what age?

please can anyone tell me what is a good age for my 7yr old to start running with me? i,m thinking more of her doing too much and hurting herself.am i being over-protective?or just let her do her own thing and go with the flow?


  • Are you planning to run a marathon with her or jog lightly round the block? image

  • OMG, this is just another example of the nanny state we live in.  Let her run!!!  Do you stop her from running round the school playground?  No!  Unwrap a layer of cotton wool from around her and go for a run with her in the morning.  The chances are she won't be able to run very far so make the most of it.  image
  • Sorry nothing at all constuctive to add, but as a Tractor Girl:


    pause for breath...

    hahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahaha..... image

  • I've got something to add.....

    Canary - my kids started with a one mile fun run that was attached to a 10K I was doing in Liverpool. As they were 6 and 8 at the time (and I thought a mile was quite a long way for a 6 year old) I bought flora margarine to get the free little running bottles they were giving away to celebrate the marathon and said "right - these are YOUR bottles and we're going to train"image

    I bought them some decent trainers (you'll struggle if her feet are below a size 1) and we plodded on out, at their pace, for about half a mile. One of them would've given Usain Bolt a run for his money and the other one whinged about stitches within 100 yards! But we persevered. I only took them out when they wanted to go, and we got up to a mile fairly quickly. On the day before the race they insisted on pasta for tea (to "carb up") image and we took some jelly babies (for the huge glycogen depletion they would inevitably suffer)image 

    Race day arrived and they treated it like the Olympic 1500m final. I was standing close to the finish line, when, from around the corner came eldest Miss LB (whinger with the stitch) like something out of Chariots of Fire!!!! She was NOT going to be beaten by her little sister! Two seconds behind was youngest Miss LB, busting her lungs out. They did amazingly well and fell over the finish line in tears.

    Both Mr LB and I are runners. They've been to the expos and the marathons. They know about preparation and they wanted a go. It's like nicking your mother's make up because you've seen her putting mascara on. What I really wanted to say in telling you all this is that your daughter wants to do it because she's copying YOU and it's a damn sight better than pretending to smoke!

    Let her come with you, but find her a little "race" so she can train too. Explain to her when you need to go further that your distances are different, so she can't come on your 10 mile LSR, but you'll train with her tomorrow / Monday /whenever.

    Above all make it FUN. Nobody wants a crying 7 year old with shin splints. Keep the distances low.

  • My 6 year old has just done her first "mini" marathon in Annecy. The organisers laid out an 800m course and the kids did a "proper" race in age/sex groups. Fab intro and the kids loved it, though like LB's experience they all whizzed around a bit quick. The look of shock on my daughter's face at the end was priceless! They even got goody bags at the end!

    I agree with LB entirely, make it fun and let them do what they want.
  • I agree too.  Let her run if she wants to. 

    My daughter and I regularly do the parkrun 5k on a Saturday morning.  She is 8 and used to come and marshall at the event while I ran, but decided she wanted to do it too.  She has improved so much and really enjoys it.  The whole thing has been great for her.  She used to give up in races at school where she knew she couldn't win, but now is quite happy to run her best the whole way.  I bought her some proper running trainers and some decent kit when she had done a few of them.  It has also been good for her in lots of other ways because she sees people going back to help others and running with them to help them get better times and she now does this as well.  And I got a great race report from the London Marathon which she watched and I couldn't because I was racing image.

    Finding a form of exercise children are motivated to do is brilliant. 

  • CindersCinders ✭✭✭
    Can't wait for my little one to start running if he shows an interest.  But at 16 months he's a bit young yet image
  • Never too young to hold up a sign saying "go mummy go" image
  • CindersCinders ✭✭✭

    Oh what a lovely idea LB, will make him one for my next race image

  • Cinders, when Mr LB did his first marathon in New York in 2004, I took youngest Miss LB to Manchester airport to collect him off his flight. We'd made a sign like the taxi drivers hold up in arrivals, but ours said "daddy" on it in big letters. In smaller writing all around it we'd actually put "my DADDY ran the New York City Marathon"!!!!

    When he came through all these random strangers gave him a big clap because this tiny girl was holding her card, proud as can be......image

  • Couldn't resist it after seeing your username - again nothing to contribute but I hope you enjoy Exeter and Yeovil and Hartlepool and Carlisle...
  • You bad boy TT! Talk about kicking a canary when they're down - literally......imageimageimage
  • my 4yo daughter has just completed her first 1mile fun run today,   she finished last by a long way (just as the next age group up was about to start) but was absolutely delighted.  

