Running training for children is very different from adult ›running tips – the big running portal

Running training for children: sporty parents often want to take their kids with them on their training runs. The training that we adults complete is not suitable for children and not suitable for children. Here are a few tips that can help if the kids want to run.

Running training for children – demanding but not overwhelming …

© Photo: Allblacks Thun

Speed ​​and coordination are best trained at a young age. If too much endurance training is carried out in this phase, optimal training of the basic physical properties is not possible. Children should above all be trained in a versatile and playful way. Many types of games (reaction games, coordination games, catching, ball games, etc.) come conditions towards the kids.

Children want to move a lot by nature, but do not love monotonous forms of movement. Healthy children and adolescents can do high endurance training without risking their heart muscle. The skeletal muscles tire much faster than the heart muscle. In children, this is a natural protective mechanism for their heart because endurance training is ended by premature fatigue.

A versatile, playful and appealing endurance training is the best basis for all sports.

Avoid prolonged anaerobic loads

The children’s cardiovascular system is extremely well adapted to endurance loads. Anaerobic loads are less well tolerated, the lactic acid breakdown is delayed by lower enzyme activity compared to adolescents and adults. There is a high release of the stress hormones adrenaline and noradrenaline. Sport should not create stress – sport must be fun.

Running training (or suitable forms of play) in the medium intensity range surprisingly leads to an improvement in aerobic AND anaerobic capacity in children.

Longer anaerobic loads should be avoided for children up to puberty if possible.

Heart rate monitor for K >

© Photo: Allblacks Thun

Monitoring exercise intensity with a heart rate monitor is not useful for children under 15 years of age. The frequency rises sharply at the beginning of a load and comes close to the maximum value even at medium intensity. That for Beginners of running recommended training at a speaking pace also ensures an optimal pace for children (speaking pace: entertainment while running possible).

For the anaerobic area, very short loads (40-80m, increases, etc.) or varied forms of play (ball games, relay runs, etc.) are recommended. Longer loads in the anaerobic area should be taboo.

Trainability – running training for children

With the onset of puberty, the trainability and resilience in the endurance area increase. In the first phase in particular, the increased hormone levels lead to increased training in muscle vessels and an increase in cell power plants. In the second phase of puberty, the development of anaerobic capacity and strength is promoted. From about 15 years of age there is an intensity control about the heart rate possible.

Optimal age for the trainability of the five condition factors:

  • 6 to 10 years: speed
  • from 10 to the beginning of puberty: coordination and flexibility
  • Beginning of puberty: endurance training (boys: 12-15, girls: 11-14)
  • End of puberty: start with special strength training (boys 15-19, girls 14-18)

Tips for versatile and targeted "endurance training" for children:

© Photo: Allblacks Thun

  • Endurance training regularly, varied and varied.
  • Check intensity (aerobic training) at speaking speed.
  • Avoid exposure to oxygen debt >

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Athletics associations

If your children have also been infected by the running virus, then look for an athletics association in your area for them. There are specially trained adults who know what is good for the kids. It is also important not to bind the kids to a sport at an early age.

»Playful but effective running training for children and adolescents, guest contribution by Anja Prieler-Kemboi, performance athlete from Klagenfurt


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Christina Cherry
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