3 ways to keep girls interested in running

Running doesn’t have to be a chore

March is Women’s History Month, and in recognition of the trailblazers who have come before us and to prepare the new trailblazers of tomorrow, the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit is celebrating women and girls with a variety of energizing programs.

What makes these programs work so well, and how can you use these strategies to motivate yourself or the girl in your life?

Sheila Gerard, the “Girls on the Run” Manager for the YMCA, and Makayla Gardner, the membership experience director for the Macomb Family YMCA, offered three tips to get girls hooked on running.

1. Build confidence by setting a goal.

While running may be a bit intimidating at first, as you build up your endurance, it will bring greater confidence as the activity becomes easier. The “Girls on the Run” program sets up goals and milestones so participants can feel a sense of accomplishment when they hit those targets. This is a great thing to implement at home. Work your way up to a 5K, try to get your mile under 8 minutes, or perhaps just try to run for a mile straight without stopping. Make the goals attainable, and then work your way up to bigger goals.

2. Running with a group will keep you motivated.

The “Girls on the Run” program has a curriculum, so girls will be able to make friends with fellow runners. It’s less of a running club, and more of a life skills program centered around running. Exercising with a group not only builds camaraderie among the participants, but makes people excited to go back and run. So if you have trouble motivating yourself, try running with a buddy to help keep you on track.

3. Make it fun.

At the end of the day, kids are still kids and they like to have fun. The YMCA likes to incorporate a lot of running games into its programs to keep the girls engaged. This is a great idea to implement at home. If you think of running as a chore, it will feel like one, and you won’t be motivated to keep running. Maybe you can only watch your guilty pleasure show while you run, so you are motivated to jump on the treadmill to see what’s next. Or if you are competitive and run with a buddy, maybe occasionally have a race to the next stoplight to keep it fun.

If you are interested in having your child join the “Girls on the Run” program, the deadline to register is March 28. If you would like to volunteer as a coach, the deadline is March 19.

If you are not a track star, not to worry, they do have training for you to go through. For more information on the Girls on the Run Program, click or tap here.

To learn more about the YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit offers, and to find the one nearest you, click or tap here.