Need a fun way to teach your kids the value of regular exercise? There’s no better way than signing up for a 5k. Not only does it give you a common goal to work towards, it’s also an easy way to squeeze in much-needed family time. Not sure
where to start? First, register for an event that has a super flat course, like the Real Insurance Sydney Harbour 10k & 5k, to keep it achievable for the younger ones.
Then follow these four simple steps to mastering your first 5k as a family.
Keep it fun
Frame the race as a family day out, not a chore, and keep your training sessions fun and light-hearted. Avoid putting any pressure on the kids to achieve a certain time or distance. You want your children to look forward to exercise, not to resent it. Be sure to take regular breaks, stick to early morning or late afternoon sessions and keep it enjoyable.
Add some structure
Aim to run at least two days a week. Dedicate one day to a long run, where you run and/or walk a decent distance, such as 3km, and save the second day for interval runs or hill sprints to work on your speed and power. To build up your family’s endurance and maintain a healthy cardiovascular system, it’s also a good idea to aim for at least 30-60 minutes of movement on non-training days. This doesn’t have to look like exercise – it can be walking the dog, playing backyard cricket, riding bikes, or bouncing on the trampoline.
Train with your pram
If you’ve got a child who isn’t yet walking or one that’s younger and will likely need rests in the pram, make sure you bring it with you on your training days. If you train without it, you’ll likely run or walk at a slower pace on race day, so bring it with you to familiarise yourself with the added weight. By training with your pram, you’ll soon figure out if it’s fit for running with, too. When jogging with the pram, try to hold the handle with one hand and alternate sides every few strides while ensuring your grip is light. Clench too hard and you’ll end up with muscle strain.
There’s no need to follow a strict diet to prep for your fun run, but if your usual meals are heavily processed, take this as an opportunity to adopt some healthier habits.
Ensure each meal is packed with lean protein (like chicken, fish, beef, or tofu), whole grains, vegetables, fruit, and healthy fats (like avocado and olive oil).