This post was written in collaboration with my sister Julie Chartrand. Although my son isn’t old enough to be running with me, my twin sister Julie has been running with her 8 year old son Felix. Felix might be young, but he wants to run with is mom. I think its important to point out that running is my nephew’s idea. He’s the one who is asking to go! I’m not an expert, but I think the key for your children to succeed when running, is that it must be because they want to. Julie has been very impressed by how well her son has been doing. She started him slowly with 3 Km and has now worked up to 7 Km and they run roughly at the same pace.
Julie and Felix will be participating in a 5 km race together on Mother’s day. What a great way to spend Mother’s Day! A few other friends of ours will be running with their kids in the same race. A conversation with my sister led to the question; How do you keep you child motivated?
Here are some creative ways they use to keep running fun!
- Do sprint work from one set point to another, for example from one Hydro Pole to another. Let your kid pick which Hydro poles to use for sprinting. It’s technically called a Fartlek! Call it by its name and you are sure to get a few giggles too!
- Let your kid hold the iPhone or watch that tracks your mileage so they see can their progress.
- Set some visual markers for your run’s milestones, for example “see the sign, that when we hit 1 km”.
- Run single file, the runner in the back needs to run faster and go to the front. Who ever is in front gets to set the pace for 30 seconds, then the new “last runner” must take the lead. Rinse, Repeat.
- Play with your strides, do grape vines (also known as karaoke), side shuffles, small steps, large leaps, etc. to keep things interesting.
Do you run with your kids? Do you feel like you have to be their cheerleader sometimes? What are your tips to keeping running or other physical activities fun for your kids?