So from the age of 4 years old you can do this. Now some kids have no problem covering the 5km distance is super speedy times. 10 year olds regularly knock out times of 28 minutes or less.
HOWEVER, not all kids can do this and it can lead to feelings of despondence and possibly a dislike of running and I can totally relate to their feelings. I remember nearly dying trying to do the 800m track event during training at school … around the same time I won the 100m at sports day.
I can distinctly remember the pain in my chest the lack of air getting to my lungs the tree trunk feeling in my legs and the embarrassment of coming over the line WAAAAY after everyone else. I wanted to crawl into a hole and never ever see the light of day again.
Now I can look back and wish I had not given up on myself so easily. To put it simply … I never ran again at school and I gave up hockey, netball and tennis because they all involved some form of running.
And this is how and why I can empathise with my child.
Mini-me-snr is not naturally athletic mostly because he'd rather be behind a computer than out in the great wide open. But despite that he has started up football again and his coach has (very nicely) pointed out that he needs to work on his fitness which coincided with his resolve to do parkrun every weekend with us. So on Saturday we pootled off to do our local parkrun. The course was a totally different course due to frozen footpaths. But we started out and after we came up past the start/finish line to loop back down again he was spent; it was about 2km he had done, mostly running with some walking in-between and not fast by any means. He asked if he could stop. Without hesitation I said of course he can if he was sure thats what he wanted & he said yes, he needs to build up and had nothing left to give. SO we high five'd and I went off to finish up while he kicked a ball around with mini-me-jnr.
I'm very proud of what he did, and his determination to keep at it but also acknowledging that it will take a while to get to the full 5km and be able to do it at speed …. not shy he wants to run 9min miles which he should be able to do with ease.
I cannot wait to put a comparative picture up in a few months :-)
It is a great reminder for me that its not about how fast everyone else is but your own personal journey.