     She was in plaster this time last year,  with metalwork in her legs,  after a number of operations and when she came along to watch me do the adult race she said that she would do it this year.  Despite saying during the week that she didn't want to do the run I had to prise the medal and t-shirt off her for bedtime!  

    If your daughter wants to run encourage her to do so and find her something to work towards,  it's a great thing to see,  I was more pleased with her performance today than any of the races I've completed this year.

  • CindersCinders ✭✭✭

    LB, bet Mr LB welled up when he saw that sign.

    Well done to your daughter Jaffa, that's a fantastic achievement for her image

  • He did Cinders! He was also bemused by all the applause and looked behind him for the celebrity! image

    Jaffa - in my experience those who come last get the biggest cheer for sticking with it and her determination to complete the distance at such a young age and after all she's been through shows just what a special little lady she is!

    But be warned - she's showing signs of being strong willed at four - God help you when she's a teenager! image

  • just found a pair of proper running shoes on the web for her (nightmare to do size11).She is doing the race for life with mum in July,but really wants to train with dad asap.She is a gymnast aswell(youngest  person to make clubs top squad) 2016? A dad can dream!
  • After yesterday's nightmare with your club, Canary, you need a dream! image

    I see so many kids who sit on their arses these days, it's great yours wants to get out there and have a go. Just remember she's growing though and hold off booking the Marathon de Sables for the moment!

  • OH BUGGER ! didn,t  think of that.Anyone want a place in north pole marathon?.........P.S.can all tractor boyz and girlz (cant really tell the difference ) please let this little blip pass you by  THANK YOU........
  • the only point I would make is try and make the running off road,,,,,,,,,,,,,,tarmac is not a good surface and too much running on it at a young age may well damage the growth plates..............and give them knee problems 

    so yes if they want to run let them run ...............but also remember they pain systems are also imature and they might not recognise the niggles................

    but keep to the parks and the mountains and they should be fine.image

  • FWIW - I try to find runs for me that have a kid's fun run attached for my Son.  He is 9 and most runs only seem to have a max distance of 2.5k.  I have managed to get him into local 5k's where there has not been a lower age limit.  He can do a 5k without stopping.  I make sure I don't 'pressure' him into doing too much so don't talk about beating previous times etc. All I ask of him is that he 'makes an effort'.  I know he will never come first and I make sure he understands that, but his face when he finishes is a picture and he so enjoys taking his medals into school after the weekend.
  • TheraThera ✭✭✭

    Hi All

    just reading all the great comments above as my eldest is 'hassling' me to go for a run (he is 5). I very much like the idea of finding races with fun runs, may even get my husband out for some much needed exercise!! image

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  • Incidentally, what *is* the smallest size you can buy running shoes in? My daughter keeps expressing an interest (a very small interest, and she's not known for her dedication to anything image) but at almost 6 yrs old, she has the tiniest feet ever - size 8! (that's the baby sizes, under a 1).


  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭

    Size 8 - blimey that is small for a 6 year old - still think of the VAT you'll save when she gets older and can still fit in kids sizes as a teenager.  

    I wouldn't worry too much about specific running shoes - my daughter started doing some cross country aged 2 (well nearly 3 - and it was only a mile) and has done occasional cross country and fun runs since then.   She's always just used her normal trainers - though I did get a diddy pair of Walshes second hand for the cross country last year which her smaller twin bro can wear when she's grown out of them.  

  • So is a 3.5 year old ok for a run around the block ? I've always thought he will get tired before he has a chance to injure himself
  • popsiderpopsider ✭✭✭
    Yeah I think so too -  you sending them out for a paper on Sunday morning or something ?
  • Popsider - yeah, she has titchy feet! I dont bother labelling her school shoes and pumps as there isn't anyone else in the whole school who could get her shoes on! My feet are huge though, also an 8, so maybe she'll have the mother of all growth spurts one day and cost me a fortune image

    I did think that too BSB - maybe she could try running in normal trainers because she is very unlikely to get far enough to do much damage image

  • If I sent him to the shops on his own he would come back with a Power Rangers magazine, Football cards and all the sweets / chocolate he could carry image.
  • Daughter is really enjoying this running lark.We are going out together every other night.She has a real competitive streak,to the point of telling anybody who will listen about her P.B,s        ( 1MILE= 10MIN59sec  2MILES= 22MINS43sec ) Really trying hard to explain to her to take it easy but may as well talk to the dog .............      
  • TheraThera ✭✭✭
    the enthusiasm is great!
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