>Running 101>Children doing couch to 5k?
My local running store is offering a free couch to 5k training session. I thought it would be great for my spouse and my 8 year old. 8 year old is very active and fit, and has run some 5ks before (very slowly), without specific training. I just thought it would be fun bonding for her to do the training with her dad.
I am wondering if an average 5 year old could handle the couch to 5k. Maybe it could be a fun family endeavor. Spouse and 8 year old could team up, and I could team up with the 5 year old. That way if he gets bored or tired, they don't miss out on training. But maybe 5 is too young to do something like that. He loves running, but enjoys the sprint-wedding march-sprint strategy when he does fun runs. I'd love to teach him how to pace himself. Also not sure if 3 miles is too ambitious for a 5 year old.
What do you think?
Connoisseur of Cookies
Make it a game and don't push. If he wants to sprint-march-sprint then let him. As he gets older he'll develop a better ability to pace himself and run straight through longer distances.
While he is five there's nothing wrong with encouraging exercise and a healthy lifestyle (as it sounds like you're already doing). Lead by example, be consistent in your message and don't waver. He'll see you doing it and follow suit. (Well, until he's a teenager but that's another story.)
"C" is for cookie. That's good enough for me.
Not a dude
My son will be 6 years old this Sunday. He can run a mile at this point and can run/walk 2-3 miles. My plan is to get him up to running 5k this spring...slowly. He does the sprint-march-sprint thing too, and I think that's fine. 5 year olds are not known for their ability to self-regulate and in my experience, that includes pacing. I figure he will learn eventually, but for now he just gets too excited to hold back. I expect it to be less of a problem once the novelty wears off, but if it doesn't I'm not gonna sweat it. My 11 year old stepdaughter is getting started too, so the three of us run together and just enjoy each others' company for now. I want them both to enjoy running and physical activity in a general sense, so I try not to push them.
You might want to ask the running store and whoever is actually running the program for them what their opinion of having children that young in the program and if they have any experience working with children. I do have a few thoughts
- 5 year olds don't have any sense of pace, nor should they at that age it should be fun and games and running as fast as you can is just fun
- 3 miles isn't too far, especially for the 8 y.o., but don't have any expectation of time/performance/competition again this should be fun for them and if it is fun they'll stick with it and the other stuff will come (or not) naturally
- good for you and your spouse for promoting a healthy lifestyle!
My opinion (and that's all it is) is that 5 is to young for a structured everyday training schedule and 8 may be borderline to young as well. I'm not sure how your running store does the training so if it is a couple of times a week type thing it is probably fine depending on the kids and the structure of the group (are there other kids, is everyone else there just trying to lose weight, etc)
I coached a youth Track & Field team several years ago that met 3 times a week that had kids as young as 5 and they did fine, but the longest distance kids that you would run on the track was 400 meters. the 8 year olds could race farther, up to 1500m. We also did a lot of non-running exercises and running games with them as well.
"You NEED to do this" - Shara
I ran a 10k two years ago where a 6-year-old ran the 10k. I believe her parents were somewhere on the course too, but she ran by herself. She did a run/walk, not to the extreme of sprint/wedding march. She had headphones in, so I'm not sure if she was using a disciplined pacing program or not. She was probably going at about an 10:50/mile pace throughout the race using the run/walk. She finished in 1:07 or 1:08 or something like that. I saw her again in a 5k I did last year - she was run/walking, again without a parent, and chatting up a storm with a woman - and probably at about a 10mm pace. I think some young kids can definitely cover the distance, but I don't know if they would appreciate the disciplined pacing program, and running might lose the fun factor.
Good points, y'all. I want it to be fun. But fun to me (improvement in distance and speed) is probably not that fun to them.
I coach an after school running program at the elementary school. We meet once a week for a few weeks in the fall, and again in the spring. Some kids love to hold hands and walk slowly, while other kids love seeing how far/fast they can go. We have a parent volunteer as the "rabbit," and she runs around the track at a steady pace. Kids who want to can try to either keep up with her or pass her.
Old , Ugly and slow
I think young kids should be playing every day but not pushed into sports and training.
My kids are grown now. If i was king i would ban all organized sports before age 13.
My kids did all kinds of sports and my daughter could have had done track in college but i am glad
she went because of her brain and not her brawn. Sports brings out the worst in parents.
Let your kids choice and quit thier activities that they enjoy.
first race sept 1977 last race sept 2007
2014goals 1300 miles , 190 pounds , deadlift 400 touch my toes
I'm curious as to why it seems most (maybe only my perception and not a fact) are so against organized sports. I do understand the bad and have seen TONS of bad. But, there's also so much good. I've heard a few in our group who were in organized sports and even though it wasn't all a cake walk, don't regret it. My daughter tells me it taught her so much and that she wouldn't trade her experience for anything. She realizes she missed out on much and had a different childhood from many of her friends, but she also had many experiences that her friends didn't and much of her time (especially in elementary school) in sports was really fun and she didn't want to be anywhere else.
Even if it's hard work and not always the normal kind of fun, but kids can really enjoy organized sports. Most of them don't stick it out all the way through HS. They find different interests. But those that do often are very glad they did.
And I think most of us would be surprised at how much a 5 or 8 year old can do. They can also have opinions about what they want to do and if they are motivated, can probably easily "train" to run a 5k. I think most of the c25k programs plan 3 runs per week. I think if it's a fun run/walk with mom or dad, even a 5 or 6 year old can enjoy that and probably not even exert themselves too much.
(Full disclosure - My daughter trained gymnastics 3 times per week for 1.5-2 hours when she was 8. She loved it and was always ready to go back. She spent most of her time at home on off days upside down around the house.)
Sorry for the thread hijack!
Feeling the growl again
I have a 5 year old, personally I would not consider a 5K much less training her for it. YM(and your child)MV.
Even if you try to make a game out of it, kids will do a lot of things they don't necessarily want to if they feel it is pleasing their parents.
I went to HS with several kids from a family of 7 kids. All but one of them were excellent runners, and the one who was not a runner was extremely good at throwing events. The oldest four of them started running in junior high. One of the oldest three ran in college. The younger ones, feeding off their older siblings, started running at 5 or 6.
As they started running sooner, they stopped running at an earlier age.
This is only one example, but personally I am extremely leery of getting kids into an organized training regimen too early. They may even THINK they want to do it...at least at first...but in the long term it may be a negative experience.
Now, running fun runs and stuff too short to need real training for is another story. I did a couple fun runs a year when I was in grade school, no training and I sucked. But it primed me for when I got to junior high where they had XC and I was ready to go.
"If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does. There's your pep talk for today. Go Run." -- Slo_Hand
I am spaniel - Crusher of Treadmills
Well, there's always next year.
Sorry in advance if posting from my phone doesn't split up the paragraphs...I also have a five year old and I don't plan on having her do more than a kids fun run until she's older. But I know her limits, or at least I think I have a good idea if her limits. My son, OTOH probably would have loved running a 5k at that age.
I ran in two races this year where a parent was literally dragging a crying child through the race. One was a 5k and the other a 10k. It was quite disturbing to me to see it. I think its perfectly fine for a child to race but they can have bad days just like we do and I don't ever want to be THAT parent.
Ugh! That is terrible. I wouldn't drag a kid through it. I'd at least give him a piggy back ride back if he didn't want to run anymore!! Those are the same parents who would scream at their kids when they miss a goal playing soccer too. What a way to suck the fun out of a kid's childhood.
Does SHE want to run a 5k? That's where I would start. I coached kids enough to see what forcing them into sports does.