In a bit of a last minute decision last week, we decided to try Sam and William out with the junior section of my running group, the Walney Wind Cheetah Cubs as they start their new beginners programme. It's a gradual programme for under 16s to work up to running 5km in the Walney Fun Run in June.
We know they are capable of getting round a 5km course with a mixture of walking and running as has been proven at parkrun, but the Cubs programme to us is a bit more than just being able to run. Obviously we hope they have lots of fun taking part first and foremost but I am hoping the boys, mainly William, pick up a bit more of an understanding of what it is to be a runner, what training means, how stretching is important, and to sharpen listening skills as they have to pay close attention to our run leaders for instructions and whistles! Plus, as they are under secondary school age and require an adult to run with them, Andy and myself get to join in too which makes it a family activity and gets us all out exercising twice a week on the breezy but beautiful shores of Walney Island.
We thought we would try out the first week at least to see how the boys got on. We certainly wouldn't make them join if they didn't want to. This first week involved alternating walking for 4 minutes and running for 1 minute. There was also a superb games section in the middle of each session which added loads more fun into the programme. They've really enjoyed the first two sessions and for the most part have kept up with all the other cubs. Even when it was a little breezier with some patchy rain on the second session, they were in their element. And William is definitely picking up the lingo, today as we quickly walked into town he asked me 'Mummy, are you power walking?'. He is loving being a WWC Cub!
We will definitely be going back next week and I'm really looking forward to seeing the progress Sam, William and the rest of the group makes leading up to the Walney Fun Run!