Kids and running...

(This one is for you Kristen.)

I ran my first non-school sponsored running event when I was 18... 
Paisley ran her first at 18 months...

From that first moment of putting on a bib number/getting a medal to now - running is just something our kids have no choice but to do.

Their grandpa runs, their aunts run, their uncles run, their mom runs, and heaven knows their dad RUNS.

So here is how our kids have got to the level of running that they are at:

*Start them young. Paisley was in kindergarten when she ran her first 5k. Little legs are impressive and although it might not be pretty - most school-agers should be able to "run" a 5k.

*Start small. If you are worried about how they will do - there are numerous 1 mile or shorter kid runs. A lot of time they are tacked on to bigger runs and aren't advertised directly as fun runs but start looking and you will find a suitable distance. 

*Use the term "run" loosely. Sometimes our kids walk, bike, skip, or get carried during races. We still tell them they ran and that they did great! As they get older they are better at legitimately "running" the whole thing.

*My kids are active - very active... we don't do any real running specific training with them. On occasion, Paisley has joined me for a run now that she is older but most of their fitness just comes from chasing chickens. During the school year, our school does have a fantastic running program were the kids earn prizes for laps at lunch recess... this has definitely improved Paisley and Fielding's running ability - Cosie not so much because she would rather play with friends.

*Running swag is a major motivational boost. My kids love the stuff that comes with races - they love the free chapstick, water bottles, shirts, medals, and numbers. Just yesterday, Fielding and Cosie got ribbons in the mail for placing 1st and 2nd at the fun run last week and it was pure elation! Once your kids realize that they get tangible items along with the "I just did something hard feeling of greatness" than they will soon be hooked.

*Be prepared for tears. Running hurts - your kid will cry at some point - it's okay. They will forgive you and be happy when they finished. I do the same thing when I run so I totally get it.

*Display their hard work. Hang their medals in the room. Have them wear their shirts and brag to all your friends about how awesome your kid did at their race in front of them. My favorite race memorabilia is the bib numbers that I have wallpapered our garage with. About once a week, I overhear the kids, as we are pulling out of the garage, discuss which number was theirs and what race it was.

*Set an example. You want your kids to run - you got to run... on some level... it doesn't have to be crazy but show them that you are working hard for your fitness as well.

1 comment:

Kristen said...

This is awesome! Thank you! It's a goal to get my kid to do a race this fall (and me too). I will read this post periodically!