My first Run SMART Kids update…
Today at the Dwight School we started off with a quick warm-up and stretch in Central Park. The topic of the day was “learning how to pace yourself.” When working with youth runners you find out quickly they like to start runs very fast. Many get stuck in a sprint, stop, walk, sprint pattern and never realize their full potential or reap any of the benefits of the exercise.
At the beginning of every program I like to focus on how to pace. You have to try and instill this point early so the goal today was to run around the reservoir in Central Park (1.5 miles) at a pace slow as necessary to make it all the way around without stopping. I’m working with 5th and 6th graders and many came into today having never run 1.5 miles. It was a little daunting but 75% of them made it all the way around without stopping and those that needed to stop only stopped once or twice. This always surprises them, I think, and it still surprises me, actually. If you can really get them to focus on running easily and that it’s not about who’s the fastest many can run a long time without having to stop. One student asked if he could go around again – on the first day!
I managed to record everyone’s time so next week they’ll predict what their time will be as the next step to learning how to pace. The goal again is not about who’s the fastest but who can come closest to their prediction.