Running With My Kids: Incentive


On TheDailyHiit, the subject of incorporating your kids into your workout is something that comes up often. It can be tough to make it work. If you have read some of my past posts you know I have nine year old twin girls. Physical activity has become something my husband and I are passionate about. As our training schedule increased we realized we are missing valuable time with our girls. Instead of cutting back our workouts, we now involve them - specifically in our runs. The problem we run into is motivation. Just like adults, they are not always wanting to strap on their shoes and knock out 3 miles. We had to find a way to keep them interested. Here are some ideas I hope other Bodyrocking moms can use to get their kids excited about running and fitness.


[caption id="attachment_35290" align="aligncenter" width="350"]20131230-095748.jpg New pullovers were the incentive for their 5 Mile personal record.[/caption] Who doesn't love new stuff? This sounds like I spoil my kids but I don't. They earn this stuff with their personal accomplishments. Their investment in themselves are rewarded with investments in their activities. This season alone they have earned new technical clothes, headlamps, iPod shuffles, race registrations and a bonus trip to the nail salon to get painted fingers and toes.


[caption id="attachment_35300" align="aligncenter" width="400"]Season-ending meet for Cross Country Season-ending meet for Cross Country[/caption] Any activity is better with friends. Cross country bridges that gap for our kids. They love running with their peers and riding the bus to compete. As a morale-booster, my husband and I volunteered to hand out water at the finish line this year. Not only did we get a great view of the end of their races but we also had an opportunity to directly support them instead of being mere spectators.


[caption id="attachment_35293" align="aligncenter" width="298"]Supporting Dad at the Veteran's Day 5K - 20 degrees that day! Supporting Dad at the Veteran's Day 5K - 20 degrees that day![/caption] Sportsmanship and support are two huge components of any sport. We do this by asking them to support us when we run a race. Seeing us accomplish our goals, interacting with other athletes and persevering through less-than ideal circumstances is a great way to show them what they are capable of doing.


[caption id="attachment_35294" align="aligncenter" width="298"]Running an entire race in the rain and setting a personal PR for her time. Running an entire race in the rain and setting a personal PR for her time.[/caption] Celebrate hard work. Celebrate no complaining. Celebrate mileage. Celebrate that you did even when you didn't want to. Celebrate! Celebrate! Celebrate! This comes in the form of high-fives, hugs, praise and personal pride. Letting them know they should be proud of their personal achievements is key. I feel this teaches them to look inside of themselves for validation and less to others. They know they worked hard and should be proud regardless if others know about it.


[caption id="attachment_35301" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Showing off their kids one mile dash medals at the Summer Soltice 10K. Showing off their kids one mile dash medals at the Summer Soltice 10K.[/caption] T-shirts, plastic medals, rubber bracelets, water bottles, race name it, these kids want it. They love collecting race swag. To date they have 5 shirts from races they have participated in and it is a great source of pride for them. It is also a great conversation starter when they wear their shirts to school or out to Mom and Dad's run-group.


[caption id="attachment_35303" align="aligncenter" width="225"]With Dad at the BoGlo 5K With Dad at the BoGlo 5K[/caption] [caption id="attachment_35302" align="aligncenter" width="210"]Running in the dark with glow sticks and necklaces. Running in the dark with glow sticks and necklaces.[/caption] I can't stress this enough. We often talk during our weekly runs about all the fun we have together. We sprint with them to see who is faster; their favorite are hill sprint drills where they beat me every time! The girls find fun leaves and sticks etc along our routes. Sometimes our jog turns into a game of tag or a stop at the park to run around the duck pond or the playground. You don't always have to train seriously.


[caption id="attachment_35311" align="aligncenter" width="298"]Stretches after a meet - I didn't even have to tell her to!!! Stretches after a meet - I didn't even have to tell her to!!![/caption] I already mentioned running teaches self-validation and sportsmanship. However, I never run short on topics on which to give mini-lectures. Whether its proper recovery care of their bodies after a run or navigating the complex social issues that they face, I get time to have meaningful conversations with my children that double as life instruction. THIS is my favorite part of running with my girls.


[caption id="attachment_35314" align="aligncenter" width="450"]The Grinch and the Whos at the Jingle Bell Run 2013 The Grinch and the Whos at the Jingle Bell Run 2013[/caption] Okay...prepare for photo overload. All themed runs are done as a family. This is a big reward for the kids. They love helping me gather items for the costumes, taking photos and seeing what others have come up with for a costume to run in. Here are some highlights from this year: [caption id="attachment_35316" align="aligncenter" width="375"]Jingle Bell Run - I made our aprons for this one Jingle Bell Run - I made our aprons for this one[/caption] [caption id="attachment_35315" align="aligncenter" width="450"]Close-up of their festive gear Close-up of their festive gear[/caption] [caption id="attachment_35313" align="aligncenter" width="373"]Close-Up of Dad in his Grinchy best Close-Up of Dad in his Grinchy best[/caption] [caption id="attachment_35289" align="aligncenter" width="450"]Thanksgiving Turkey Trot Thanksgiving Turkey Trot[/caption] [caption id="attachment_35291" align="aligncenter" width="450"]My husband was a cooked turkey. His costume was much warmer than anticipated so we didn't get good photos. My husband was a cooked turkey. His costume was much warmer than anticipated so we didn't get many good photos.[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_35299" align="aligncenter" width="450"]My husband as Batman - Monster Dash 5K My husband as Batman - Monster Dash 5K[/caption] [caption id="attachment_35298" align="aligncenter" width="450"]Sonic the Hedgehog  - Monster Dash 5K Sonic the Hedgehog - Monster Dash 5K[/caption] [caption id="attachment_35296" align="aligncenter" width="336"]Unicorn  - Monster Dash 5K Unicorn - Monster Dash 5K[/caption] [caption id="attachment_35297" align="aligncenter" width="373"]The Joker  - Monster Dash 5K The Joker - Monster Dash 5K[/caption] [caption id="attachment_35327" align="aligncenter" width="375"]BoGlo 5K BoGlo 5K[/caption] I hope to touch more on the subject of running with my kids. As your children grow, I encourage you to involve your kids in whatever activity you are into - even Bodyrock.

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