Running With Kids

Ah, running with the kids in tow.  Infant and toddler years are "easy" - jogger stroller and go, right?  Yes, we'll call pushing around 20-40 lbs in front of you easy.  Sure.  But there comes a point where either they can't fit OR don't want to stay in there.  Then you hit what I've found the most challenging point - they can't ride, but they can't run with you yet. 

Enter treadmill.  For me, the treadmill was a critical thing for all the younger ages - get them down for a nap, stick the baby monitor by you and go.  You can even watch a show if you set up your iPad or TV (or whatever device).  

Now I've arrived at the fun years.  My older one is eight now, and he actually wants to come out with me.  This is a great thing.  My older boy is a do-er.  He needs to move.  A lot.  When he comes running he will actually talk to me probably more than any other time (bonus!).  

Key thing though: when the kid comes running, my pace has to adjust.  He's fast, but he has not learned to pace himself very well, so he'll hang in with me for a mile but can't make it the three miles.   Does not matter!  We're getting exercise, and he's (hopefully) learning the value of physical activity that will stick for life.  

Here's something that's helped make running with an 8 yo at different paces more doable - we pick an area that's low traffic and maybe 1/10 or 2/10 of a mile, and we just run up and down the street.  Sometimes we'll sprint.  He REALLY likes sprinting because he usually beats me.  This keeps him within eye sight of me at all times, and we're doing something together, and we can do some laps where we fall in together but then other times each go our own paces.  AND I picked a place close enough to the house that I can watch him walk back to the house and keep going myself if it's too much for him.  

Happy running, moms!  Remember, there are different seasons and be flexible with how much training you get in and with how you get it done.