>Running 101>Running club for kids
A friend and I are thinking of starting up a kids running club, probably for elementary to middle school aged kids.
Has anyone ever done this? Any tips, suggestions, warnings, ideas, etc?
We are newbie runners ourselves so maybe we aren't qualified to do such a thing? I think it would be fairly casual though.
A friend and I are doing just that this summer to help boost our middle school's XC program. We're still working on lots of the details, and he's a lot more optimistic about this than I am. Currently the culture at our school regarding running stinks, and it won't be easy to change.
Keep it fun (games, relays, triangles, fartlek, Indian runs)
Run by time, not distance (the idea of running 2 or 3 miles might freak out some kids and their parents), but most have no idea what how far they might go in a 20 minute run.
Incorporate General Strength Training (runningtimes.com/gsvideos)
T-Shirts for participants
Encourage Daily running. Now, I don't expect them to run every day, but if the starting point is 5 days/week, they'll think 3 is good enough). So, if you start with 7/week, you're more likely to get 5 or 6.
Schedule periodic races (or time trials) as part of practice.
Have a few summer races were all kids run in their club shirt
Kids like to run fast. Try to include some fast running, in the form of strides or sprints, nearly every time you meet.
Encourage them to keep track of and report their running time to you. Set goals for the week/summer and reward them with simple/cheap things if they reach the goals (bottle of gatorade, ice cream, etc).
HobbyJogger & HobbyRacer
Might want to check if USATF has any meets close enough that you could drive to one or more of them.
It's a 5k. It hurt like hell...then I tried to pick it up. The end.
When I take my kids out I always begin and end with "tag."
Kids love to race.
Do lots of form drills (skipping, bounding, hopping, toe walking etc. etc. in practice; it keeps them focused and having fun. Relays are good ways to run intervals and keep them working hard and they love the competition.
Don't try to do too much with the U-10s, they usually don't have the attention span for a more serious track workout.
If there are any local all-comers meets, try those.
Hershey also run local low-key meets, our local one is this weekend; check with your Parks & Rec (if you are in USA or Canada)
The process is the goal.
Men heap together the mistakes of their lives, and create a monster they call Destiny.