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Couch to 5K
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Anyone else take their children out?

My other half and 8 year old already do a 5k Park Run every week. I am wondering whether it is ok to take my 7 year old out with me so that when I get to that stage we can all do the same park run. I'm just about to start Week 2. Does anyone have any experience of children doing the program?

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Be warned about taking your 7 year old out, you will need a ball and chain to slow him/her down;) I would say definitely do it, once you have both graduated there will be nothing nicer than the whole family going off to your Parkrun on a Saturday morning. :)

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Oh, it didn't go very well. She got a stitch on the first running segment and then a mystery pain on the second which she was sure would only go away if she went home and put Hello Kitty cream on it. We went home and I had to start my run over. :-)

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Lol. Kids are funny. It's a nice way to spend time with them though :-) I remember enjoying going for runs with my dad at the weekends.

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Firstly, that is wonderful about getting children so young out running. It's definitely ok to take children to Parkrun: at my local one, we get families coming out together.

Things to bear in mind really are is your child really ready for it, both in terms of ability, and maturity. It can be quite a daunting experience for many a first time adult runner let alone a child. For example, will the 7 year old be unhappy if they can't keep up with the family, or vice versa, would the 8 year old be upset if the younger child posted better runs. Also, to make sure they are kitted out appropriately, especially their shoes, which I'm sure you and your OH do anyway :-)

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I can't remember when Laura talks about how to deal with stitch? Anyone?

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Deep breathing usually helps, as in down into the stomach.

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Yeah, slow your pace and breathe deeply. It worked for me on my first ever parkrun and first ever stitch.

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Mentions it on week 4.

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OK so the first run outing didn't go too well but that's not to say it has to be the last. Why not take her along to your local Parkrun and let her see everyone having fun running. If you have a park close by try running with her on the grass but make out its fun and gradually increase the distance. Some little ones have to be slowed down I know my eldest grandson at 7 could leave me and disappear in a cloud of dust. At a young age it has to be fun and they have to want to do it so take it gradually letting her decide how much and when she would like to go, after all she has many years to develop into a runner. If they have sports day at school you could suggest she may want to practice so that she will be able to run for longer and faster in her class races. No pressure, just fun at that age. :)

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Thanks for everyone's help.

My 8 year old is nearly 9 so they are nearly two years apart in age. The older one had been doing athletics and cross country for a good while before her first 5k whereas the younger one only started athletics in Jan. My other half thinks she just needs to get a bit more practice running over the year before doing the Park Run. I do like the idea of going out for short runs in the park with her now that I know I am up to it and we could do it while the park run is going on so she can see the great atmosphere. It'll motivate me too:-)

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There are a few junior parkruns up and running, might there be one anywhere near you?

parkrun.org.uk/events/junio...

If not perhaps your local one would be interested in starting one.

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Thanks for this. I didn't even know there was such a thing. There's not one in my area but I have an idea coming on. :-)

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Our local parkrun is trying to get one started, they have to raise £3000 so this probably explains why there aren't too many - but everything has to start somewhere and I'm sure there will be funding sources to tap into. Good luck. :-)

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