 3000 meters 9-10 – 3000 meters
  10 – 3000 meters 10 & Under – 3000 meters 9-10- 3000 meters
  11 – 3000 meters 11 & 12 – 3000 meters 11-12 – 3000 meters
  12 – 3000 meters 11 & 12 – 3000 meters 11-12 – 3000 meters
  13 – 4000 meters 13 & 14 – 3000 meters 13-14 – 4000 meters
  14 – 4000 meters 13 & 14 – 3000 meters 13-14 – 4000 meters
  15-16 – 5000 meters High School Seeded or by Grade – 5000 meters 15-16 – 5000 meters
  17-18 – 5000 meters High School Seeded or by Grade – 5000 meters 17-18 – 5000 meters

How many athletes are in the club?

Typically ranges from 20 to 60 kids, per season.

Is the club for experienced and/or competitive athletes only?

No!  The club is for everyone interested in learning and improving in running and/or field events.  With our elite program we cater to top high school, collegiate and post-collegiate athletes.

When is practice?

Typically Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6:00 – 7:30pm.  Additional practice days may be added as needed.  Training at home during non-practice days may also be required.  DST will affect start times.

Where is practice?

Sanlando Park for Cross Country and Sanlando Park, and Lake Brantley High School for Track & Field

What’s the rain policy?

We practice and compete in the rain.  Practice is cancelled when conditions are dangerous due to flooding, lightning and bad storms.

How do I find out if practice is canceled?

Check your email for practice cancellation notifications.  No notification means practice is on as scheduled.  Thanks to weather radar apps, practice cancellation notices will typically go out 30-60 minutes before practice start times.  When practice is questionable, athletes travelling a long distance are advised to practice at home.  

What should I do if I am going to miss a practice?

Notify the coach ( as soon as possible and ask for a practice to do at home if one has not been provided.

Why do experienced athletes have a later registration deadline?

Because they have already been training and competing on their middle and high school teams.  Beginners will have insufficient time to prepare for qualifying meets or to catch up with other new Gliders that have been training for 6 weeks.

What should I wear?

  • Athletes should wear properly laced running shoes for practice.  Tennis shoes, soccer shoes and basketball shoes, etc., are unacceptable.  Two pairs of running shoes are recommended, as they will get wet and muddy.  Athletes should wear properly laced running spikes or running flats for competition. We recommend the Track Shack on Mills Ave, one of our main sponsors, for purchasing running shoes. They will expertly fit you and will give a discount to Glider athletes.
  • Athletes should wear any comfortable and appropriate shorts and t-shirt to practice and Central Florida Glider uniforms for competition.  Bring and wear sweats as necessary.
  • Insect repellent sprays are recommended at Sanlando at times.
  • Sunscreen is recommended at the Lake Brantley HS track.
  • Do not wear spikes at practice unless specifically instructed by a coach.

What are the uniform sizes?

Size Chart
  8-9 9-10 10-12 12-14 14-15 16+ 16+
MEN’S   34″ 35″ 36″ 40″ 44″ 46″
WOMEN’S   34″ 35″ 39″ 41″ 44″ 46″
WAIST 18″ 20″ 22″ 24″ 26″ 28″ 30″
INSEAM-MEN’S 4 1/4″ 4 1/4″ 4 1/4″ 4 1/4″ 4 1/4″ 4 1/4″ 4 1/4″
INSEAM-WOMEN’S 3 1/4″ 3 1/4″ 3 1/4″ 3 1/4″ 3 1/4″ 3 1/4″ 3 1/4″

What running spikes should I buy for competition?

Today there are a confusing array of spikes for every event.

For Track & Field competition, we generally recommend:

  • Sprint spikes for those athletes focusing on the 100m and 200m
  • Long distance spikes, running flats or Cross Country (XC) spikes for the long distance runners (1500m and above)
  • Middle distance spikes for everyone else (400-800m, hurdlers, jumpers and undecided).
  • Metal or non-metal spikes are OK, and the required spike length/style is 1/4 inch pyramids.  1/4 or shorter inch pyramids or flats are suggested for Distance runners.

For Cross Country competition, we generally recommend:

  • Cross Country (XC) spikes
  • Running flats, running shoes, or trail running shoes  (especially if course is dry and hard)

Where should I buy running shoes and spikes?

Track Shack has been serving Central Florida since 1977 and is the best store around for running gear and ensuring that your child’s running shoes fit correctly. Mentioned that your child is with the Gliders and you may receive a discount.  Track Shack has a wide selection, knowledgeable staff and is a major sponsor of the Gliders and running in the Orlando area, so please support them first whenever possible.

What should I do if I get injured?

If you are injured or get injured please notify a coach ASAP.  For treatment please see your family physician or consult with Bill Biaggi at Orlando Sports Medicine, the Gliders’ preferred provider of Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine for many years.  Injured athletes should not compete and may need a modified training program or complete rest.






Can I participate in other sports while training and competing with the Gliders?

We do not advise participating in other sports while training and competing with our club.  Track is a sport that requires maximum effort and youth athletes, in particular, playing multiple sports are susceptible to over-use factors and injury.  If you are going to participate in other sports while training with the Gliders, you must notify the coaches and sign a waiver.

What else do I need to do?

Central Florida Gliders requires a big commitment from both athlete and parents. Parents/guardians will be asked to volunteer at track meets and practices, get involved in fundraising events, and to generally support the team in any way possible. Please let us know if you have track & field, XC or other event experience as an athlete or coach.

Please volunteer to join and be an active participant in one or more of the many committees.

What’s fartlek training?

Fartlek, developed in the 1930’s, comes from the Swedish for ‘Speed Play’, combines continuous and interval training. Fartlek allows the athlete to run whatever distance and speed they wish, varying the intensity, and occasionally running at high intensity levels. This type of training stresses both the aerobic and anaerobic energy pathways.  For detailed fartlek training click here.