I worked on something pretty important today in my training.

I introduced my son to the track.

Yes, we have been running before.  Yes, he has run 5K’s before.  But I have never taken him to the track.

My husband passed down his love of soccer, baseball, football and basketball.  It is only fair I add in some running.  Specifically, track running.

So this morning, when my son complained he wasn’t enjoying the VBS I had registered him for this week, I told him he could skip, but he had to come run with me.  He agreed.

I had already run a steady 5 miles in the early AM before everyone got up.  I had come across this workout: the 200-200-400 found here and planned to run this when everyone was at school or VBS.  My son is athletic and will run.  But, when I told him my workout, he didn’t seem thrilled.

Running track you run fast.  You run until you feel pain.  Then you learn to run through the pain.  The more you do an interval, the less it should hurt.  So what do you do?  Go faster, of course!  Til it hurts again!

This kind of running isn’t necessarily my son’s forte.  I knew this when I asked him to run.  I also knew it was going to be hot out and would need to be sure he would not hurt himself in the heat.  So – I modified!

How to Introduce Track Training

As a reference, my son is 10 years old.  He is pretty athletic.  He plays soccer, football, basketball and baseball.  He trains as an athlete even at his age.  Months before soccer tryouts he will run 1-2 miles a day on the treadmill.  He will do sit-ups and push-ups.  Sometimes he needs encouragement.  Sometimes it is the first thing he does when he comes home from school.

Track workouts are great, in general, because they are shorter than doing a long run.  Long runs can involve a lot of attention span.  You have to be able to dedicate doing THE SAME THING for, potentially, hours at a time.  That is not necessarily “kid friendly.”

Track = short distance = great for kids!

1.  Safety First

It was hot today, but not too humid.  We each packed a large water bottle full of ice water.  We had our sunblock on.  We brought a towel to dampen and put on our heads.  Every lap, you stop, you drink.  If you feel too hot, dizzy or any kind of overheated, you stop.

2.  Tailor the Training – Shorten the Distance

I set out for a 200-200-400 workout.  I knew this wasn’t the workout for him.  Our first lap we did together.  We jogged and talked about what we wanted to accomplish.  My son was not thrilled to do my workout.  He was a 100 m sprinter.  So that is what he went for.  His run would include 1 x 100 m sprint in each of his laps.  Sounded good to me!

3. STRETCH

Gotta teach them the importance of stretching.  I didn’t want him to hurt himself.  Stretching is key.  I know.

4.  Add Some Fun

I couldn’t just run with him.  I had to add something fun.  So we got together after he did 1.5 miles, and I had 2.5 miles of training in.  We did 50 meter jog, 50 meter running backwards, 100 meter sideways, 50 meter jog, 50 meter running backwards and 100 meter sideways.  We jogged a final lap together and called it a day.

The good news is – he liked running the track!

So, I was super psyched.  I also knew that the stop and go, fast to slow to fast, would help him in his current basketball and upcoming soccer season ahead.

My favorite thing he learned today?

DEDICATION

Running takes a lot of will power.  A lot of dedication.  I am an individual.  The only person driving me to run, is me.  I do not have a coach.  I am my coach.  When you run track, intervals – you reach your start line and you push yourself.  You reach your end and you slow into your recovery interval. Then you reach your start line and you go again.  You push yourself.

I left that up to him.  I ran my workout, he ran his.  I watched as he reached his start line and he went.  He learned one of the major principles of running.  Dedication.  Internal drive.  I love it!

Post run selfie – Great track experience!

Got any good track workouts great for beginners, who don’t know track yet?  Let me know!  My son may be ready for another morning at the track!

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