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Teaching children to run



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NANLEYKW
SparkPoints: (40,883)
Fitness Minutes: (21,326)
Posts: 743
1/7/13 11:47 P

So glad you asked this question! My 9-year-old has just recently said that he wants to start running with me, and I was wondering the same thing. Good info here--I'm excited to take him out with me sometime soon!



UNIDENT
Posts: 33,498
1/7/13 8:49 P

I like the Sgt's idea, but I wonder if "a mile" is a bit non-concrete of a concept for a child of that age.

Maybe "let's run the length of this field" today, "let's run to the end of this field and back" in a week and "let's run all the way around this field" in a couple of weeks. No need to stick to any sort of set distances per se, just as long as the length increases sometimes. Maybe pick a long road and go "Let's see what number house we can run to today" and try to run to a higher number every week.



DRAGONCHILDE
SparkPoints: (54,915)
Fitness Minutes: (14,158)
Posts: 9,520
1/7/13 8:33 P

Sounds awesome. :) I think she will enjoy this, and it's certainly going to help her. Now, to get my ankle healed up so I can join her..



SERGEANTMAJOR
Posts: 6,352
1/7/13 6:49 P


Kids naturally do intervals when they run, they run, they walk, they skip, they run sideways and they run backwards. The run intervals are all broken up with self adjusted recovery intervals. All you need to introduce her to is to do her running from one point to another letting her run and walk as she sees fit. Set a goal, "let's go 1/2 mile today" and over time move it up or even let her move it up when she decides she wants to see if she can go 3/4 or 1 mile.

Let it happen at her pace and simply guide her efforts.



GAMEDUTCHESS
SparkPoints: (781)
Fitness Minutes: (723)
Posts: 93
1/7/13 6:48 P

I taught myself to run when I was 12. I basically ran until I was tired which was like 1\4 of a block then walked until I felt I could run again then repeated. When I got into highschool I started to add incline from the treadmill or go find places with hills to run.



UNIDENT
Posts: 33,498
1/7/13 6:19 P

Bear in mind that Spark and its users are not qualified to provide fitness advice for children. The information on this site is for adults. Children have different needs.

However, as a trained PT, the bit on kids (IIRC) consisted largely of "It's basically the same".

So teach her as you would an adult who says to you "How do I learn to run?" Consider the Couch to 5k or Spark Your Way to a 5k programmes. Just have her run a bit, walk a bit, and gradually increase the running bits and walking bits.



ZORBS13
SparkPoints: (88,280)
Fitness Minutes: (90,572)
Posts: 12,695
1/7/13 4:57 P

why not enter her in a kids 1 mile or 1K fun run as a goal? Most have medals these days.

I would just explain that she needs to slow down a *tiny* bit and walk a bit and repeat the running a couple more times. Add more repeats as time goes on, of course. If you've ever been to a race, children do not know how to pace, they run all out, walk, and do it again.



DRAGONCHILDE
SparkPoints: (54,915)
Fitness Minutes: (14,158)
Posts: 9,520
1/7/13 4:49 P

I have a question that's been tickling in the back of my brain, and I figured, why not ask you guys!

I have a 7 year old who is very active. She's expressed interest in learning to run! Now, I'm not talking about entering the kid into a race, or even timing her at all, nothing formal. Just teaching her to run! Right now, she can go for about 30 seconds, and she's pooped. ;)

So, keeping in mind her age and abilities, how would I train her? My primary concern is her safety... she will NOT be pushed in any way. This is just for fun and energy expenditure, and I'll be running with her, too, but at her pace instead of mine. (My "real" runs will be later) We have access to a quarter mile dirt track, and my street is about a quarter mile, too.

This is just something we could do together, that will help burn off some of that limitless energy she has.



 
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