When Should Kids Start to Run: 9 Top Tips for Growth




When Should Kids Start to Run

Understanding that your little girl has unexpectedly shown a keen interest in running can be as exciting as it is bewildering. How do you champion her newfound passion whilst ensuring she’s safe and sound, right? As both a parent and an enthusiastic runner myself, I’m familiar with this delicate juggling act.

This article is ready to offer you nine top-notch tips for managing your child’s growth and development in running, all while promoting physical health along the way. So come on board – it’s time we journey together into the thrilling world of kids’ running! Tie up those laces tight; knowledge-filled adventure awaits.

Key Takeaways

  • Start running at a young age (around 8 – 10 years old) to promote a love for the sport and focus on enjoyment rather than long distances.
  • Make sure to have proper running equipment, including good shoes, running socks, and moisture-wicking apparel to stay comfortable and prevent injuries.
  • Increase running distance slowly over time, focusing on gradual progress and allowing for rest days to build stamina safely.
  • Stay consistent with your training routine and make running a regular part of your schedule to improve endurance and performance.

Start at the Right Age

Starting at the right age is key. As a rule, kids should start running when they’re young. Many experts say that children from ages 8-10 can do regular exercise which includes organized running.

The goal here is to let them enjoy and take part in this sport rather than push them to run long distances right away.

One or two days per week are enough for race training in kids between 8-10 years old. This balanced way will keep their interest alive while promoting physical fitness for our young runners! It’s all about making good choices that promote healthy habits for children and foster love for sports like running at an early age.

Have the Proper Running Equipment

Good shoes change a run. You need proper running sneakers to run well. The right shoes keep you safe from injury and can make you faster.

Running socks are also part of the must-have gear. They give your feet more comfort when you run. Compression tights are good for blood flow in your legs, and they help with muscle soreness.

Clothes matter too! I always opt for moisture-wicking apparel during my runs because it keeps me dry even as I sweat. This kind of clothing is very comfortable, so it won’t bother you while running.

Trail running asks for more stuff though like extra food, water or gear to be ready on any trail situations helped me a lot.

So do not skip on equipment when planning your next run!

Start Small & Increase Distance Slowly

I use a key method to run better. This method is to start small and increase the distance slowly. Here are the steps:

  • Begin with short runs.
  • Add a bit more distance each week, maybe 10% or 15%.
  • Build strength for long runs.
  • Run far one day, then rest.
  • Make sure the pace feels easy at first.
  • Keep it fun for young runners with age – friendly distances.
  • Be careful not to push too hard, too fast.

Stay Consistent

Consistency is key when it comes to running. It’s important to stick with your training plan and make running a regular part of your routine. By staying consistent, you allow your body to adapt and form habits in running.

This helps improve endurance and overall performance. One way to stay consistent is by choosing the same time of day to work out, as it helps establish a routine. You can also leave your gear where you can see it, as a reminder to stay committed to your training.

Remember, persistence pays off!

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is really important when you’re running. Drinking water helps keep your body working well and can improve how you perform during exercise. It’s recommended to drink about 5-10 ounces of water every 15-20 minutes while you’re running to stay hydrated.

This will help replace the fluids you lose through sweat and prevent dehydration. Remember, it’s not just about drinking before or after your run – make sure to take sips regularly throughout your workout to maintain hydration levels.

Hydration isn’t only important during a run, but also afterwards. After exercising, it’s crucial to replenish the fluids that were lost. Dehydration can decrease athletic performance and put you at risk for heat-related issues, so it’s essential to rehydrate properly post-workout.

Drink plenty of water or other hydrating fluids like sports drinks.

There are different ways to carry water with you while running, such as handheld bottles or hydration belts. Find what works best for you and make sure you have access to water during a marathon or long-distance run.

Don’t forget that staying hydrated is key for keeping your body functioning at its best and helping you reach your running goals!

Emphasize the Importance of Warm-Ups & Stretching

Warm-ups and stretching are crucial for runners of all levels. They help prepare the body for physical activity and reduce the risk of injuries. When we warm up, our muscles get activated, blood circulation increases, and joint mobility improves.

It’s like giving our body a gentle wake-up call before pushing it to its limits.

When it comes to stretching, it’s important to focus on flexibility training. Stretching helps keep our muscles flexible, strong, and healthy. This allows us to have a greater range of motion in our joints, which is essential for running efficiently and preventing injuries.

So before you start your run, take a few minutes to do dynamic warm-up exercises that involve moving parts of your body while gradually increasing the intensity. This will prepare your muscles for the upcoming workout.

After your run, don’t forget to cool down with some stretches that target different muscle groups.

By incorporating warm-ups and stretching into your running routine, you’ll not only improve your performance but also reduce the chances of getting sidelined by an injury. So remember to give your body the preparation it needs before hitting the pavement or trail!

Be a Good Coach

As a coach, my priority is the safety and well-being of my young athletes. It’s important to receive proper training in safety procedures so that I can create a secure environment for them.

