Screen shot 2013-06-05 at 6.57.46 PMHere’s the thing about running–it’s hard. Just ask 26 fourth through sixth grade girls how hard it is to learn to run. But like any challenge, every run gets a little easier.

This week we finished ACHDUS Runners, a fall and spring running program for girls in grades 4-6. I had no doubt for this second year of the program that the 26 girls who could barely run a mile without complaining would finish the year running 2 and 3 miles.

Sure, it wasn’t easy, but there was nothing a little creativity couldn’t work out. You should see how girls will run laps when you hand them squirt guns. And then there were the water balloons–one per lap meant these girls ran more than ever.

One part of the season I was particularly excited about was a new Healthy Choices program. We gave the girls ideas about how to eat healthier and then offered raffle tickets for completing weekly healthy choice challenges. I never saw kids so excited to report on new foods they tried or smoothies they prepared themselves.

While this second time around was easier, the program took a tremendous amount of work last year. And, considering all the elementary running programs out there, we would have loved to find a ready-made one. I relied on a number of resources, including but not limited to: the New York Road Runners Youth Running Program, Joan Dachs Bais Yaakov Chai Runners, Kids Running, Runners World, Girls on the Run, Kids Run the Nation and LIVESTRONG.

I’m attaching our ACHDUS Runners program and ACHDUS Runners program spring here, with the hope that we can at least save somebody the time I spent!

10 thoughts on “Teaching kids to run

  1. Granoladox, I can not tell you how excited I am to see someone doing this avodat kodesh. When I first heard about Girls on the Run, I looked into opening a chapter here in Israel, but they don’t really do international. Here in Beit Shemesh there is a large runners’ club, mostly men, and a lot of women who run too. There is one tzadika who donates her time to train girls who are having trouble in school, but there’s room for so much more. How did you do it?

    1. read the links to the program, and you should have all you need to implement it. Let me know if you have more questions. I’d be happy to help! Good luck, Wendy

  2. I also started a FB group, BS/RBS Dosiot Ratzot, but any girl or woman runner, actual or wannabe, is welcome to join.

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