August 24, 2020

How to Get Kids to Love Running

How to Get Kids to Love Running including tips for making it fun and special for kids so that they enjoy it including signing them up for a race such as the Wounded Warrior Project Carry Forward 5k!
Running is such a great form of exercise so it is important to me to teach my kids to love running. Most of my family runs including my siblings, husband, dad, my kids and I. It is totally natural in our family to go for a run so I wanted to teach my kids how fun running can be. Adalyn has been running since she was maybe 3 and Oliver has been running since about 2 1/2. The kids recently participated in the Wounded Warrior Project Carry Forward 5K with me and I am so excited to share more about it with you in case you want to sign up also. I am going to share my best tips on how to get kids to love running.

I started running when I was in 6th grade. It has been an on-again off-again relationship during different parts of my life but I love that I can always come back to running when I'm ready. I ran cross country in high school. I picked up running when I was about 23 and ran the fastest that I have in my life. Right before I was pregnant with Lily, I picked up running with my dad. Now, I am starting to run about once a week. Today, I want to share how I get my kids to love running with me.

How to Get Kids to Love Running

1. Take them out for a one on one run

Adalyn feels so special when I take her for a little run just her and I. She loves dressing in fitness clothes and chit-chatting along the way. We started small such as running down the block and back. Then we went around the block. Now, she can run close to a mile. Taking siblings alone with a parent is so fun to them. Adalyn and Oliver both like to go for solo runs with Troy too.

2. Talk about running like it is so fun

If you are positive about running, your kids may be too! Troy especially loves running so when he says that he is going for a run that day, the kids are interested in it too. 

3. Sign them up for a race

I am super excited because Troy, the kids and I just ran the Wounded Warrior Project Carry Forward 5K, delivered by CSX. We had them run as much of it as they could. Troy's Dad was in the navy and we have a special spot in our hearts for veterans. The WWP race was started to empower wounded warriors. The 5K helps to raise mission-critical funds for services and resources for wounded veterans. 

The Carry Forward 5K is really special because you can choose to participate in 3 ways:
-Carry a flag during your race
-Carry a weight to represent the responsibilities that veterans carry
-Carry another person during the race

During our race, we carried flags for Grandpa Jimmy that was in the navy. The kids loved carrying the flags and thought it was so fun. They got tired and I explained that we can't quit just like the amazing soldiers who served our country didn't quit. It was an amazing teaching moment for my family.

We love Grandpa Jimmy and are so honored to have someone in our family who served for our country. It is a special way to involve our kids both with fitness and with understanding veterans and those who serve our country. The WWP has races all over the country as well as virtual races. We ran the virtual race as there is not an actual race in our area. If you love running and want to support the wounded warriors, consider signing up for this amazing race.

4. Get the whole family involved

Sometimes for fun, we go to the track at the local high school and run around a bit. Lily is in the stroller and the two older kids go running around the track. It is fun with the whole family.

5. Don't worry about speed, distance or special clothes

Kid's don't really need special clothes for running. Leggings or shorts and a t-shirt or tank top should do. Also, don't worry about how far a kid can run or how fast they are. The main thing is to just get out there and have fun! 

I hope that these tips help you to encourage your kids to enjoy running! 

Learn more about the WWP Carry Forward 5K here.

This post is made possible by the Wounded Warrior Project. All opinions are my own.

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