Running for 6 year-olds

Most Saturday mornings at 7:15am you’ll find me headed out for a run.  No, I’m not insane, and no, I don’t have a thing for grey mornings and drizzle, or the dull damp sweat that follows.  It’s near impossible to glisten after a morning’s run in UK winter.

The kids know this is my routine because that’s what it is- my routine, my window for health and fitness, my time to work my body and air my mind.  They’ve grown up seeing me do it, and their dad also runs a fair bit too.

And from early on, they’ve gotten involved.  What are you doing mommy?  I can do that stretch too!  Or M’s approach: how about a stretch with a toddler airplane on your leg? I can report it doesn’t intensify the stretch, it just causes damage.

At nearly 6, C has decided to grow the family running party and has begun asking to go on runs!  In the last few weeks she’s done three with Chris, and her lithe little legs are clocking an 11 minute mile.  He’s keen to carry on these father/daughter runs, but I’m sure we ladies will go for a jaunt together soon enough.

What’s fantastic is that she’s genuinely enjoying it, and is the one asking us to take her.  Be it youthful energy, interest, endorphins, whatever, she has none of the hesitations about just getting her foot out the door.  On that, I should take notes.

Randomly and since this new trend, a couple of different friends have told us their daughters of a similar age have either been for a run or have asked to go on one.  Maybe it’s about this time that they’ve got the attention and stamina to commit to a jog.

Chris has now been talking about taking C to our local 2k Junior Parkrun but she seems a little hesitant to run en masse.  I have visions of a colleague’s young daughter in floods of tears on a sports course because she clearly didn’t want to be there and I don’t want to be that parent.  So if she tries it, it will be because she’s up for it.

For now, it’s family jogs for us.  I’m interested to see if she’ll inherit her dad’s competitive spirit or my metronomic pacing.  I imagine it’s only a matter of time until M wants to trot along too!

Do you run with your children?  Any tips?



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3 Responses to Running for 6 year-olds

  1. Mwa says:

    I run with my eleven year old. Never even considered taking my eight year old but she has never asked. The five year old I would have said no to – until this post. I find it fascinating. I didn’t know children could even do that. So, sorry – no advice. Just thanks for the post and making me think. I won’t be forcing them, but I may go and read up on the do’s and don’ts.

    • Bump2Basics says:

      We kind of fell into this, but it feels like a good thing as it’s keeping her active and something we can do together. I’m keen to encourage her, but am interested to read up on it more too. I’m imagining you on a run with your whole crew, fun crazy times!

  2. Lucy says:

    I run with my 5 year old. Our local parkrun has a junior parkrun on Sunday mornings – this is a 2km event for ages 4-14. The first few times we did walk/run, but now he runs the whole thing and wants to get a faster time each week. They get a wristband after doing a half-marathon total distance (ie. 11 parkruns). If I’ve got the toddler with me (in a buggy) then I can’t run with him anymore as he’s too fast for buggy-pushing-speed! The other thing we do if we want to go a bit further is that while I run he rides his bike – that way we can get up to 10km distance. The speed is extremely variable (from ‘too fast!’, down to ‘oh, pleeease don’t stop to examine another beetle, or pretend we’re putting petrol in your bike, I’m getting cold’). Fun to exercise together though 🙂

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