Another great guest blog from TFTR? Clubhouse Member Victoria Allison.   

Running with children …. Or not?

At the start of January my 8 year old daughter had asked me if she could run the Green Park Challenge again, this event is part of the Reading half marathon for families and children over 4 years.  So this weekend (18/3/18) I was due to run this event with her as one of my planned events in the run up to London marathon 2019…. It wasn’t to be though the ‘Beast from the East 2.0’ hit and our event was postponed until a later hopefully warmer date. Was I disappointed to not be running? Not really!  It’s no fun running in freezing conditions especially when you’re little and I can guarantee it would have been hard work motivating her to get round and keep warm, she is still little to me, we don’t ever want our children to grow up …. Do we?

Megan has run in a few events over the last couple of years with either me or her step dad, including the mini mile at the Great South and this event which is 3km, her reasoning for taking part …. “It’s for the medal mummy”.  I can’t say I blame her we all have things that motivate us to get out and run! My motives usually revolve around a nice glass of red for having achieved my goal Jor a slice of cake, but I quite like the medal too and we get to share these experiences and create memories.

We also run and volunteer at our local Park Run (I let Megan choose what she would like to do), I know she would really like to get her 10 t-shirt and we are getting there. Her PB currently sits at about 48 mins which given that she has recently been diagnosed with DCD (Developmental Coordination Disorder) and finds sport in general really difficult I’m so proud of her for achieving.  I’m lucky that she doesn’t mind volunteering or taking part … most of the time, but I have had to find ways to keep it interesting and fun for both of us, especially when the going gets tough.

I have had really positive support from others when running with her, some of the tail walkers at Park Run have been wonderful in helping with her motivation and the promise of a jelly babies after each km or a hot chocolate at the end always seem to help!, We also play games which usually involve one person running forward for her to catch and high 5 then she run’s forward to be caught.

It’s not the most relaxing thing in the world, especially if she’s having an “I can’t” moment, and I probably don’t get the workout that I usually would when running with her but who am I to say no, if she asks to join me! I have seen that it boosts her confidence and self-esteem and it’s helping her to realise she can overcome hurdles even if she has to work harder than others to achieve it!Victoria Allison x 1 Photo medal

I asked the Club House ladies how many of them run with children (their own or borrowed) and which events they have taken part in if any ….. I got some interesting replies:

Nic said “I buggy run with my niece and nephew at parkrun. They adore it, largely because they get a lot of attention and get to play eye spy the whole way round. It adds about 5 minutes to my time but increases my own enjoyment tenfold. People also assume that I’m trying to lose some baby weight (I don’t have kids) and are also really cheerleadery with me!”

Emma replied: “I run with my 6yr old, we play how much can she make mummy run!   We did the family fun mile at the Richmond 10miler last year”

Eleanor said: “I’ve run a couple of races with my now ten year old – tbh the five year old would probably enjoy running with me too but she does loads of activities already so haven’t got round to it. We really enjoyed the Supernova at the Kelpies and we also did a Subway 5k. My son is mildly autistic and he’s not that great with team sports so running and getting a medal is a big sense of achievement for him”

Helen responded “Mine started coming with me from about 8, we have done Santa runs coz ‘mince pie’, colour runs coz ‘paint’ when he was doing his D of E bronze my eldest did a 10k. They see running with me as a treat for me, not for them, they don’t realise I do it to escape from them 😂”

Jennie said “I run with my 5 and 7 yr old. We play animal noises talk about all sorts and do silly steps/actions to copy. We do junior parkrun most weeks. Last year we did junior spartan obstacle race and run.  This year there is an obstacle race in April and something in summer. They love it!”

Faith responded “I run in the ‘kiddie’ races with my twin nieces, who are 6 years old. They LOVE it! One is much faster than the other, and she runs with me while her sister runs/walks with her mom. They get SO amped up about running, and they love to talk with me about it! The last time I babysat them, they wanted to try out my treadmill and check out my running shoes. They think that every time I go running I’m going for a ‘race’ and that is SUPER exciting to them! The only challenge we’ve really dealt with is encouraging them to set a pace that they can maintain the whole time (longest so far is 3k). I do some pre-teaching about pacing, and then if they run off too fast I just keep them in sight and catch up with them. If they want to stop, I just keep jogging slowly alongside. The last 3k I did with them, the faster of the two kept up running the whole time and I was so proud of her!”

A few Club House ladies have also told me that they would only run with their children if they had too, and that it’s their time.  I completely get that and most of my runs are done in the company of my dogs (who need no encouragement) but there is something special about taking part in something together and encouraging good habits, I am happy to share some of my running time with my daughter so that we have those memories of our joint achievements.

If you would like to join our awesome community, get involved in our meetups and training days, and even become a Too Fat to Run coach or guest blogger why not consider joining The Clubhouse today.


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