Running with an 8 year old

My daughter after watching her Dad run enough is keen to give it a go. Given I'm not a runner either (I can walk at about 15 min per mile for an hour, also did the Thames path 50k walking last year after a lot of training), we have started a C25k with the aim of running a local parkrun gently from the back in perhaps 2 or 3 months.

Looking at the age gradings, do they start at 10 or is that just the grade for anyone under 10?

We're not out to break records, just something she can enjoy and do with Dad, and me image I'm thinking to take her out just twice a week rather than the three I'm doing, just to keep it gentle on her little legs.


That said I remember doing a 3 mile fun run and an 8 mile fun run when I was about 10 on no training whatsoever...


  • Not an expert - but let her try a parkrun ? They always seem to have lil kiddies running round. You'll need to accompany her.
  • Wish my son would show some interest,  as others have said the Parkrun seems to be the way to go.  Good that you are both keen to encourage her.   

  • Our two often want to run with me.  I do a lap of the close with the youngest (age 2), which as about 500m.  The eldest age 5 sometimes comes for longer runs of around 2 miles with a couple of brief walking breaks.

    By the age of 10 she should be able to manage 5k.  Personally I would let her run as little or as often as she wants - you'll probably be the one struggling to keep up.

    Children are allowed, but I think children under 11 have to be accompanied.

  • Start very steadily and build. Obviously it all needs to be fun-based and lead by what she wants to do and tempered by what you think is sensible. Walk when necessary. Try to run on grass. Do fartlek type stuff.

    Parkrun can be great, especially if it is 2 or 3 laps so she can maybe do less than 5k to start with. That`s what I`m planning on for my 2 (5 & 3) after they both recently enjoyed a 1 mile fun run.

  • Look out for Sunday morning junior parkruns, which are 2km only. You might be lucky enough to live near one. If not, they are expanding rapidly.

  • just started a local junior parkrun and the response has been great

  • Thanks for your replies. We're just doing gentle walk/run intervals at the moment and she's more than capable of walking the 5k.


    So is the grading JW10 for anyone 10 or under?

  • john2443john2443 ✭✭✭

    JW10 is the age group not the age grading. (It's set so that under 11s are identified - as mentioned above, under 11s have to be accompanied at parkrun (ie within sight of their adult). Minimum age you can register at is 4 or 5, can't remember which.)

    The age grading changes for every year, whether you are 8 or 80 your age grade % (for the same time) changes every birthday - google for an age grade calculator and put some numbers in and you'll see.

    Kids are welcome at parkruns and as long as they're enjoying it and the adult isn't pushing them to be fast. If they can't do the full distance (on a multi lap run) that's fine but they should not cross the finish line, it's a 5k event and if you don't do 5k you haven't finished. 

  • Peter MPeter M ✭✭✭

    hardest thing i've seen for adults running with kids, is their pacing is generally terrible :P. They have no concept of keeping a steady pace up to get around, it's usually, shoot off quickly, fade off, need to walk, get encouraged again, jog, run quick for a bit, fade, SPRINT CRAZY for the finish! image. Keeping them in sight when they go off a lot quicker then you think they can, is the hardest part image. But as the others said, as long as they're enjoying themselves at that age, it's all good. image

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