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 getting kids to run
runnerswife


Joined: 08 Dec 2004
Posts: 33

getting kids to run Posted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 9:06 pm 

Our pediatrician recently said that childhood obesity was one of the biggest public health problems facing us today, and I believe it... I just read there's a report from the CDC ( http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/aag/aag_cvd.htm ) that shows an increase in heart attacks in people 15-34 (yes, that's right, kids having heart attacks). Do you think there's any way to get kids into running early? It seems to be something most people pick up in the 30's, or even a lot of people in their 40's. Following a few of the other threads, if you ran when you were a kid, why did you like it? Or do you think kids will find it too boring? What would convince fat kids to start exercising?

Does anybody out there work with kids?


phaedrus


Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 37

Re: getting kids to run Posted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 11:07 pm 

For junior high and high school athletes, I think running is perceived as a geeky sport compared to football, soccer, etc. A lot of runners that age are in the sport only because they were too small or unskilled to suceed in other sports. Overcoming that negative perception would seem to be a big hurdle.

Personally speaking, I ran track in high school because it was the only sport I was even remotely good at, and in fact I was still pretty bad. I certainly didn't enjoy the meets much, because I nearly always came in dead last in my races.


OldManRunner
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Rochester, NY
Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 262

Re: getting kids to run Posted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 7:18 am 

I think you need to differentiate between running long and running short and fast. HS track teams always boast fast sprinters who also happen to be receivers on the football team, and I think all kids dream of being fast sprinters, not endurance runners. As for cross country, I agree with phaedrus - I think many cross country runners got into that sport because they couldn't make the team in other sports. Just read some of the runner profiles in Daniels Running Formula...many of those champions give this same explanation for how they got into running.

I ran JV cross country one year in high school 25+ years ago, and it was OK, but I wasn't very good, and the coach made no effort to explain some of the physiological changes that take place as a result of training, so I don't recall even understanding that I'd get better the more I trained. I've run on and off casually ever since then (mostly off), but I didn't really start to get serious about it until I was pushing 40. I think kids are unlikely to enjoy the peace and quiet and time for introspection that distance running offers, so unless they're immediately good at it and therefore enjoy it because of competitive success, it's going to be a hard thing to get kids to stick with. Fortunately, there are lots of other good sports for kids that have more action that are also great aerobic sports, like soccer and basketball and swimming and lacrosse and whatever else.


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