But being a good coach goes beyond just ensuring their physical safety.

I believe in helping children succeed not only on the field but also in life. By valuing, encouraging, motivating, and supporting them, I can build their confidence and resilience.

I never push athletes through fatigue or exhaustion because it’s essential to prioritize their health and avoid reinforcing bad habits.

My role as a coach extends beyond teaching techniques and skills; it involves understanding child development and adapting my coaching approach accordingly. This way, I can protect and support my young athletes while helping them reach their full potential.

Coaching is not just about winning games; it’s about empowering kids to become better individuals both on and off the field.

A group of happy children running and playing together in a park.

Suggested Running Strategies for Kids

Make running fun with games like zig zag, jump rope, and tag. Incorporate playful elements like a stuffed animal as a motivating target to chase. Also, consider the benefits of long distance running for children and teens to improve endurance and aerobic capacity.

Teach kids proper sprinting techniques and provide training plans tailored to their age group.

Make running fun

Let’s make running fun! Running doesn’t have to be boring or repetitive. For kids, mixing up running with other activities and games can make it more enjoyable and engaging. We can try running games like tag, relay races, or obstacle courses to add variety and excitement.

Grab some gear like colorful shoelaces or a special running outfit to make it feel special and funfilled. By making running playful and enjoyable, we can help children develop a love for exercise while having a great time.

Let’s motivate them with the joy of achievement rather than focusing solely on times or speed. With these strategies, we can ensure that running becomes an active, enjoyable part of their lives.

Don’t do structured running every day

It’s important not to do structured running every day, especially for kids. Mixing up their running routine with different activities can help prevent overuse injuries and keep them engaged.

Instead of just sticking to a set training plan, encourage them to try other forms of exercise like biking, swimming, or playing sports. This variety will not only reduce the risk of burnout but also provide opportunities for cross-training and overall development.

Remember to prioritize rest days too – allowing time for muscles and joints to recover is crucial for long-term health and performance. So, mix it up and have fun!

Try running games

Running games can add a fun and exciting element to your child’s running routine. These games can help keep them engaged and motivated while also promoting their physical fitness and cognitive development. Here are some suggested running games for kids:

  1. Red Light, Green Light: In this game, one person acts as the “traffic light” while the others try to run towards a designated finish line. When the traffic light says “green light,” everyone runs, but when they say “red light,” everyone has to stop. The first person to reach the finish line wins.
  2. Relay Races: Divide children into teams and set up a relay race course with markers or cones. Each team member takes turns running a certain distance before passing the baton to the next teammate. The team that finishes first wins.
  3. Obstacle Course: Create an obstacle course using objects like hula hoops, cones, or jump ropes. Children have to run through or around these obstacles as fast as they can. Time them to see how quickly they can complete the course.
  4. Capture the Flag: Divide children into two teams and mark off boundaries for each team’s territory. Each team has a flag that they need to protect while trying to capture the other team’s flag by running into their territory without getting caught.
  5. Scavenger Hunt: Create a list of items for children to find during their run. They can search for things like specific colors, numbers, or shapes along their route.
A runner wearing proper gear is captured in a scenic outdoor setting.

Grab some gear

When it comes to running, having the right gear is important, especially for kids. Investing in essential running gear can make their experience more comfortable and enjoyable. Start with proper fitting running shoes that provide support and prevent injury.

Look for athletic gear made from breathable fabric, like moisture-wicking clothing and compression socks, which will help keep them cool and dry during runs. Consider adding some performance apparel like running shorts or protective gear if necessary.

Having the right gear can make a big difference in your child’s running experience.

Be cautious in the heat

Running in hot weather can be risky, so it’s important to take precautions. When the sun is blazing and temperatures are high, there are several risks to consider. Heatstroke, sunburn, dehydration, and heat exhaustion are all potential dangers.

To protect yourself and your kids while running in the heat, remember to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water before, during, and after your run. Wearing sunscreen with a high SPF can help protect against harmful UV rays that can cause sunburn.

It’s also crucial to find shaded areas or run during cooler times of the day to avoid overheating. Listen to your body and take breaks if needed. Running in extreme heat can put a lot of stress on your body, so it’s essential to ease into it gradually and allow your body time to acclimate.

Consider a running program

When introducing kids to running, it’s important to consider a running program. This can provide structure and guidance for their training. A good running program will include age-appropriate distances and incorporate diverse activities to keep the kids engaged.

It should also emphasize proper form and technique to prevent injuries and develop good habits. One great resource for parents and coaches is the Marathon Kids guide, which provides valuable information on how to start kids off on the right foot with running.

So, if you want your child to enjoy running while staying safe and improving their skills, consider incorporating a well-designed running program into their routine.


To sum up, these top tips for girls running during puberty can help ensure growth and avoid injuries. From fueling properly to using the right gear, incorporating strength training, and learning proper form, these strategies will set young runners up for success.

And don’t forget to make running fun with games and activities that keep them engaged and excited about their training. So lace up those shoes and hit the pavement with confidence!

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