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not running around but
like serious training.
I see pebbs and Bam bam run with their daughter and stuff
but when do you think is a good time to start.

Hannah has very long legs and a slender build a perfect runners body...
I am hoping she can become a runner (if she wants) but I want her to fall in love with the sport.
I am thinking around 8 or so a young child could handle about 1/2 mile or so what say yous.

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boy, I don't know. My daughter is an awesome runner right now (she's 7), but she really doesn't "train".
I would say encouraging them to run is the best thing you can do. As often as you can. And keep it lighthearted and fun.
I think probably the worst thing that can be done with someone that young is to put them on a schedule and make it demanding. Kids need time to have fun, and if running is that, it will be something they want to do.
Last summer, we would run "laps" around the backyard, both Cameron and Taylor would run with me, and they'd pretend they were running a "marathon". it was pretty funny. We didn't do it every day, and we didn't "race" we just ran.
Does this help Joe?
I struggle with questions like this myself. My daughter is very talented and is getting to the age where there are some youth sports and things, and she doing very well, and I often wonder about how to encourage her to build those skills without burning her out on any of it.
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I think fun is the key. If she wants to join you for your first/last half mile, yippee! All of the elementary schools I pick up from have cross country clubs and they let kids as young as third grade in. The don't do more than a few km, though. If her interest is there, she'll let you know better than any of us what's an appropriate amount of running.
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I do the same as Coach. My little guys (3 & 5) take off with dad for a few laps around the house (outside in the summer, inside in the winter). Or at the park we do laps around the baseball diamond or around the tennis courts. Totally for the fun-of-it running. In the summer there are a couple different "kid race" series. And of course some road races like Grandma's Marathon have a "whipper snapper" race the day before or the like, but they are 1/8 or 1/4 mile race. After travelling with dad to races throughout the year, my guys eat up these chances to race too. Even with "running" a few times a week, I see they are already getting a mindset that this is great fun, to run and race.

One of the series we've gone to the last two summers does go up to 1/2 mile for the 7-8 yr olds and it seems perfect for that age, so I'd agree with you there. And for training, I think just like us "big kids", being able to run a little farther than you race is all that's important. This series goes to a whole mile for 11-12 yr olds and teens are too old for it. Which is usually the age where organized sports like cross-country and track come in anyway.
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i agree with mark and john...just make sure they are active, take them out for bike rides hikes, play ball with them, etc...expose them to running, taking laps around the house or backyard is a great idea...search for races that have a fun run for kids afterwards...anything to make running fun...because we all know what is involved when you are training at a high level...it's tough...and this can be too much if pushed on a kid too early...if a kid is in generally good shape by the time middle school or junior high rolls around they'll have the opportunity to join a track/cross country team...

i have a good friend whose father is a high school basketball coach and who also ran a couple of marathons...my friend says that some of his worst childhood memories were of his father forcing him to go running with him when he was 9-10 yrs old...my friend has grown to love running despite this but it has taken about 25 years to get there...

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megawill
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