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Solo Sports: Running

Your heart is pumping as fast as your feet are moving. You take great strides, building up speed, until you reach a good steady pace. Your sneakers are hitting the pavement over and over and the breeze is blowing in your face.

Are you:

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Boys running NO! You're running!

Running is an awesome way to enjoy the outdoors, build muscle, lose weight, and stay healthy. It's also a very important part of most other sports, so if you eventually want to play football, basketball, or anything that requires speed, endurance, or general fitness, running will help you.

Running is often associated with a track team, but most people who run do it on their own. One of the coolest things about running is that there's always a style to match your interests, abilities, and attitudes. You can run at any speed, for any distance, or with as many or as few people as you like.

Cool Running Facts:

  • One popular style of running is cross-country, where you run across open country and over trails. Because you are running for a long time, you need stamina and endurance.

  • On the opposite side of the running scale are short sprint distances, like the 100-meter dash, that take huge amounts of speed but not much endurance.

  • One of the longest races in the world is the Marathon, which is over 26 miles long. The name comes from the city of Marathon, which is in Greece. Some of the world's most famous Marathons are the Boston Marathon, the New York Marathon, and the Olympic Marathon.

  • The best footwear for running is the lightest type of shoe with the most support for the feet.
What Kids Are Saying About Running:

"Running helps me stay relaxed. I enjoy racing and giving it all I've got."
--Mary, 12

"I started running 2 years ago with my sisters. I try to run at least 2 miles a day."
--Hillary, 12

"My favorite thing to do is distance running mainly because it's a challenge. I like to push myself to the limit and see how far I can go."
--Jeff, 10

"I like to run b/c the kids at school make fun of me and running is my escape. It releases the stress from the school day. "
--Sara, 14

"I think running is the most mental and hardest working sport there is. Just remember to stick with it and find a good role model to look up to and trust me, it will help."
--Matt, 14

Get Involved!

If you've got a pair of good running sneakers and a safe area to run in, you've got everything you need. You might like to run by yourself on the track at the local gym, or in areas where it's okay to run along the side of the road. You should always run with a friend or family member; not only is it safer, but it will give you someone to talk to, keep pace with, encourage you.

If you can't find someone to run with, check out local running clubs. Even clubs that seem like they're just for adults are usually happy to welcome a younger person.

Make sure your shoes fit well and that you drink plenty of water while you run. If you plan to run in the sunshine, take a hat and always wear sunscreen to protect your skin. Talk to your doctor or gym teacher about the proper ways to stretch before and after running, and get medical attention if you experience any muscle or joint pain.

Read some Solo Sports advice and experiences From The Mentors.

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