parkrun and kids
Here at UP Coaching, we love the parkrun movement and everything about it. There are simply not enough words to describe the positive community impacts it has and we support parkrun from our Junior Squads right up to all our Senior Adult squads, all around Australia through participation and volunteering.
However, when it comes to children participating, the coaches and I believe there’s just a little bit of caution that needs to be taken. Let’s not forget that for children (and indeed many adults!), five kilometres is a long way!
According to Larry Greene and Russell Pate in their book Training Long Distance Runners; “Research consistently shows that before puberty, physiological adaptations to training aren’t always correlated with performance in long-distance events.”
This means children continually pushing themselves will not necessarily become high performers—in fact, this practice could be detrimental to their growth and potential.
just for fun
We encourage children of all ages to run for fun and health.
We are not suggesting that you don’t attend parkrun with your children but do want to highlight some of the risks in their development. As Greene and Pate say; “Physically immature youth who undertake high volumes of intense training are at relatively high risk for injuries, abnormal growth and maturation, and psychological burnout.”—these are certainly outcomes we want to avoid.
At UP Coaching, we believe that as a good rule of thumb, children 10 or under should be looking at no more than one or two hard parkrun efforts per month and children 11+ could consider two or three hard parkrun efforts. Of course, walking parkrun and including a little bit of easy running can happen every week and has great benefits mentally as well as physically.
It is our recommendation that if your child is participating in parkrun each week that you encourage them to only attempt personal bests periodically—perhaps once a month. All other participation at parkrun should be for fresh air and enjoyment.
We also are big believers in adhering to the parkrun policy of juniors under 11 being accompanied by an adult. This global parkrun policy is in the interests of keeping children safe and well and is one of the reasons that insurance costs are low and parkrun can remain a free event. Regardless of how strong, fast or confident your child is, this is a rule of the sport and must be followed by everyone who participates.
We understand that some mums and dads struggle to keep up with their child, so UP Coaching regularly has a ‘run with the coach’ parkrun. Stay tuned to the Facebook Junior Squad Group for details on getting your child involved.
join our club
UP Coaching regularly has a ‘run with the coach’ parkrun, so stay tuned to the Facebook Junior Squad Group for details on getting your child involved.
Junior athletes are also able to link UP Coaching to their parkrun profile too – this promotes pride in running for their club as well as themselves. More info here:
Maddison and Jordan Hand taking part in Nepean River parkrun.
parkrun is great for the entire family.
join our parkrun club
UP Coaching is a proud member of the Active Kids program.
goto service NSW for more info.
Click on the logo to apply today.