Keeping It In The Family
Want to get the kids involved in your favourite hobby? Check out runABC's tips for family-friendly running...
For those with very young children, you needn’t sacrifice your training just because you have recently had a baby. There are many high quality buggies now which allow for running. If you can find a large park with wide pathways, it’s an ideal place for running with your buggy. It also gives your upper body a decent workout.
Family Friendly Runs
There are literally hundreds of family fun runs taking place often alongside half marathon or 10K races throughout the country. If you are a couple with children, then one can do the main race whilst the other runs with the kids in the family fun run. If you are both equally keen on running the big races, well, take it in turns.
Supporting At Big Races
Just attending some of the UK’s major road races and supporting a wife or a dad can be an enormous amount of fun. Quite often, race organisers will have extra entertainment at the start and finish areas to keep family members amused whilst the runner is doing all the hard work. But it’s just as much fun being out on the course and taking in the atmosphere, even more so when your granddaughter or uncle is involved. More than that, you will be a massive help to them. What runner hasn’t felt an enormous boost when cheered on by a close one during a tough race?
Walk The Kids To School & Run Home
If you find it difficult to fit running in, especially with the school run, then why not mix the two. Simply walk the kids to school in your running gear and run home, taking the longer route naturally. A perfect warm-up, exercise for the kids, kids safely packed off to school and a solid workout for you and the day has hardly begun.
Join A Club
Most UK running clubs will welcome people of all ages and all standards. Although not all family members may be of the same age and ability, the chances are they will find people of a similar ability at a club and often those of a similar standard are grouped together for a club session. You can arrive together, maybe train separately and travel home together to talk about your different evenings.
Junior parkrun is a series of 2K runs for children held in areas of open space around the UK. They are open to all, free, and are safe and easy to take part in. The courses are marshalled so that juniors will be in sight of at least one marshal at all times. Children should be aged 4 and over to take part and can register a junior parkrun performance until the day before their 15th birthday.
Involving Kids In Training
A good way to involve kids in training is get them to join you for the latter part of your run. If you are a long distance runner, it’s not suitable for young children to join you on your 15 mile runs. So, meet the kids at home after running the vast bulk of your run and get them to join you for the last mile or two. Together you can run the same pace and they will feel they are really helping you prepare for your next big race. Paula Radcliffe’s interest was nurtured when joining father Peter at the end of his marathon training sessions.
Several major road events now have a relay element to them and this is a great opportunity to feel part of a team and ‘in it together’. Having a shared goal is very healthy for family relationships. Edinburgh Marathon has a team relay with legs of varying distances and so too do many of the big marathons. Why not throw a short family holiday break into the mix too?
To raise money for a worthy cause can really bring a family together and there’s no more popular way of raising money than through distance running. Get your kids to help you out with sponsorship around the neighbourhood. The kids will really feel part of your shared project.
Training With Bikes
To counteract the different levels of ability, the less speedy members of the family can join the others on a bike. They can still get a workout and enjoy the shared exercise.
Image: Edinburgh Marathon Festival