How to Teach Your Kids to Run (& Enjoy It)

Running alone or with a buddy has their benefits. Many of us enjoy running for the solitude and space it provides to think and reflect, but most runners appreciate the social aspect of the activity as well.

Running as a family is one of the most wonderful things for parents who enjoy running! It's never too soon to get your kids involved, and it can be an incredible bonding experience.

Do you want to know how to teach your children to run?

Here are some ideas and suggestions for getting youngsters of all ages interested in and involved in running. We've also got some tactics for teaching them how to run correctly from the moment you say "Go!".

Why Should Kids Run?

Why Should Kids Run? Running Benefits for Kids

You already know the mental and physical benefits of running. But has it crossed your mind to involve running with your kids?

There are a ton of benefits of running that your kids should be taking advantage of now while they’re young! Research shows running can change the life of your child. 

Here are a handful of the most compelling reasons to begin getting your kids involved in running as soon as possible.

Teaching the Importance of Physical Fitness

It's not easy to include physical fitness into everyday life as an adult. It's not something we all had growing up, making it much more difficult to fit into our daily routines. Just the thought of waking up at 5A or 6A to run everyday can be daunting.

Teaching your kids to run from a young age instills a love for physical fitness and health. This is something we should all be teaching our children!

It's also easier to maintain as they get older when they have health and fitness as a big part of their daily routine.

Teaches Healthy Coping Mechanisms

Going for a run allows me to clear my mind, reduce stress, and bring your anxiety levels down. In addition, I am a better parent to my two little girls because of more patience. All of these traits I would like for my kids, wouldn't you?

It's really simple for kids to turn to destructive and harmful strategies of dealing with stress in today's society. Drug abuse, alcoholism, violent video games, and other coping methods have become the norm in today's world.

Learning to run may not protect your youngster from the craziness of the world, but it does provide them with a healthier response when they're anxious or upset.

It's well known that exercise produces feel-good feelings that may help reduce stress and anxiety. It's critical for parents to teach their children how to get the serotonin boost from exercise rather than through other methods.

-You may be interested in: How To Manage Pre-Race Anxiety

Opens Their Eyes to Appreciate Nature

You can't do a trail run without noticing the stunning surroundings! Early exposure to running helps your children get used to being out and about, surrounded by nature and breathing clean air.

Spending time in nature has been shown to enhance mental health, boost cognitive abilities, and lower stress levels. Starting your kid off early with exposure to nature prepares them for a better mental health, smarter thinking abilities, and a happier life as an adult!

Bonding Time

Do you want to know how to connect with your children on a deeper level while still finding things to bond over? Running may be the ideal method to do so. There are numerous alternatives. As a family, go for a jog around the block, go for a park run, or go on an excursion/trail run.

The possibilities for enjoyment are endless! Combine it with a little competitiveness and you've got yourself a healthy, entertaining game that brings the family together.

How to Teach Your Kids to Run

How to Teach Your Kids to Run

How can you teach your children to run if they aren't already into it? The key is to bring running into their lives in an age-appropriate manner.

Naturally, you know your child best! You'll have a good sense of how to encourage them to learn to run and how best to incorporate them into your current running routine.

However, keep in mind that some children will just not enjoy the activity, no matter how hard you try. Don't make them run if they aren't enthusiastic about it! Instead, find various methods to keep your kids active and happy while also strengthening your bond with them.

For a child who adores getting physical, here are some suggestions for piquing their interest in running, no matter what age they are.


Toddlers have a lot of energy, right? Well, not always. Keep in mind that at this age, your children will run in short bursts! Then they'll most likely crash, but you'll almost certainly notice that they sleep better when running becomes a routine part of their day.

For my walks with my three-year old, she likes to wear her Halloween costume. As funny as it sounds, she thinks this is fun and this is the ONLY way I can get her out for a walk.

At this age, the ideal thing to do is expose your youngster to running-related games. It's extremely unlikely that your toddler will enjoy the monotony of jogging in comparison with us grownups.

As a result, you need to make it appealing and entertaining for them. Relay races, obstacle course races, tag games,

When they are older, you may begin to teach them the fundamentals of running. Once more, don't push it on them. Getting it in in a pleasant method is your greatest bet. If they lose interest, though, don't be offended or upset. Instead, look for methods to keep them healthy and active and try again when they're a


  • Challenge them to a race (and let them win) - race to certain spots
  • Play running games (run for a little bit, then skip, etc.)
  • Set up an obstacle course or use sidewalk chalk for shapes
  • Reward them for running

Elementary to Pre-Teens

At this age, constant stimulation is required to avoid boredom from setting in! Getting your youngster a fitness tracker may be a wonderful way to push them and keep them active at this time. You can set objectives, achieve milestones, and play games related to exercise using a fitness tracker.

Setting and ticking off games is a wonderful method to work on your goals with your child, or as a family. For parents, the major benefit is that these trackers frequently include safety features, which can go a long way toward reducing your anxiety when your kid is active!


  • Pick up a fitness tracker
  • Add a running-related activities to their chores
  • Set running goals or signup for a 5K together
  • Challenge them to a race


Teens are often attracted to high-tech gizmos, so giving them a smartwatch for Christmas or their birthday might get them started. The majority of smartwatches are built with fitness in mind, so if they want to make the most of it, they'll have to sweat.

For many youngsters, the concept of a pair of high-tech running shoes may provide the same boost. For many teenagers, the "cool factor" will be an important consideration as well!

However, if you want to motivate your teen with a nice piece of technology, it's a good idea to add a clause. For example, they must run with you at least once a week so you can ensure that they're actually utilizing it for its intended purpose!


  • Win them over with technology or fancy running shoes
  • Create a running plan or schedule to run together
  • Commit to doing a parent/teen event, particularly a 5K
  • Ask your teen to be your accountability partner (will only work with some teens)
  • Create a competition and offer rewards (longest run, etc)


Introducing your children to running as soon as they are able to walk can help them have a healthier, more well-rounded existence. Even if you adore running, not every kid will like it.

If you attempt to get your kid into it and they don't like it after numerous tries, their enthusiasm is clearly elsewhere!

Why wait? Start exposing your children to running at an early age, and they'll be rewarded as they get older.

Above all, keep in mind to have fun as a family and to be encouraging, loving, and upbeat at all times. When your youngsters are involved, it's not a race.Instead of focusing on winning, instill in them a passion for the sensation you get when you're running against the wind, the rush you get at your stride speed, and the pure joy of being out in nature.

Hi, Jeremy Here, 

I am the the guy behind Train for a 5K. On this site, I share everything that learned along my running journey. The content I create is the running training I wish I had before we started this journeyAbout Me.