The anticipation of the 500 Festival mini-mini is building again in 2018! As we get closer to the big race, hundreds of participants are already signed up and ready to run. No matter your mini runner’s distance of choice, here are a few distance running tips for kids to get ready for the big day.
Make a Plan
There are guidelines and safety measures on how to complete activities properly and within reason, like a pitch count in baseball, how to head a soccer ball, or tackle correctly in football. For kids, no such parameters are set for running, meaning there is little to help you guide your mini runner through realistic training programs.
The simple solution? Make a plan specific to them and get active.
We’ve seen kids conquer the OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon at age 13, and it’s been recorded that children as young as 7 have completed full marathons. The result of taking on those distances at a young age can be hit or miss, but we suggest starting a bit smaller.
Make sure they listen to their bodies. The summer heat can be tricky and make it difficult to manage pace and stamina. Never push them too hard and always remember to stay hydrated.
The more they run, the hungrier they’re going to get. And that can be a great way to get them eating right! When they’re ready to eat just about anything after a long run, put the healthy stuff in front of them.
Run at Your Own Pace
All kids develop at a different rate, so don’t get caught up in comparing your mini runner’s abilities to other kids their age. Let them go at their own pace!
Make it Fun
Finding ways to make running fun can be the biggest thing that makes or breaks a young runner’s passion for the sport. Having friends to run with or goals to achieve – like the 500 Festival mini-mini – can fuel their competitive future as a runner.
Whatever their age, ability, or passion, get them excited about running at the 500 Festival mini-mini on August 26 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway! Nothing gets kids more excited to run than t-shirts, medals, and cheering fans at the world’s largest sports venue.