Sunday, December 15, 2013

Getting your kid to run with you

Running with my little guy is one of the most favorite things I have been able to do with him.  I wanted to share with you some retrospective amateur's thoughts on having your child run with you.  These are all my personal opinions. 
  • Set small goals and consider making a little chart that encourages consistency and provides them to see their accomplishments in a long term way. (I.e.  Grand Rapids Marathon created an awesome log to count 25 miles leading up to the 1.2 mile race that culminates to the kid "running a marathon"
  • Consider not forcing your children to run in crappy conditions.  We have all run in miserable conditions (rain, horrible heat, snow) but I feel like kids should be shielded from that in the beginning.. Make the experiences positive for them so they want to do it again.  
  • Get your child fitted for appropriate shoes.  You don't want blisters and/or their feet hurting and they don't say anything to you.  Yeah, it might only be a 1-3 miles they are running but i believe it is worth it.  I took J to RoadRunnerSports and did a "mini" version of their fit process and put josh in stability shoes.  Even thought I still hunt for good deals, i now know he should have a stability shoe. 
  • During a race, do not be surprised if your child start complaining about every random part of their body.  I have heard things like "my elbow is killing me"  "i think something is in my ear"  "my palm hurts"  It is a bit humorous in the situation but at the same time, you have to remain encouraging and try not to laugh
  • Consider Run/Walk strategies when you add distance. It is one of my personal go-to things when i am hurting and Josh seems to respond well to it.  I normally don't do garmin distances with him but do short sighting distances ('we can walk to the next garbage can and then we will start running') 
  • Enjoy it. It is so much fun!
Also, here are a few articles that have been published about the topic
http://www.active.com/articles/running-with-your-kids-a-parents-guide-to-nurturing-a-lifelong-lifestyle
http://www.runnersworld.com/tag/kids-running

Josh running through the chute at Rev3 Cedar Point
Before the Kids Grand Rapids Marathon
Josh rocking the 2 mile Merica Run - got 2nd place

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