4 Tips For Encouraging Young Runners

One of the great things about running is its adaptability. Everyone can experience success and improvement, regardless of age or ability. It can be done inside or outside; in every season; competitively or for fun; fast or slow; for a short distance or long distance; and alone or with others.

Another reason running is so popular is that it can be a lot of fun!

Although spending time creating a training program is important, it’s also important to find ways to keep running fun and interesting. Here are some tips that can help your kids, and maybe you, develop a love for running that will last a lifetime: 

Make It Fun!

This should be the number one rule, and not just for the kids! 

Now, we think running is naturally fun, and eventually we hope your kids will too. Putting some extra thought into making sure the running experience is fun will pay off in the end. 

Using running games is a great way to get kids moving without them even realizing it. Simple games like tag, follow the leader, Simon Says, hide and seek and relay races are fun ways to help your kids get in lots of running steps and improve their endurance. 

Scavenger hunts, obstacle courses and geocaching also make running fun for everyone.

Invite your kids’ friends or other families to join in – the more the merrier!

Finally, another idea for extra motivation while running is to use running as a form of transportation – active transportation that is. Have a destination to run to and running point-to-point rather in circles can make running more interesting. Encourage your kids to use running to get places when possible and reasonable.

Sign Them Up For A Fun Run

We believe another great motivator is a sense of accomplishment.

Working hard toward something, overcoming obstacles, pushing yourself beyond your limits… and then realizing that you actually did it, that you were able to make it through—that’s a rewarding feeling that can impact runners of all ages and abilities!

Kids have the ability to surprise even themselves when they give it their all, and a fun run is a great way to put their mental and physical strengths to the test and give them something to work towards.  

Running in a fun run provides everyone, regardless of ability, with the opportunity to feel good about their accomplishment. With most fun runs providing medals and goodies at the end, you and your kids will have a memento to remind you of the fun and contribute to your sense of pride and achievement at the end of the day.

If you’re looking for some fun run options for you and your kids, check out our list of available provincial Fun Runs for an upcoming event in your area!

Make It A Family Thing

Running can be a great way to mesh family bonding and physical activity into one. In fact, almost 50% of our participants tell us that someone in their family started running when they joined Kids Run Club. 

Embracing running as a parent is also a great opportunity for you to be a good role model for your kids.  Research shows that kids whose parents are active are more likely to be active themselves!

Whether your an avid runner or new to the sport yourself, running with your kids can be rewarding for everyone!

Set goals with your kids using a running log to track their progress and offer incentives, like a movie night, for example, for when they achieve distance milestones.  Make sure you consider some of the tips provided in this blog to keep it fun. 

Switch Up Your Environment

As we said before, running can be done almost anywhere and in most weather. 

We also know that time spent in nature has many health benefits. So why not combine the two?  

We’re lucky in Nova Scotia to have access to ‘nature’ in many locations, whether you live in the city, the suburbs, or more rural areas.

Jog along some trails, race around historic sites, or run along the beach. The options are endless and Nova Scotia has no shortage of running trails nor beautiful scenery to enjoy. 

So there you have it—four easy-to-implement tips for encouraging your kids to keep running!

What makes you love running? How do you keep your kids interested? If you have any tips you’d like to share with others, please leave your comments below!