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A Plan: Run Kids, Run!

Setting my mindset: Start where we are. Plan. Do. Learn. Evolve.

I am not a healthy dad, at least, not yet. I am practicing to be one. So, when one of my 11 year old sons and my 7 year old daughter expressed an interest in my assistance to help them improve their ability to run farther and longer, I was a bit stunned. One, I don’t run and two, I don’t know very much about running. This post and it’s subsequent updates will be a repository of my plans, experiments, thoughts, learnings, approaches, realizations, etc.

The Plan

Week 1-2: Introduction to Running

  1. Day 1: Walk for 20 minutes at a brisk pace.
  2. Day 2: Rest or gentle activity like playing outside.
  3. Day 3: Walk for 3 minutes, then jog slowly for 1 minute. Repeat this 5 times.
  4. Day 4: Rest or gentle activity.
  5. Day 5: Walk for 15 minutes. Try to walk a little faster than on Day 1.
  6. Day 6: Rest or gentle activity.
  7. Day 7: Walk for 2 minutes, jog for 2 minutes. Repeat this 5 times.

Week 3-4: Building Endurance

  1. Day 1: Walk for 2 minutes, jog for 3 minutes. Repeat 4 times.
  2. Day 2: Rest or gentle activity.
  3. Day 3: Walk for 10 minutes, then jog for 5 minutes.
  4. Day 4: Rest or gentle activity.
  5. Day 5: Walk for 1 minute, jog for 4 minutes. Repeat 5 times.
  6. Day 6: Rest or gentle activity.
  7. Day 7: Jog for 5 minutes, walk for 3 minutes. Repeat 3 times.

Week 5-6: Solidifying the Habit

  1. Day 1: Jog for 6 minutes, walk for 2 minutes. Repeat 3 times.
  2. Day 2: Rest or gentle activity.
  3. Day 3: Jog for 7 minutes, walk for 3 minutes. Repeat 3 times.
  4. Day 4: Rest or gentle activity.
  5. Day 5: Jog for 8 minutes, walk for 2 minutes. Repeat 3 times.
  6. Day 6: Rest or gentle activity.
  7. Day 7: Jog for 10 minutes, walk for 5 minutes. Repeat 2 times.

Week 7: Increasing duration and introducing variation

  1. Day 1: Jog for 12 minutes, walk for 3 minutes. Repeat 2 times.
  2. Day 2: Rest or gentle activity.
  3. Day 3: Interval training: Jog for 5 minutes, then sprint (or run faster than usual) for 30 seconds. Walk for 2 minutes. Repeat this set 4 times.
  4. Day 4: Rest or gentle activity.
  5. Day 5: Jog continuously for 20 minutes at a comfortable pace.
  6. Day 6: Rest or gentle activity.
  7. Day 7: Fun day! Try a different activity like cycling, swimming, or any other sport. It’s a day to mix it up a bit.

Week 8: Increasing duration and introducing variation

  1. Day 1: Jog for 14 minutes, walk for 3 minutes. Repeat 2 times.
  2. Day 2: Rest or gentle activity.
  3. Day 3: Hill training (if possible): Find a gentle hill. Jog uphill for 1-2 minutes, then walk back down. Repeat 5 times.
  4. Day 4: Rest or gentle activity.
  5. Day 5: Jog continuously for 25 minutes.
  6. Day 6: Rest or gentle activity.
  7. Day 7: Challenge day: Try jogging for 30 minutes continuously at a comfortable pace. Celebrate this milestone!

Week 9-12: Further Duration, Consistency, and Skill Development

Week 9

  1. Day 1: Jog for 15 minutes, walk for 3 minutes. Repeat 2 times.
  2. Day 2: Rest or gentle activity.
  3. Day 3: Interval training: Jog for 6 minutes, then sprint for 45 seconds. Walk for 3 minutes. Repeat 4 times.
  4. Day 4: Rest or gentle activity.
  5. Day 5: Continuous jog for 28 minutes at a comfortable pace.
  6. Day 6: Rest or gentle activity.
  7. Day 7: Cross-training day. Activities like swimming, cycling, or a fun game of soccer or basketball.

Week 10

  1. Day 1: Jog for 17 minutes, walk for 3 minutes. Repeat 2 times.
  2. Day 2: Rest or gentle activity.
  3. Day 3: Hill training: Jog uphill for 2 minutes, then walk back down. Repeat 6 times.
  4. Day 4: Rest or gentle activity.
  5. Day 5: Continuous jog for 30 minutes.
  6. Day 6: Rest or gentle activity.
  7. Day 7: Fun run: If there’s a local park, trail, or a new environment, try running there for a change of scenery.

Week 11

  1. Day 1: Jog for 20 minutes, walk for 4 minutes. Repeat 2 times.
  2. Day 2: Rest or gentle activity.
  3. Day 3: Interval training: Jog for 7 minutes, then sprint for 1 minute. Walk for 3 minutes. Repeat 4 times.
  4. Day 4: Rest or gentle activity.
  5. Day 5: Continuous jog for 32 minutes.
  6. Day 6: Rest or gentle activity.
  7. Day 7: Cross-training day. Try a different sport or activity from previous weeks.

