The holidays are a busy time with the kids home from school. This doesn’t mean fitness goals should be forgotten, as Canberra has great locations that make running with kids both possible and fun.
We asked Running Mum, Mel Sykes-Bridge, to share some of her kid-friendly running tips to get you all up, out of the house and on track these holidays.
For an inland City, Canberra has a huge selection of waterways—think the classic ‘bridge-to-bridge’ route of Lake Burley Griffin or Lake Tuggeranong, Lake Ginninderra or Yerrabi Pond. Running with children in these settings is fun for everyone, the quality paths make for a smooth track with plenty of room for prams, bikes and scooters. If the kids need some extra encouragement you can always promise a paddle in the water or a nearby playground as a bargaining chip.
Take a hike
Our bush capital has many beautiful trails to explore. They range in length and cater to different fitness levels so there’s something for even the youngest climber. Tidbinbilla is a great option if you want to get close to nature, offering a variety of tracks and many things for the kids to see and do along the way. Head out for a run along one of the trails, before visiting the Sanctuary or Eucalypt forest to spot platypus, wallabies, koalas, brolgas and reptiles.
Parkrun is a free, timed 5km run/walk event held every Saturday morning at 8 am. The event is family friendly and welcomes all ages and abilities. There are currently five Parkruns organised across the ACT, including Lake Tuggeranong, Lake Burley Griffin, Lake Ginninderra, Gungahlin and Queanbeyan, with a sixth location to be launched early next year in Coombs.
Hit the track
Simple yet effective: Head down to your local oval and use the running tracks. Most tracks are well-kept and marked out, making it easy to set up intervals, speed work or tempo sessions. Bring a ball or frisbee to get the kids moving with you, or keep them entertained with a picnic while you work out around them.
Whether it’s heading to your local café, hitting the playground with the kids or checking out Christmas lights, swap the car for your runners. With a bit of imagination (and fuelled by too much Christmas ham) it’s easy to build exercise into your daily routine.
Things to remember:
- It IS possible to keep running with children—plan ahead to make it fun for everyone
- Slip, slop, slap, seek and slide—the summer sun can burn quickly, make sure you cover up
- Don’t forget the water, it’s important that everyone stays hydrated
- Be aware of snakes and first aid care for bites
- Run early or late in the day to avoid extreme heat
- Only run at night if you feel safe, make sure you take a head torch and mobile phone with you
- Take lots of photos of your adventures together
- Have FUN!
Mel is mum to two children (four and 22 months), a passionate Canberran and ambassador for Running Mums Australia (RMA). RMA champions the everyday woman, to encourage, equip and empower women, as a mum and a runner in their running journeys. You can join their safe and secure running community of women on Facebook.
Follow Mel’s picturesque adventures on Instagram @runmumsb.