There’s no doubt that fitness can have a direct impact on mental health. But when you have little kids in tow (and time-poor), going for a run, let alone training for a marathon, can be challenging. As part of mental health awareness, Ben Lucas, the director of Flow Athletic, is sharing his top tips to train for a fun run with your little ones.
Set Small Goals Together
The idea of training for a long fun run such as a marathon may sound overwhelming to beginners but if you break up a big goal i.e. 10km run into smaller goals, you’ll find it’s much easier to achieve. By setting shorter distances as a goal, you’ll find it’s much easier to get your kids involved. For example, if you’re aiming to complete a 1km run, you can challenge your kid(s) to ride their bike alongside you. For older kids, you can suggest they try running with you. Other small goals you can set to build up your distance may be running to school instead of driving.
Turn it into a game
Think of ways to turn your running training into a game. For example, you can ask your kids to help you build an obstacle course to help you warm up. You can also have them take part in the warm-up by taking turns going through the obstacle course. You could also create a relay race to get your kids involved in your training.
Celebrate the wins
There’s nothing more rewarding than achieving a goal you set, no matter how big or small. Consider creating a running leaderboard for your family. Have each person set a running goal and decide on a reward they will receive when they achieve it.
Turn to role play
Need a fitness coach? Turn to your kids. Assign them the role of your fitness/running coach. You can get them involved in keeping you accountable, timing your runs, and helping with your warm-up and stretching. You can also have them set up a mini gym for you to warm up using skipping ropes, and hula hoops.
When you have little time to train, the easiest way to squeeze in a run is to incorporate your kids into your fitness routine as much as possible. Those are how to train for a fun with your kids.
By Ben Lucas, Director of Flow Athletic who also has a Young Athletes Program