youth running program

Frequently Asked Questions


What do I need to run the program in my community?

A: All you need is a point person, an area for kids to practice and some excitement! The program is turn-key, so the Coordinator will receive a manual that takes them through a step-by-step process: registration to promotion to completion. Each program also receives Coach’s Manuals and Participant Workbooks.


What is the recommended group size?

A: The recommended group size is 8-16 participants.  The primary determining factors for your program size are the amount of space you have for each session and the number of coaches you have.  You want to have enough space to allow the participants to spread out and effectively complete all the exercises.  You also want to make sure that you have enough coaches to properly manage the size of your program. 


Should we split the groups up by age and gender?

A: Our research has found that kids are more likely to engage in meaningful discussion and exert full effort in exercises when they are separated by gender. The age breakdown is suggested to keep conversations age-appropriate. The adolescent/pre-teen age is a time of change physically and emotionally; our goal is to meet kids where they’re at with applicable discussion points and physical challenges.  However, we know that many communities are small and offering a program to one specific age/gender may not result in substantial enrollment.  So we are able to offer a separate curriculum that keeps all ages and genders together which has worked better for many communities. 


Why do you start at 8 years old?

A: Our extensive research has indicated 8 years old is an appropriate time from a physical standpoint for kids to willingly attempt a 5K run (3.1 miles). Also, our research has found 8-13 years old to be a crucial time in kids’ lives as they begin making their own decisions, developing physically and mentally and eagerly absorbing and trying new things. Our desire is to reach kids during this time and give them the tools they need to make good decisions, learn about the power within them and love themselves more through running.


Do I have to be a runner to conduct or coach the program?

A: No! The Coordinator and the Coach do not need to be runners. What a great way to get into the sport, though!


How long is the program?

A: The program is a 12-week, 24-lesson curriculum. We recommend 1½ hour sessions, twice a week. We found this to be an adequate amount of time to physically train for the 5K Final Run.