Last night I was at my children's science fair. After taking a look at their work, I settled onto a bench, and waited until I could leave. As I sat, I watched as the younger children became bored like me. But rather than sit and be anti-social, they began to run.
The running involved chasing one another and playing tag. The children all ran with perfect form (none of them were heel strikers) and smiles on their faces. They ran up steps, hurdled planters and dodged parents. Their energy was exhausting to watch.
As I watched, I thought, this is how you get them to run. You don't put them on a track and have them go round and round. You harness their natural proclivity to run, by letting them run the way they want. Put up obstacles, jumps and turns and create a game of running tag. Then let them go at it.
One of the children running was on my son's cross-country team last year. During the meets, he looked tired and slow. Change the venue to the school courtyard and he was fast, dynamic and indefatigable.
Why? Because he was having fun. Rather than force kids to run the way we want, let them run the way they want. All it takes is a little creativity in designing the workouts, then sit back and watch them explode into action.
San Elijo Hills Running Club