To young or not?
I have a 7 year old son who is falling in love with running, he's running
3 - 4 miles 2-3 times per week, every time he runs farther and faster.
I'm worried that he's to young for all of this, He loves it and doesn't want
to slow down or cut back.
Should I continue to support him or maybe force him to cut back for a couple
I love the Idea and am very proud but I'm worried that maybe his body in the
future will regret all this running.
Thanks Kevin Krause
Kevin, this is a very good question, and your concern is well placed. I also have kids who love to run, but we encourage them to run on very forgiving surfaces like grass and on the track. We do not let them run on pavement, nor on black top. We also try and vary their activities a lot, baseball, basketball, soccer, swimming in addition to any running they want to participate in. Mostly, we try and keep the running fun and to a minimum.
On ther hand, there are track clubs that cater to young 'uns, where they train and participate in formal races as part of inter club track meets. Seek out such a club in your area, and talk to the coach. Get a sense of their understanding of little people, and the way they approach developing young bones. I love that your kid loves to run, I wish more people encouraged activity in their kids. Did you know that 45% of children are overweight, and approaching obesity (by definition).
One thing, running increases oxidative stress, true in children as well as adults - Juice Plus is a supplement that provides seventeen fruits, vegies and grains in dehydrated form in a gel cap. For kids they have a great product, it is the Juice Plus Gummie. A gummie "candy" that has seventeen fruits and vegetables! It provides your child with the equivalent of eating between 6 and 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day! My athletic kids live on the stuff!
ALso, make sure that his shoes are in good repair, and spare no expense on replacing his shoes as he wears them out. Keep an eye on his biomechanics, and if you see he is knock kneed, or bow legged, perhaps he is a candidate for orthotics as well. Remember, little runners, though a little more elastic, are still just as likely to develop dysfunction. It just isn't as easy to pick up, since they do not complain much.
Enjoy running with him!