After 25 years of coaching and training at the collegiate and elite level, Chuck noticed there was an immediate need to provide age-appropriate content to kids who had little or no access to athletic coaching advice.
He believes that kids should play, not train. Active play, however, can be designed to help a kid develop intentionally. His education and certification as an Olympic-level endurance coach give him an unusual and informed perspective, but it’s his love of fun that guides him.
Team Long Run’s Run club is a free, flexible youth running program that can be delivered at schools (either before, during, or after school), Recreation Departments, or YMCA’s.
We provide both the overall design and component parts that make it easy for the right partner to duplicate our run clubs! We’ll provide the training and guidance (including videos) to the sponsoring organization that’ll give your coaches the tools and confidence they need to make every session fun and productive.
We’ve added videos of most of the drills and exercises from our Run Clubs to our custom Run Club pages. You can watch them and do as many as you’d like at home. You’ll find that some require a lot of space, and some can be done in a small yard.
In addition to those drills and exercises, below are four fun things from our Run Clubs that you can do at home.
If you think a Run Club would fit in your school or community, contact Chuck at TLR.
Four fun things from our Run Clubs that you can do at home with your kids!
1. The Beep Test
Set a fun short course around your house (or nearby) that your kids can run comfortably in twenty seconds. Tell them to “Go!”, and then say “Beep” every twenty seconds. See how many times they can continuously complete the course before they fall behind the :20 pace. Once they fall off pace, stop and let them recover. Note how many laps they completed and establish a “Personal Best” for the Beep Test.
2. The Obstacle Course
Use your imagination and materials you find around the house to set up an obstacle course around your home. Think of it as a children’s Tough Mudder without the perilous heights, mud ponds, and open flames. You might put the two ends of a yardstick on two trash cans and have your kids crawl under or jump over the stick. Just lay a piece of rope on the grass and have the kids walk on it, pretending it’s 10 feet in the air. If they step off, they have to start over. My dad smoothed a birch log and set in the low crooks of the branches of two trees and I would swing hand over hand from one end to the other; a woodsman’s Jungle Gym. Running, jumping, crawling, swinging… just make it fun and your kids will do it over and over.
3. the whistle stop game
You need a whistle for this one. Have the kids line up and aim them towards a target (you’ll need an open area, as big as you can find) and tell them to run forward as fast as they can when they hear you blow once on the whistle. Tell them to stop when they hear you blow twice in succession, and reverse direction when you blow three times. Mix it up. It’s a lot of fun, and a simple way to get them running, listening, and laughing.
4. any tag game
Tag is our favorite. It’s simple, and always seems to bring out the best in the kids. We play Rabbits and Wolves, a team tag game where a group of kids (wolves) try to tag the other group (rabbits). If you’re tagged, you have to freeze, but a loose rabbit can un-freeze you. After the rabbits are caught, play another round reversing their roles. If you have a favorite game, give it a try! If the kids flop down on the grass after you’re done, you know it was a winner.