That got me to thinking, "will my kids become runners?" I mean, they are young now, and they like to run. Even through the house. Chasing each other. Knocking over lamps and stuff. And they run outside at play. Through flower gardens even. But running comes so naturally to young kids that they don’t even care that it’s good for them. They just know that they have to move fast to squeeze the most out of every day.
My kids becomming runners is not really the goal. I just want them learn to live healthy lives, including exercise and eating right. Running is, in my opinion, just a great way to become fit and stay fit.
So here are some ideas that I plan to implement over the next 5 to 10 years in hopes that they might catch the running bug:
- While they are still young (6 and 8), play games that have running in them, like freeze tag or duck, duck, goose....
- Continue to encourage them to be involved in sports that have a running component, like soccer, baseball, etc
- Invite them to take a run with me, even if it's just around the block, and even if they are on their bikes at first.
- Take walks with them, which can often include little "race you to the telephone pole" activities.
- Make sure they have good shoes for running...even if they like other types of shoes (skateboarder-type shoes are popular with one of my sons), make sure they have athletic running shoes around and available.
- Take them to a race that I'm running so they can experience the event, and teach them how to cheer for the racers (maybe with a cowbell or noisemaker).
- Get them signed up for a Kids run (1 K or 1 mile to start), maybe even run a race alongside of them if needed.
- Set the example by continuing to run regularly and participating in local races both as a runner and a spectator.
- Take them to a local track meet at a junior high or high school. Help them gain a vision for seeing themselves as a runner someday too.
- Teach them about the benefits of running, and include the benefits of eating right with it.
These were some of my ideas, I'd love to hear any ideas you have on the topic. Maybe you were raised in a running family, or maybe you've raised a runner already. What are your suggestions?