Young Kids and running

Post questions and tips on strength training for athletes up to age 18.

Young Kids and running

Postby new2bjj » May 15, 2007 12:34

Should a 7 year old boy do running/jogging- say 20-30 minutes at a time? several times a week? or is this too much steady pounding on the joints. My son lacks stamina, as I did, at his age, and I wondered if this, or doing fast runs- sprints, will help him with his soccer. Or, am I worrying too much, and just let nature take his course. All his cousins are couch potatoes/video geeks, so they don't do much outdoors on the weekends.
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Re: Young Kids and running

Postby Thomas Kurz » May 16, 2007 18:34

new2bjj wrote:Should a 7 year old boy do running/jogging- say 20-30 minutes at a time? several times a week?

Why not? But whatever you do, make it fun and rewarding. Examples:
Run to the beach;
Slow run and intermittent races (if against grown-ups, then with a head start);
Run with a soccer ball (practice passes, dribbling) or if the pavement is clean, with the basketball (dribbling, passing).

new2bjj wrote:or is this too much steady pounding on the joints. My son lacks stamina, as I did, at his age, and I wondered if this, or doing fast runs- sprints, will help him with his soccer. Or, am I worrying too much, and just let nature take his course.


Yes, you worry too much. Just be ready to turn back as soon as the kid shows fatigue or loses enthusiasm. If you fatigue or bore the kid with a too long run, he will grow reluctant to run with you.
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Re: Young Kids and running

Postby tyciol » Jun 07, 2010 10:55

Running on the beach is great, there's more give to the terrain so I think it has less of an impact. Probably especially easy on the feet too. In a boxing anime I like, Hajime no Ippo, they have the gym members run on the beach on a special training camp. This is also seen when Rocky Balboa is trained by Apollo Creed to face Mr. T.

My main worry with running for anybody, though I suppose children in particular, is when it's on concrete due to the lack of give. I always hope that soft shoe souls might cushion them, but that often leads to bad heel-impact technique due to the heavier amount of padding in the rear of the shoe. Since soccer is played on grass I imagine that running on grass would have the most benefit anyway. Certainly, doing ball-passing drills has a higher benefit since it also trains coordination and things like deceleration, turning, etc. which will condition the joints against the strains faced in the game. Practicing running in predominantly straight lines probably doesn't help as much...

Not to mention, the short stops in activity help to keep it slightly more anaerobic which is likely good, though general endurance work for soccer is important since you do spend a lot more time continuously moving around for some positions compared to the higher amount of stop/start you see in say, football.
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