Author Topic: how much should a 5 year old run?  (Read 1213 times)

havregryn

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 391
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Luxembourg
how much should a 5 year old run?
« on: November 18, 2018, 02:41:16 PM »
Ever since I signed up for some 5K races my 5 year old son is dying to be in a race. I am quite sure that even though he is very fit, 5K is completely inappropriate for his age so we've been telling him no every time. But now the next year's local marathon opened for sign ups and they have a 1 kilometer option for kids under 10. I am thinking of signing him up but I'm not sure...he would be 5 and a half and he is very sporty and strong and probably runs more than 1 km during his weekly sports activities but still...I would like to hear some smart people chime in before I sign him up or even mention it to him.
I am asking here as this is by far the best selected group of smart people I've ever been in online...so what do you people think, is it OK to sign up a boy born November 2013 to run a 1 kilometer race in June 2019?  He has no health issues and enjoys physical activity, but I have no idea how to tell what is a reasonable demand to put on his little body. Thanks in advance!

wordnerd

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1092
Re: how much should a 5 year old run?
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2018, 02:51:07 PM »
Ever since I signed up for some 5K races my 5 year old son is dying to be in a race. I am quite sure that even though he is very fit, 5K is completely inappropriate for his age so we've been telling him no every time. But now the next year's local marathon opened for sign ups and they have a 1 kilometer option for kids under 10. I am thinking of signing him up but I'm not sure...he would be 5 and a half and he is very sporty and strong and probably runs more than 1 km during his weekly sports activities but still...I would like to hear some smart people chime in before I sign him up or even mention it to him.
I am asking here as this is by far the best selected group of smart people I've ever been in online...so what do you people think, is it OK to sign up a boy born November 2013 to run a 1 kilometer race in June 2019?  He has no health issues and enjoys physical activity, but I have no idea how to tell what is a reasonable demand to put on his little body. Thanks in advance!
If he'll walk once he's tired, instead of running until he collapses, I don't see any danger. 1km is not very far to walk even for a small child.

nereo

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 8800
  • Location: la belle province
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: how much should a 5 year old run?
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2018, 02:57:38 PM »
assuming there's no underlying health issues and his doctor approves, there's absolutely no reason a 5 year old cannot participate in a 1km race if he/she wants to.  That's a common age for kids to first join a soccer or basketball developmental team, and they'll run 1km over the course of a 20m game or practice.

I coach developmental swim league and my youngest swimmers are 5 and we do a 25 minute practice 3x/week for 5-6 year olds.

FOr their first race, make sure he knows it's ok to walk-run as necessary, and you might want to do it with him.

cerat0n1a

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1218
  • Location: England
Re: how much should a 5 year old run?
« Reply #3 on: November 18, 2018, 04:30:31 PM »
In the UK, we have hundreds of free 5km runs every week, called parkrun. Under-11s are required to run within arm's reach of their parents, but other than that they are allowed to take part. Key thing is this is not a 'race' - there is no competition and no pressure on the child - and they may well walk part of it. I see 5 year olds running a 5km parkrun literally every week, although I'm sure that some children that age would not cope.

There is also another set of weekly events called "junior parkrun" which is 2km, in which only children run - although they are in sight of adults at all times. The minimum age recommended for that is 4 upwards.

I would have absolutely no qualms about allowing a fit healthy 5-year old to run 1km. Hope he enjoys it!

redwagon

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 19
Re: how much should a 5 year old run?
« Reply #4 on: November 18, 2018, 05:48:19 PM »
1 km no prob! In my experience those "races" are all about the kids having fun together. If your kid really likes running longer distances though I'd encourage you to train together to run a 5 km if they can be interested for that long. Our daughter has been running "real" timed 5 km races since she was four and I think she has done 12 in the 2 years since then. We are in Canada and most races don't seem to have minimum age limits but definitely not many kids under 8 sign up. She has an absolute blast and is a great confidence booster. From the training to picking up race kits to the event day she gets all pumped up and other runners and race coordinators are super encouraging. Any sporty kid can do. The hard part is holding attention that long and keeping her motivated not to trail off and check out pretty flowers and butterflies. We will do as long as she is having fun. We run with her the entire time since she's still pretty little.

ElleFiji

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3635
  • Age: -166
  • Location: Always Winter
Re: how much should a 5 year old run?
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2018, 07:00:30 PM »
We started registering the girls in 1k fun runs around age 2. At that point they toddle and get picked up for parts. At 3/4 they run/walked the 1k solo and by 6 one of them was sprinting a 5k. The other one wasn't ready for the 5k until she was almost 8.

Dee18

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1526
Re: how much should a 5 year old run?
« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2018, 07:53:31 PM »
My daughter’s school had an annual one mile race starting in kindergarten.  The PE teachers had the kids gradually build up to the one mile and it was a great event. 

havregryn

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 391
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Luxembourg
Re: how much should a 5 year old run?
« Reply #7 on: November 19, 2018, 03:01:44 PM »
Great, thanks everyone. I will sign him up. They don't allow adults for this but we will have 6 months to talk about what to expect and make sure he is prepared. I think he's going to love it.

FireHiker

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 842
  • Location: So Cal
Re: how much should a 5 year old run?
« Reply #8 on: November 23, 2018, 09:38:46 AM »
Why would a 5k be completely inappropriate for a 5 year old? We just ran a local 5k yesterday, with our 6 and 8 year olds. I checked the results just now and there were: seven 5 year olds, two 4 year olds, and one 3 year old that completed it. It was very much a family event, and we had fun. My 6 year old didn't run the whole thing and I was the lucky adult who stayed with her the whole time while my husband actually got to run with the 8 year old, but I think it was a really good, healthy way to be together as a family. We have two more planned for next year with the kids. We do live in a pretty active community and their school does a running club, so the kids are not entirely new to running. I think as long as you build up to it and it's fun for your kid, then there's nothing wrong with it. Surely it's better to get the kids into running than sitting around on video games all day, right?

LiveLean

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 704
  • Location: Central Florida
    • ToLiveLean
Re: how much should a 5 year old run?
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2018, 08:21:24 AM »
My now-16-year-old ran a lot of 5K races with me when he was in the 6-to-10 range. He's been a competitive swimmer since 6 and I had him stop running four years ago to focus on swimming; I've seen too many parents run their kids into the ground.

Then there are the parents who have their kids "focus on triathlon" now that they've heard it's a college scholarship sport-- only true for a handful of schools, and just girls.

If they like to run and want to do high-school cross country, that's awesome. But I cringe when I see parents having their middle schoolers do half marathons.

moof

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 496
  • Location: Beaver Town Orygun
Re: how much should a 5 year old run?
« Reply #10 on: November 27, 2018, 11:34:40 PM »
Our kid ended up running 1.2 miles for his school fun run, and had a good time of it.  I’d say you should let him, and do a bit of training with him to get both of you ready for it.  Stop overthinking it.