Get ready to run (or ride)! - MetroFamily Magazine
MetroFamily Magazine

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Get ready to run (or ride)!

by Erin Page

Reading Time: 3 minutes 

While the cold temperatures of the winter months make us think of staying indoors where it’s warm, the cooler seasons are actually the perfect time to train as a family for a run or bike event. And it’s always more fun to work toward fitness goals in the new year with a team!

Disguising exercise as a game can get kids engaged more easily, like playing frisbee or tag to build up endurance. The endorphins rush, time in the fresh air and break from screens can help decrease stress for everyone in the household. Having the end-goal of a race in mind keeps everyone focused on a common mission, and letting kids choose a race themed to something they love or supporting a cause important to them ensures buy-in (as does the promise of race swag!)

Whether your family has set your sights on running or biking a virtual race, creating your own course or looking to register for OKC’s longtime Redbud tradition, to be held in September this year, check out this training advice perfect for novices or those looking to get back in the fitness swing.

Thank you to Burke Beck of Red Coyote and Steve Schlegel for serving on our expert panel to get families prepped for a run or bike ride.

 

Training for a 5k race as a family

Begin training at least 6 to 8 weeks prior to your race.

Equipment needed:

  • Properly fitted, supportive running shoes. For both kids and adults, buy running shoes a half to full size larger than what you typically wear as running shoes should have a thumb’s width space between the end of the toe and the shoe.
  • Water bottle to carry or camel pack to wear, or set out water bottles around your course. Make sure to hydrate before and after runs, too.

Burke’s favorite metro running trails:

  • OKC: Scissortail Park, varied trails from .3 to 1 mile in length
  • OKC: Lake Hefner, 9.2 miles around
  • Edmond: Mitch Park, 2.8 mile main trail or 1.8 mile inner trail
  • South OKC: Earlywine Park, about 2 miles

Training Schedule

  • Week 1: Walk 3 days* for 15-20 minutes at a time.
  • Week 2: Walk 3 days* for 20 minutes at a time. Start to incorporate some jogging for 2-3 minutes at a time, then walk for a minute.
  • Week 3: Walk/run for 3 days* for 30 minutes at a time. Jog/run for longer intervals.
  • Week 4 through the week before your race: Walk/run for 3 days* for 30 minutes at a time. Jog/run for longer intervals and try to spend more time running than walking.
  • Week 8: It’s race week! Take a break the two days prior to the race. If you need to stretch your legs, enjoy a short walk or slow, short jog.

*not consecutive

 

Training for a 10-mile bike ride as a family

Begin training at least 6 to 8 weeks prior to your race.

Equipment needed: 

  • Safe and operable bike, properly fitted to the rider. Any type of bike, from mountain bikes to hybrids to city styles, will work for this length of race.
  • Helmet
  • Water bottle or camel pack. For every hour you ride, drink around 20 ounces of fluid. Make sure to hydrate before and after rides, too.
  • Comfortable clothing and shoes without laces or with laces tucked in so they don’t get caught in the equipment. Padded bike shorts make longer rides more comfortable.

Steve’s favorite metro bike trails:

  • Edmond: Lake Arcadia’s Spring Creek Trail or Route 66 Trail, both 3 miles one way
  • OKC: Lake Hefner, 9.2 miles around
  • OKC: Oklahoma River Trail in the Boathouse District to Lake Overholser, 13 miles
  • OKC: South Grand Trail, starting in the Boathouse District, 10.5 miles
  • South OKC: Lake Overholser, 7 miles around
  • South OKC: Lake Draper, 13 miles around

Training Schedule

  • Week 1: One to two short rides of a mile or less and one long ride, 2-3 miles.
  • Week 2: One to two short rides of 1-2 miles and one long ride of 4-5 miles.
  • Week 3: Two short rides of 1-2 miles and one long ride of 5-6 miles.
  • Week 4: Two short rides of 2-3 miles and one long ride of 6-7 miles.
  • Week 5: Two short rides of 2-3 miles and one long ride of 7-8 miles.
  • Week 6: Two short rides of 3-4 miles and one long ride of 8-9 miles.
  • Week 7: Two short rides of 3-4 miles and one long ride of 10 miles.
  • Week 8: It’s race week! Take it easy this week. Riding this week is OK, but don’t overdo it on a long or intense ride. 

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