If kids want to train, how far should they be running?

South Africa has a strong running culture which is reflected at schools, with most offering athletics and running as sports.

But what are the guidelines if you'd like to train with your child?

Journalist and producer David "Mr Active" Katz says adults must keep in mind that having fun should be the prime objective of any activity with kids.

The competitiveness is good, but you also have to manage it.

David "Mr Active" Katz, Journalist and producer

Aside from having a good time, the most important factors to consider are health, overall fitness and age.

Katz outlines the general guidelines for distance matched to age.

Children of five and under should focus on these little dashes, events that range to maybe 400m - that's enough.

David "Mr Active" Katz, Journalist and producer

When they're over five you can look at kids' fun runs - half a kilometre, even up to a kilometre.

David "Mr Active" Katz, Journalist and producer

He says, just like with an adult, a child should start slowly and build up the distance.

You walk to warm up, then maybe run a little bit, then you can always rest again, walk again, run...

David "Mr Active" Katz, Journalist and producer

He says 12 is a good age to start kids on the 5km park- and fun runs, moving up to 10km distances only when they've turned 15.

The endurance stuff can come later in life. From a body development point of view, wait till your mid-20s, late-20s to run Comrades.

David "Mr Active" Katz, Journalist and producer

For more on running and children, click on the link below:


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