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Training for Children.

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Training for Children.

Postby IagosGhost » Tue Dec 01, 2009 3:00 am

Last weekend, I took my 9 year-old son and his 11 year-old cousin camping and hiking. We hiked only about 3.5 miles with numerous stops at waterfalls and caves along the trail. (We hiked the Lost Valley Trail on the Buffalo National River in Arkansas--I highly recommend it.) By the end of the day on our way back to the car, I could tell he was getting tired.

We're planning a week-long trip to the Wind Rivers next summer. I was thinking that I should prepare him for the trip. I plan on using a 13-week run/walk program along with weekly hikes with a pack and increasing the weight gradually. I know kids should only carry about 20% of their body weight. So, his pack should weigh 12 lbs. I plan on training him up to 15 lbs. so that on the trip 12 lbs. should feel relatively light. And based on his performance this weekend, I think I can reasonably work him up to hiking 6-7 miles a day.

If you take your kids hiking, what have you done or what do you do to train them? How do you prepare them for multi-day hikes in the mountains? Do you modify their diets or menus to include more carbs like adults would? Do you teach them any techniques for hiking?
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Postby divnamite » Tue Dec 01, 2009 3:04 am

The big question is, is he having fun tho? If not, nothing will help him train. If yes, then let him decide what to do.
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Postby hellroaring » Tue Dec 01, 2009 3:33 am

I would second that question: is he having fun?? If he get's pushed too much, or gets crushed by what is a long & grueling trip for him, there's a good chance you might permanently turn him off of wanting to share the mountains with you or anyone else (including himself!). Then again, it's amazing just how tough and motivated some kids can be!
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Postby IagosGhost » Tue Dec 01, 2009 3:45 am

Yes, he was having a lot of fun as evidenced by the "wow, that's awesome" or "that's so cool" or "that's the best" that I constantly heard him exclaim as we took in the natural wonders. (Gotta love a 9 year-old's vocabulary.)

Duh! The point of training him is so he won't be crushed by the trip. He's a smart kid. I explained to him the need for training and he understood. Today he said, "Ok, dad let's go work on our plans."
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Postby Scott » Tue Dec 01, 2009 4:12 am

If you take your kids hiking, what have you done or what do you do to train them? How do you prepare them for multi-day hikes in the mountains?


I simply take them out often to train them. There is no better training than doing the activity itself. :D So far this year, my seven year old has climbed 57 mountains in all seasons. My five year old has climbed several dozen this year as well. You can see what we have done together so far this year:

http://www.summitpost.org/custom-object ... p-log.html

Anyway, my seven year old can hike 15 miles a day on rugged off trail terrain. My five year old can do at least 11 miles on a trail. It just takes practice. Walking to school, church, the store, or whatever helps too.

Make sure to choose a fun destination. Sometimes choosing something with a bit of rock scrambling or obstacles is better than hiking on a trail. Make sure to take the kids to Goblin Valley in Utah. No kid can resist it and will be happy to spend hours there training themselves without any prompting at all:

http://www.summitpost.org/canyon/193018 ... alley.html
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Postby bird » Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:47 pm

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Postby CClaude » Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:29 pm

I'm not a doc but I have issues with training programs for young kids.

As Scott says, if you want to trainin the kid, bring him/her out on trips beforehand that gradually build up to what you are planning on but keep an eye on keeping it fun.
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Postby mstender » Tue Dec 01, 2009 2:30 pm

bird wrote:http://www.crossfitkids.com/ :wink:


It seems like there is a CrossFit for every situation in life! :lol:
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Postby mstender » Tue Dec 01, 2009 5:09 pm

CClaude wrote:I'm not a doc but I have issues with training programs for young kids.

As Scott says, if you want to trainin the kid, bring him/her out on trips beforehand that gradually build up to what you are planning on but keep an eye on keeping it fun.


I would have issues with that too and would not allow my son at such a young age to do those type of exercises. Young kids should play and have fun and not undertake training routines.
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Postby IagosGhost » Tue Dec 01, 2009 7:35 pm

I can see the concern about formal and extremely structured workouts for kids. I'm sure they'd find it quiet boring.

But kids go to soccer practice twice a week in season. That is training where they have to run a lot. So, I don't see how training for hiking would be any different than for soccer or baseball, etc.

Realistically, I can only get out on long backpacking trips monthly at best. Once a month wouldn't have any training or conditioning value whatsoever. Walking to the the store or church is impractical for us. We live a few miles out of town in the country. But I guess that would be a good way to get a weekly long walk in besides running 3x a week.

I'm sure the secret is to trick the kids into training by disguising it as something fun, but it's training nonetheless. For training to be effective it has to be consistent and incremental. After looking at your trip log (which is very impressive,) Scott, I see many consecutive days during the summer months where you took your kids out. In the absence of mountains, I see daily walks and runs, and maybe bike rides, as the only alternative.
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Postby mconnell » Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:23 pm

My daughter was 12 before she really started training. She went out for the cross-country team, which had practice 5 days a week where they would either run intervals or go for a couple mile run. One or two days a week, she went straight from cross-country to soccer practice. She did burn out on this, and dropped cross country. Instead, we would go to the park 3-4 times a week and run soccer drills or run laps with a soccer ball (her idea, not mine).

A friend of hers has been working out 5-6 days a week since she was around 10 (at least that is when I met her). Usually, she works weights in the morning and goes to the gym for a few hours every night. (She ain't a normal kid. There's a good chance that you will see her in the next summer Olympics if she recovers from a knee injury.)

Anyway, if the workouts are something that the kids enjoy, there is no reason for them not to be doing it. A run in the park, going swimming, scrambling when possible, are all things that kids enjoy. Mix it up and leave it up to him what to do. Don't push too hard and it will all be good.
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Postby bird » Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:53 pm

bird wrote:http://www.crossfitkids.com/ :wink:

I actually think kids should just play. Sports, soccer, tennis, baseball, or just at the playground. For some kids, crossfit kids is probably good, but not for all.
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Postby kheegster » Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:42 pm

bird wrote:
bird wrote:http://www.crossfitkids.com/ :wink:

I actually think kids should just play. Sports, soccer, tennis, baseball, or just at the playground. For some kids, crossfit kids is probably good, but not for all.


How long more till you get your kids on the Gym Jones routine?
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Postby soad » Tue Dec 01, 2009 11:54 pm

mstender wrote:
bird wrote:http://www.crossfitkids.com/ :wink:


It seems like there is a CrossFit for every situation in life! :lol:


http://www.crossfitnursinghome.com

sorry, I couldn't resist :lol:
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Climbing Games

Postby stepya » Thu Feb 18, 2010 4:50 pm

So I work with hiking and backpacking as training for climbing (in addition to my enjoyment :) ) , so maybe climbing will work for training for your kids!

Here are some climbing games that your kids could play AND get an exercise with:

http://climbingbeta.org/rock-climbing-games/
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