Thursday, 08 July 2021 16:07

Teaching Your Kids How To Run From the Freihofer’s Run for Women

By Kristen Hislop | Families Today
Teaching Your Kids How To Run From the Freihofer’s Run for Women

I’m guessing your kids are signed up for a sport this summer or maybe they will participate in sports at summer camp. The coaches and counselors will focus on skills like dribbling the basketball, shooting the soccer ball, bouncing a tennis ball on a racket and other sport specific skills. But how many will report that they did any running? Too often the focus is on the specific sport and yet almost every sport involves running! What is challenging about running and why should your child practice? Running is the basis of all sports!

The following fundamental movements are the best for recruiting muscles, increasing coordination, and building the basis for future skill development. 

1. Throwing and Catching
2. Jumping/Hopping
3. Running
4. Kicking
5. Ball Bounce
6. Stopping/Starting

We quickly encourage our kids to focus on all, but often with very little emphasis on number 3. Running is part of just about every sport! Does this mean your athlete should be putting in miles every day? Absolutely not. For kids it is all about fun and movement. However, paying a little bit of attention to how we move can set them up for success later on - whether in competitive sports or entering that first 5K in their 30s!

If I could meet with your kids and offer advice, I would encourage the following:

1. Eyes focused forward throughout the run
2. Feet landing right below hips
3. Arms bent at elbows and drives back
4. Feet land at midfoot
5. Body lean is from the ankle

Sports programs start for kids as young as 3-5. The free Kids Runs at the Freihofer’s Run for Women offer opportunities from 50m up to the mile and we have kids running, walking, and toddling! As they get older the distances can increase which is why we offer the Junior 3K for kids up to the age of 14. This 1.86-mile run is the perfect distance for those who like to use running to stay active and maybe help their other sporting endeavors.

Proper form does matter - at all ages!

Fun and functional should be the focus.

Dynamic warm up

Pick 4 and do 8-12 reps:
• 1/2 lap around a field skipping
• Leg swings (front-back, side-side)
• Squat to calf raise
• Walking lunge
• High knees
• Butt kicks
• Frankenstein walks
• Carioca (grapevine)
• Run backwards
• Ice skaters

COOL DOWN

Hold stretches for 30 seconds:

• Calf stretch
• Quad stretch
• Hamstring stretch

TRAINING PLAN

The key is making a plan work for your child. Everything can be adapted, and fun comes first. There are additional resources at www.freihofersrun.com. Each week has three days of running. Group A is younger or just starting to run. Group B is 5th grade up or already running.

Week 1: Equal run/walk time
Group A :30 run/:30 walking for 10-15 minutes
Group B 1 min run/1 min walk for 10-15 min.

Week 2: Same as week one or add 5 minutes to each run session.

Week 3 and 4:
Group A :45/:45
Group B 2 min/2 min. Goal at least 15 min

Week 5:
Group A 1 min run/1 min walk

Group B 3/1. Goal is 15 min.

Week 6:
Group A 2 min run/2 min walk

Group B 5 min run/1 min walk for 15-20 min

Week 7:
Group A 3 min run/2 min walk for 15-20 min

Group B 7 min run/1 min walk for 20 min. Pick one day and run straight for 1 mile.

Week 8:
Group A 4 min run/1 min walk

Group B run 10 min/walk 1. 25 min

Week 9:
Group A 5 min run/1min walk

Group B run 1 mile/walk 1 min/run to 25 min. One day run 2 miles.

Week 10:
Group A 7 min run/1 min walk for 25 min

Group B 1 mile run/1 min walk/1mile run

Kristen Hislop is the Director of the Freihofer’s Run for Women and the owner of Hislop Coaching. Hislop Coaching is happy to meet with youth athletes to design an effective program.

For more visit www.freihofersrun.com and www.hislopcoaching.com.

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