Running at night with kids

There are two nights of the weekdays where LO isn’t off to some kind of activity, soon to be one but this new one is orchestra and straight after school, at school, so she’s home relatively early.

I like to take her for one 6 or 7km run in the week, then she does parkrun on Saturdays. I think she really benefits from this mid week run and she likes it. Trouble is it’s getting dark now and I’m not sure how to run with her in the dark.
Should I have her run in front in the pool of my light, by my side, should she have her own light? It’s easy paced stuff and some trail (mud depending) but mostly road with a mix of streetlights and no streetlights.


I’d pick her up a little headtorch of her own. Doesn’t have to be anything special, but will also make her feel a bit more involved and, if she’s anything like mine, she’ll get mega excited about having her own torch ‘like daddy’.



Er, hello is that ChildLine? We may have one for you over on TriTalk

Just kidding, what a great thing to do.

My eldest used to love running off road at night. It terrified the life out of me. We both wore head torches but I selfishly let him go first so I didn’t fall over tree roots etc. Figured he’d bounce better.

This was when he was 15 or 16


I agree with comments so far, get her her own torch. If she runs in front of you, her own shadow will block where she’s treading.
I really like the Alpkit ones, particularly the Gamma which has the batteries on the back so is well balanced and doesn’t need to be done up too tight. It also has a flashing red light on the back which may be handy for extra safety.
Head Torches, Camping Lights, Torches and Lanterns | Alpkit


I read something about different light contrasts or sources were good for trailing running in the dark. So have a head torch and then wrap one round your hand and shine that. That gives a better contrast and makes the uneven bits easier to see.

Alos as above though get her own head torch or one of these body torches, Decathlon do them.

I would run side by side and that way you’re getting all the light

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Thanks all, great tips. I like the look of the Alpkit ones. I’ll do some digging around. I think the red light on the back would put Mrs FP’s mind at ease more. (neither of my lights have that).

LO has a flouro yellow Karrimor running jacket as well, so she can be seen easily. She’s proud as punch with her Parkrun ‘10’ milestone shirt, so I want to keep her enthusiasm up.


The alpkit lights are great for the money, I’ve had 2 over the years. Think it was @TTowel who first recommended them on TT1.0

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Thats great. I wish I could encourage mine more. My wife bought a treadmill when we were locked down due to daughters covid, and my youngest uses that every night, but my eldest wont do anything.


I think all you can do with kids is offer them the whole bucket of experiences. Some they’ll pick up, some they will reject.

Hopefully if you offer enough “positive” choices whatever they end up gravitating towards will be a good thing in their lives.


I’ve thought about hiring a treadmill for myself but the footprint is very big in the garage (even if i could find one!).

It is a tricky balance, right now she has tennis, piano, swimming and soon to be orchestra (she might not get into that) plus she has lessons at home.
So I don’t want to stress her out but she really likes running and we have some great chats and adventures when we are out running, same with her cycling, we chat about stuff we never chat about at home.

I’m hoping the night running can add to her sense of adventure and give her some confidence but it’s always a balancing act between making sure she has fun and not being pushy. It’s hard at parkrun because when she says she wants to go for it, I have to be 50% Dad ’ hey you’re doing fantastic, so proud etc’ and 50% coach with ‘let’s pick it up after this corner, dig deep, come on’. I’m sure I’m screwing it up 7 ways to Sunday but she keeps coming back for more. :laughing:


Same. We were definitely at the opposite end of the spectrum to the pushy parents at school.

Obviously we were proud of our kids if they achieved something, but strongly felt that they had to be doing it because they wanted to, and not to impress mum and dad or anyone else.

Some parents we knew were/ are driving their kids all over the country to hockey matches, dance acadamies, whatevers.

One of our boys definitely has some talent as a runner, he got selected for Dorset Schools and at school ran 56s for 400m and 2m07 for 800m on the track. But we left it up to him how serious he wanted to get about it. After a couple of Saturdays where he spent 6 hours on a bus to go to Birmingham or somewhere for 2 minutes of running, he decided it wasn’t for him & he currently runs just for pleasure (and to show up his old man).


Pretty much my philosophy as well. So far we’ve chucked music, surfing, cycling, swimming, running and trail hiking at her. Hopefully one of them will stick. :laughing:


I was curious to see how fast LO is in the scheme of things, because at parkrun, she’s pretty much winning the JW10 and under at aged 7 at every one she attends (admittedly only Winchester and Burnham).

Parkrun gives an age adjusted score of 67%, which I thought was lowish for her age and low 28s but when I did some digging about what times some of the 7 and 8yr old kids are running, bloody hell, some of them are going well under 25mins and even better!

That’s mind boggling to me.


We are the opposite of pushy parents. Probably should be more encouraging but I hated being forced to do stuff I didnt want to.

I was annoyed with my youngest though. She just started high school and said she was going to drama club. She went for a bit, was all excited, talking about a part in the production, then her friend stopped going and so she just gave up. I said you can hang around with your mates every other day of the week why dont you stick with this, she didnt. She also said she was going to football club and that never materialised.

2 teachers have said to me she is a really fast runner and she should do that, but she wont.

We have the time and money for them to do what they want really (with the exception of buying my daughter a horse she keeps going on about).


But this really shows up the shit attitude that so many have “you’re really good at something, you should do more of it” and not “you really enjoy something, you should do more of it”. This isn’t simply “pushy parent”, it is pushy society, doing something simply because you’re good at it, is not a good reason to do it.


Know a girl who did a 22:04 at Bushy at 8, pretty sure it’s still her PB now at 11, her brother ran a 22:41 at 7, they were just a family that ran, no massive pedigree in the parents, or any (obvious) pushing, they just liked running as a family.

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Bloody hell!

My parental inspiration The Fast Show - Comptetitive Dad -1- Cricket - YouTube

Great that you both go out running together :+1:


UKA maximum race distances for 11 - 13 = 5 km…

…although i don’t agree with it…

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At school many years ago, although not as many as you, we did a 5mile XC once a week thru winter from 1st year. Most kids grew to hate running and XC within a week and the amount of letters from mum (most fake) saying they had some injury or illness. Add that punishments were running laps of field whilst your mates played rugby meant a negative association with running was formed! Big improvements since then, bit still work to do