FIELD DAY EVENTS
Dear Editor, Thanks,
Our school has a field day every spring. There is a distance run.
There is no running program in our school so the kids have not been
training. The run for the 3rd graders 8/9 year olds is 3/8 a mile and for the 4th graders 9/10 year olds is 1/2 mile.
I am concerned that
these distances are too long for untrained kids who are running to win.
My oldest child has won this race two years in a row and is terribly
winded at the end of it. My second child came in 2nd in 2nd grade(1/4
mile) and turned green and was almost physically ill afterwards.
is your opinion?
I'm glad to hear that your school is still having a field day. This was the school day we most looked forward to as kids. It was a day full of competitive events that were serious, fun, or even silly. I do recall the serious races, though. We weren't trained and we just went out our fastest, holding nothing back. The result: we didn't really feel too great at the end of the race.
I understand your concern. We do have some kids' racing distance recommendations on this Web site.
You can find Coach Mick's recommended distances here. http://www.kidsrunning.com/ask/krask0703recdistanceb.html.
You are right, the distances Mick recommends are a bit shorter than the distances your children are running on their field day. You're welcome to pass his recommendations on to the school, but remember: another coach may have different distance recommendations. Distance is a very debatable issue.
When kids race, and race their hardest, they often don't really feel well when they finish, and I suppose this can be worse when they aren't trained and are trying hard to win.
It certainly wouldn't hurt for the PE Dept. to build in a little training for all the kids before these events: pacing, practice, how to cool down etc. If they practice running these distances before the big event, and are aware of their times, they can turn their 'winning philosophy' around a little to competing with themselves (bettering their own times) and with that philosophy they can maybe run a more comfortable race, but this is usually not the philosophy of winning a once a year school field day event. This is another whole issue for kids. Competing with Yourself VS Winning the Race. However there can be many more 'winners' when the goal is to compete with yourself.
Congrats on your kids' great runs and let me know how your working with the school, on this issue, goes.
Bring back field day. Offer many kinds of events with competitive, fun, silly, and creative activities. Let kids enjoy childhood and have this day for fond memories throughout life.