Posted: 24/05/2016 at 07:54
I would certainly advocate joining a running club. Most - including mine - would welcome keen, enthusuastic runners.
I would say that you don't necessarily need to do the miles at your age. In terms of competition, you will seldom run more than the 1500m on track and probably no more than 3 miles during cross country (if you're year 10 you'll be U17, year 9 U15).
At the club you will do a whole series of training sessions designed to make you faster, more economical and improve your stamina. Perservere with the park run if you must but don't chase times - use it as an enjoyable easy run with friends/family.
Don't be put off by some of the faster kids at a club, there will always be an element of competition but trust me, as a coach and a team manager it's the keen athletes we need and make the job worthwhile.
Given your dad seems keen, get him to come along and shadow qualified coaches (if he's not one already). There are a whole host of roles he could fill from qualified assistant to full coach and most clubs would love the support of parents.
His ability as an athlete - as has been pointed out - doesn't mean he isn't or can't be a good coach.
I don't know where in Wiltshire you're from but Malborough have a very good junior set up - we compete against those in the junior leagues - and I'm sure we've come up against Salisbury before.