When to Introduce a Child to Running

by Al
(San Antonio, TX)

I love to run and would love to introduce my child to it but I'm wondering what age is best and how to introduce it.


Answer by Dominique:

Hi Al,
Thanks for your running question. It's a hard one. Kids can get it to athletics, team sports like soccer, hockey etc. from quite an early age and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. On the contrary.

Apart from the health aspects, especially team sports are great for learning some valuable skills like collaboration, positive attitude and interdependency. Athletics is a bit more individual, but can be great for kids as well.

What I would not do if I were you, is to start training your own kid. I assume you are doing long distance running. For kids, almost anything is (too) long distance. In athletics they start off with shorter distances, e.g. 400 metres, 800 metres, 1 mile races etc and it builds up from there to Coopertests, 2 mile and 5k races in high school.

If you want to introduce your child to running, let your child join an athletics club in your neighborhood. He/she can then get the proper support from the coaches there, the right type of training and join in in kids races.

It's the best way to start them off in their running career.

I hope this helps.
Enjoy your running.
Kind regards,

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