For a while family running meant I was either chasing my daughter through a crowded mall (a story for another time) or one of us was pushing her in a jogging stroller.
And as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, we’ve made liberal use of a treadmill to at least keep Mom and Dad running a little extra.
But there comes a point where you can all get into running together as a family. In fact soon you’ll find you may be struggling to keep up the pace!
Since my kids have been 7 and 10 we’ve run together as a family. It’s often a combination of walking and sprints which as I explain elsewhere can bring even more benefits than straight running.
This technique also allows for everyone to go their pace a bit. Let me explain . . .
We run/walk in our neighborhood. We’ll walk up a bit and then set a sprint goal – the lightpost or the black mailbox, for example. Everyone takes off. And eventually we all come together once everyone has completed the sprint.
If you run straight, the distance between you and your kids gets progressively larger because of your different paces. (Fair warning: It may start out with you in the lead, but in a few years, you may end up tailing them.) This way, everyone gets to catch up and then go again.
Another way to stick together but let everyone get their little sprint in is to jog in a line. The person in the back sprints to the head of the pack and then slips back into a jog. Once they’ve reached the front, the next person sprints forward.
The whole clan can keep up a nice easy jog that suits everyone’s pace, but when you sprint, you sprint hard.
The third way to enjoy running together is a family is to do a circuit. We use our yard – a mowed path marking the course. But you could use a park section or a track.
We set a goal – say 5 laps around the yard. And then everyone takes off.
Because we’re all close by us parents can keep an eye on things while still getting our run in at a decent pace.
Finally, sometimes you adults just need to run while the kids relax a bit. We often run while the kids ride their bikes, skateboard or roller blade depending on the age, pace and how everyone’s feeling.
So don’t think you can only get a run in at 5:30 am before everyone’s up. Or lose that precious family time hour before dinner to go jogging by yourself when your spouse keeps an eye on things.
Go together and see how your kids can help you keep the pace!