Tips for how to get the kids running

How families can have fun while getting healthy

Image: Jetline Action Photo

The family which runs together has fun together – or so we’d like to think.

No idea how to start your kids on their running journey? Here are Hollard Jura’s top tips for running with your kids:

Start by walking

If your kids have never run before, start by going on walks as a family. Begin with short distances and slowly build up to running by breaking up the walk with short bursts of running.

For example, run to the stop street, sprint to the driveway or skip to the corner. Build up their confidence and their fitness over time. 

The more gradual the changes you make, the more likely they’ll stay interested and the more fun they’ll have!

Don’t rush to get the gear

One of the joys of running is that you really don’t need much equipment. The one essential thing is a good pair of running shoes, especially for younger children as their feet are still developing.

If they still love it a couple of months later, you can look for more specialised gear but don’t go overboard and spend a fortune on every single thing that charming salesman recommends.

Ignore the numbers

When running with your kids, you may not end up doing the run you wanted to do or hitting a new PR. Don’t get caught up in numbers, just enjoy the fact that you’re running!

When you’re running with your kids, it doesn’t matter who is the fastest or who runs the longest distance.

By emphasising health, fitness and family time over distance and speed, you can help your kids develop a healthy habit that can last a lifetime.

Make it fun for all of you

From jumping over puddles to running from imaginary enemies, the best part about running with your kids is that they bring something fresh to your usual routine.

Let the kids lead, let them be silly or run funny, whatever they need to do to keep it fun!

Run in different places to keep the runs interesting, avoiding repeating the same route.

Run on a road one day and a trail the next. We guarantee that bringing your kids along will put a spring back into your running step.

Use it as bonding time

Between work and adult responsibilities, it’s easy to forget to spend time with your little ones. Time spent on a run or on the trails allows you to chat, reconnect and enjoy some time together – in a healthy way.

Find a fun run

If you have kids who are on the fence about the whole “running thing”, consider finding a free local fun run like the parkrun or MyRun.

The MyRun in Port Elizabeth offers a 2.5km as well as a 5km route, one at Falcon Rock and a second at Humewood Golf Course every Sunday morning at 8am.

The parkrun is at 8am on a Saturday, and there are four in Port Elizabeth.

Then there are all those school, church and shopping centre fun runs. Keep an eye on your newspaper for event details!