Now that they are 5,7 and 9 and way too heavy to push in jogging strollers, I usually get a babysitter so we can fit in our weekly runs . . .but last year decided to enter the family in the 1km Fun run at the Moon in June sponsored by our IronKids Gummy Vitamins. My parents took my brother and I on family runs when we were about my kids ages and we both run now as adults. I was hopeful if we started them young, they would enjoy it and it would help them stay healthy and active as adults.
Their first 1km fun run was a big success and the older two excitedly committed to running More next year and entering the 5km run. Well here we are at next year, and I asked them at Easter if they were serious about running 5km and indeed they were.
I recognize that 5km is a little far to ‘just run’ without a little practicing and a little education on running safe. So for the past 6 weeks I have been taking them out on 2 runs a week for 35 minutes. We run the first half with no stops and then negotiate all the way back how far we will run before we stop to walk and have some water! They have done awesome and some unexpected perks have come out this training!
First, they have never complained or once said they didn’t want to go. They are excited to get out there even after a full day of school or looming rain showers. Second, we talk. We have 35 minutes to just talk. I teach them a little bit about setting a pace, not taking off from the starting line, drinking enough water, the importance of tying your shoes properly (7 year old learned that one the hard way) and about school, friends, summer plans, homework, music. .everything. When its done I high five them and tell them how proud they should be of themselves for finishing, and we learn about stretching and talk some more about how great it feels to exercise.
Our first 5km race is next Saturday and I can’t wait to see how they do when we run with hundreds of other people and their Dad and little sister watching from the sidelines. I can’t wait to cross that finish line . . . this time with my kids running beside me.
Do you run or do other sports as an adult? Did this love come from your own parents? Will you encourage your kids to stay active?