When I first set out to start a Kids Run the Nation in my area, I had no idea what I was getting into. I didn’t know how hard it was going to be. I also didn’t realize how rewarding it would be.
Happy Global Running Day, my friends! I have so many exciting things to share with you today. Let’s get right into it!
First, I’d like to introduce the newest co-host of the Running Coaches Corner linkup, Marc Pelerin. Marc blogs over at Train with Marc. He’s knowledgeable and friendly so be sure to check him out and show him some RCC love!
Second, starting this month we’re going to be posting a theme for the second week of every month. For the month of June the theme will be Favorite Run. This can be time of day, favorite running route, favorite place like a vacation destination — pretty much anything when it comes to a favorite run. July’s theme will be posted soon!
Third, I’ve been out of the Running Coaches Corner loop for the last month. I’ve been incredibly busy with the Cleveland Marathon and coaching Kids Run the Nation. Now that they’re both over, I’m back! I had an amazing month of May but it feels good to be able to get back into blogging a little more regularly. To kick off June and celebrate Global Running Day, I’m going to share with you a little bit about Kids Run the Nation and what I’ve been up to over the last month.
Kids Run the Nation: Why Coaching Kids is an Amazing Experience
I coached my first session of Kids Run the Nation back in November. My husband and I tag-teamed and it was hard work but also incredibly rewarding. So rewarding, in fact, that many of our runners from the fall session returned for the spring one. This time around we had even more participants. And at the end of our last practice day together when I asked who would be joining us again in the fall, every single hand shot up high in the air. What an incredible feeling, you guys. Words can’t even describe it.
I’m not an easy coach. I don’t let my kids run amuck and do whatever they want. There are some days that a big group of K-5 kids really tests my patience and grinds my gears. Those are the days that I turn into a drill sergeant, blow my whistle non-stop, and bark orders for 25 burpees, 100 jumping jacks, and all sorts of speed and agility drills. Those are the days I question my sanity and the interest-level of the little people I’m trying to coach.
But those are also the days the kids grow the most. They burn their bottled up energy from the school day while doing high knees and butt kickers. They run fast and far and have to catch their breath. These are the days they become better, more efficient runners.
We also have the days when we just play games and be silly and have fun. Most often, though, we talk about goals: setting them, achieving them, and how we feel when we miss a goal by just a little bit. Sometimes the kids miss their goals by a lot. On those days we talk about what kept us from achieving our goals. Maybe it was a really hot day, or perhaps they were just tired from a long day of school. Or maybe they stopped during one of their laps to pick flowers for their coach. That’s a good reason to miss a goal, don’t you think?
We had our final race over the weekend. My husband and I were shocked at how hard these guys ran. They completely crushed their goals — some of them by over a mile. It totally made all of the hard practices and patience-testing sessions totally worth it. To see them running so hard and so far, and not one single kid giving up on their goal (or even wanting to stop running!) was totally, incredibly, ridiculously amazing. Proud isn’t even the word I can use to describe it. It was so much more than that.
Kids Run the Nation
When I first set out to start a Kids Run the Nation in my area, I had no idea what I was getting into. I didn’t know how hard it was going to be. I also didn’t realize how rewarding it would be. When the kids were so eager to tell us they’d be back in the fall, it really solidified just how much of a positive impact we’re having on them. It’s been such an amazing experience and I’m so overwhelmed with how much these kids have grown as people and runners in just a few shorts weeks. I can’t wait to see them all again in the fall.
Happy Global Running Day to all my adult running friends, but especially to my elementary running friends. I hope everyone gets out there for at least just a mile or two today to celebrate!
But before you go, I have one more thing to share. Since it’s Global Running Day and all, I thought I’d give you a gift. Today I’m giving away ONE FREE MONTH of coaching! One lucky winner will receive a complimentary month of coaching. It’s easy to win. All you have to do is enter below!
Have you ever coached a youth running program? What’s one activity or game you’ve found to be particularly amazing with kids?
How far are you running on Global Running Day?
P.S. Have you joined in for the Strong Arms and Abs Challenge yet? What are you waiting for??
Giveaway details: Giveaway starts June 6, 2018 at 12:00 am EST and ends June 10, 2018 at 12:00 am EST. Winner will be contacted via email and has 24 hours to respond. If first winner chosen does not respond within that time, another winner will be chosen. Open to U.S. residents only. One prize per person. Void where prohibited.