Week 12

  1. Day 1: Jog for 22 minutes, walk for 4 minutes. Repeat 2 times.
  2. Day 2: Rest or gentle activity.
  3. Day 3: Hill training: Increase intensity by finding a steeper hill or increase the jogging time to 3 minutes uphill, then walk back down. Repeat 6 times.
  4. Day 4: Rest or gentle activity.
  5. Day 5: Challenge day: Aim for a continuous jog of 35 minutes.
  6. Day 6: Rest or gentle activity.
  7. Day 7: Reflection and fun run: Choose a favorite running spot and enjoy a 30-minute jog. Reflect on the progress made over the past 12 weeks.

Log

ARTICLE

8/11/2023: started this post and asked chatGPT for an initial running plan

ACTIVITY (ACTUAL)

  • 8/12/2023, Sat – First walk / jog. Skipped first day of a brisk walk and went to day 3. 1 min jog, 3min run
  • Day 1: Walk for 20 minutes at a brisk pace. (skip)
  • Day 2: Rest or gentle activity like playing outside.
  • Day 3: Walk for 3 minutes, then jog slowly for 1 minute. Repeat this 5 times. (8./12)
  • Day 4: Rest or gentle activity. (8/13)
  • Day 5: Rest (8/14)
  • Day 6: Walk for 15 minutes. Try to walk a little faster than on Day 1. (8/15)
  • Day 7: Walk for 2 minutes, jog for 2 minutes. Repeat this 5 times. (8/16)
  • Day 8: Walk for 20 minutes (8/19)
  • ——– week 1 ^
  • Day 9: (sun, 8/20):
    • actual: Bike (J: 9 miles, H:3 miles, O: 18 miles, K: 18 miles)
    • plan: Rest or gentle activity like playing outside.
  • Day 10 (mo, 8/21): 
    • actual: walk 2 minutes, jog 3 minutes. Repeat 4 times. Hazel ran for 3 minutes without stopping x 4 times.
    • plan: Walk for 3 minutes, then jog slowly for 1 minute. Repeat this 5 times.
  • Day 11 (tu,8/22): actual & plan Rest or gentle activity.
  • Day 12 (we,8/23):
    • actual: J 0.5 mile run && 1.5 hours of soccer.  
    • plan: Walk for 15 minutes. Try to walk a little faster than on Day 1.
  • Day 13 (Th,8/24): 
    • actual: J rest, Daughter swim (8 laps)
    • plan:Rest or gentle activity.
  • Day 14 (Fr,8/25): 
    • ACTUAL:
    • PLAN: Walk for 2 minutes, jog for 2 minutes. Repeat this 5 times.
  • — week 4-5. —–
  • Day 15 (Sa, 8/26): P&AWalk for 2 minutes, jog for 3 minutes. Repeat 4 times.
  • Day 16 (Su, 8/27): P:Rest or gentle activity.
    • A: 109F. O got a flat tire on the first 1 mile. oof. Bike (O/D: 9 miles, J: 6 miles, D/J: 4.5 miles+run). Then walk/run at a park. Followed by afternoon in the swimming pool.
  • Day 17 (Mo, 8/28) : P&A: Walk for 10 minutes, then jog for 5 minutes.
  • Day 18 (Tu, 8/29): P&A: Rest or gentle activity.
  • Day 19 (We, 8/30):
    • P: Walk for 1 minute, jog for 4 minutes. Repeat 5 times.
    • A: Soccer for 90 minutes
  • Day 20 (Th, 8/31): P: Rest or gentle activity.
    • A: (D&D only) – Swim. Daughter did 10 laps. Only touch the wall a couple of times in her first lap. The remaining 9, all Hazel
  • Day 21 (Fr, 9/1):
    • P: Jog for 5 minutes, walk for 3 minutes. Repeat 3 times.
    • A: nothing
  • Day 22 (Sa, 9/2):
    • P:Walk for 2 minutes, jog for 3 minutes. Repeat 4 times.
    • A: None (Dad in Westlake)
  • Day 23: (Su, 9/3):
    • P:Rest or gentle activity.
    • A (Dad only): 1 hour bike in the hotel Gym (Westlake)
  • ===> When Dad is away, the kids don’t stick the routine. HMW….
    • Put the plan on the wall. Better yet, put the plan on the mirror in the bathroom, where the kids will see it every morning, because it is a reflection.
    • Share the plan with my wife
  • Day 24 (Mon, 9/4): Walk for 10 minutes, then jog for 5 minutes.
  • Day 25: Rest or gentle activity.
  • Day 26: Walk for 1 minute, jog for 4 minutes. Repeat 5 times.
  • Day 27: Rest or gentle activity.
  • Day 28: Jog for 5 minutes, walk for 3 minutes. Repeat 3 times.

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