The Background Story
For those that don’t know my story…I recently married into a family; my amazing husband and his two children (ages 8 and soon to be 12). For years I have dreamed about having kids that wanted to go running with me, do races with me, and essential discover the joys of running. In the time I’ve known these two chick-lets I have not attempted to unfold my love of running on them; they saw me go on runs, they new I signed up for races, but I never invited them to join me on a run, and they never appeared to have an interest.
The 8 year old has a group of little girls that get together bi-weekly and learn fun new recipes, crafts, and all around great stuff about life. A few weeks ago the leader of this group decided to do a lesson on physical fitness and challenged the girls to workout daily for at least 20 minutes. Of course she set a goal and a reward and got the children pumped about what they were going to do every day for the next month.
Because of this challenge, the 8 year old I thought had no interest in running came to me and asked if I would go running with her. I was ELATED!
We went out on our first run shortly there-after and I was deeply impressed. This little one ran for a mile straight, without needing to catch her breath, at an 11 minute mile pace. The funny thing was, she didn’t even need to stop after that first mile either…but she wanted to play a game. Every other mailbox we walk, every other mailbox we run.
So now the question for me becomes….I have 1 month to show my 8 year old how fantastic running is and hopefully help it make a difference in her life. How do I help it be fun? What games can we play where we don’t necessarily have to stop running (since I know it’s not needed, running can just get boring for an 8 year old)?
Ideas From Others
The following are a few ideas I have found from other mother runners that I am going to introduce into our running. Let me know what you think, if you have more to add to the list, or thoughts on anything running with kids related!
Set A Distance Goal Together
- Decide to run 13.1 miles together, or whatever distance you decide. I chose 13.1 because we run an average of about 1.5 miles a week together, this means we could reach our goal by 2 months (or a little faster if we do more).
- Choose a reward. This could be going out to dinner at their favorite place, a new outfit, a day at the movies, etc.
- Make a calendar to stick on the fridge where the child can mark off days of running.
- You could use fun stickers or special pens to make this even more fun.
Make It A Routine
- Set aside a specific day(s) and time that you and him/her run together. Try your best not to miss a day.
- Make this a routine of time spent together as well. Use the time to talk to one another about their day, week, thoughts on what they want to do this summer, things that want to do for their birthday, etc.
Run In Different Places
- Switch up where and how far you run – run one day on a trail, try sprints and baton exchanges at the track the next, run through a neighborhood at night during the Christmas lights, and more!
- If you run in a group with other people and kids, do an Indian run.
- Run to a nearby park and setup an obsticle course to run through a few times together.
- Run the track and try to beat your best score.
- Bring music to the track and see how many laps you can run during 1 song.
- Have a dress up run where kids get to wear crazy clothes, their PJs, or something else fun.
Make GPS Art
- Map out a route around the neighborhood that will design something fun and cool if you complete it.