It’s no surprise that many families feel a bit like they are coming out of hibernation this time of year (especially after the long winter we’ve had)! Need a little motivation to get you and your kids off the couch? Train for a 5K!
A 5K is a fun, doable accomplishment for kids and parents. Setting a goal as a family helps hold all of you accountable. And training for a race improves family communication, fosters stronger relationships and teaches kids how to support each other.
Recommendations on ages & how to get started
Running is an activity that can be fun for kids as young as five and many 5K’s offer a shorter “fun run” distance of 1K or 2K that is perfect for the younger crowd. If your child is at least 8 years old, they are likely ready for the challenge of a 5K (3.1 miles). Misty Chandos, Director of Training Programs at Fleet Feet in Schererville, runs a Youth No Boundaries program for kids ages 8-14.
Misty’s Tips for Family Runs
• Parents should be realistic about their child's physical activity and help them set achievable goals.
• Both parents and children should be supportive of each other and work toward the goal together. Do not compete with one another, but provide motivation and support through the struggles.
• Both parents and children should celebrate small accomplishments and encourage each other to work toward improvement.
• Parents should not compare one child to another child.
• Parents and children need to commit to the running program and hold each other accountable for completion.
Ultimately, the goal is to have fun. Chandos reminds parents to “enjoy every moment and celebrate each mile! Your children will learn important life lessons that are even bigger than finishing the race.”
Set your sights on these local spring races
May 11: Mother’s Day 5K at Taltree Arboretum in Valparaiso
May 17: Girls on the Run Spring 5K in Highland
May 31: Sunburst Races in South Bend (Bonus: the finish line is on the field at Notre Dame Stadium!)
June 7: Munster Rotary 10K/5K in Munster
June 14: Annual Hub Run 5K/2K in Crown Point (Note this year the Southlake Family YMCA in Crown Point is offering youth training for the 2K distance. Visit slymca.org for more info.)
June 21: Firecracker 5K in Chesterton