You see that parents start letting their kids take part running event at a young age and you start wondering that, is there an “appropriate” age to start running? So, let’s find it out.
The kids can #JustRunLah
In actual fact, you will find no data that kids will have ligaments injury, cartilage dysfunction or growth plates damage with high mileage. William Roberts, M.D., medical advisor for the Twin Cities Marathon, has conducted several studies on young marathoners, and he has concluded that,
“Kids and mileage basically make us nervous,” Roberts says, “but from all I’ve found, there is no harm being done; they are not getting hurt. If it is their choice, keep doing it.”
But should they?
However, there is also no study to support that too many intensive sports have good impact in kids’ future health. So, do things moderately is the key. In terms of athlete development, a number of sources pointed out that there’s not much benefit in intensive training before puberty. Until puberty, many of the hormones that allow for training adaptations in the musculoskeletal system are not well-developed, and they’re poorly suited for intensive workout such as interval training.
Moderation is the key
So, it seems like what really matters is to nurture the kids’ running habit since young, but not necessarily need to excel in it. Grow their passion, by not killing those with physical burnout (e.g. too much systematic training), high stressors, or even sadly, to sacrifice their happy childhood. If a young runner is having fun and having success, however, should they be stopped from pursuing even more? Our take is, monitor their health and listen to their body.
Looking for a suitable race for your kid(s)?
Explore #JustRunLah up-to-date running calendar across Asia because you can definitely find a good one for your kid(s).