Run Clubs: Kids Sports; Think Outside the Box (Part 4)
Kids Running Series: What is it? It’s not cross country, but it’s become more popular over the years, and I am spotlighting this sport today in part 4 of my blog series, “Kids Sports; Think Outside the Box”.
Kids are natural runners. You see them run at recess, in PE, playing with their friends (tag, you’re it), and more. They run in many other sports, but since we are specifically discussing “non-traditional” kids sports in this series, I am going to focus on running, as a stand alone sport.
Running is excellent for:
- Maintaining a healthy heart
- Toning the muscles
- Burning fat
Over the past few years, kids running groups/running series are popping up. These are different from them joining you for a 5k fun run/walk (or more). These series are like classes, and teach them technique and more. I have even seen some elementary schools add running clubs to their activities for kids to be involved in. Run clubs/series provide kids with a positive, educational, and fun experience in the world of running.
How to get involved:
- Check with your local school for run clubs (if older children)
- Ask your local running store if they have any local kids running clubs/series
- Get some parents together and start your own, small, weekly series (I know some local moms who have done this, and the kids are loving it)
- Look online for local kids fun runs (these are less often, but still great for them to be involved in)
- Visit this website for the “Healthy Kids Running Series” (nationally) for a series near you (or, start a series in your city)
(picture credit: http://www.healthykidsrunningseries.org)
(Healthy Kids Running Series Video)
Let’s hear from some other moms about running:
Running as a kids’ sport is something I feel many parents overlook. It’s a great option because it provides a total body workout that can be modified to accommodate any age and fitness level. Also, there is no equipment required other than some decent sneakers and can be done anywhere! By incorporating games and obstacles, kids can get a great workout while having fun. I have been an avid runner for many years and my boys (ages 5 and 3) love that they can now join me in races and short training runs. It’s a healthy activity our whole family enjoys. – Kira Blum, Ormond Beach, FL
Our daughters have been cheering us on at race finish lines since they were born. We would put them in the free kids dashes at our races, and then began registering for the RunDisney Kids Races when they were 3 & 5yrs old. Now they are 8 & 10 yrs olds who enjoy doing 5Ks….most of the time. We don’t force it. At this age we want them to love it. For most 5Ks, kids are free with a paying adult. So it is up to them to step up to that start line if they want to that day. Since running happens year-round, it can be flexible in our schedule (which is great for this mommy). Reaching goals and crossing finish lines gives them a sense of confidence and accomplishment. – Katrina Guevara, Port Orange, FL (owner of The Running Elements).
Thanks for reading, and I hope I helped you learn something about running as a stand alone sport and who knows, your child could be a future Olympian!
(Photo: My daughter Caylyn, 6, at a kids RunDisney 1-mile fun run)
I am just a busy mom of a 6 year old, trying to make healthier choices for my family, and to instill healthy habits early on. If any of this was useful to you, please “share” below, it just takes a couple minutes. Thank you! – Michelle