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Just a quick visit and check-in here at the Hypnosis for Running blog. I just wanted to share my excitement that my 5 year old son completed his first junior park run here on the south coast of England this weekend.

He has watched me at many races and events before, so is no stranger to the general set-up of these events. He was super excited about running in an actual race though. Plus, he LOVED his new running gear – new trainers, tops, tracksuit and so on (he ended up wearing it all for the entire day as he loved it so much).

It was rainy and wet in the morning but that did not dampen our spirits or the other 200 runners at this particular event. Here we are in the park cafe, I am giving him his own laminated bardcode to keep safe in his pocket that I had printed and made up for him earlier in the week.

Most important for me, was making sure I reigned in his excitement and enthusiasm and made sure he paced himself well. I told him to stick with me and he was a bit nervous when we gathered with the other runners at the start and asked if I would hold his hand so we would not get split up.

At the junior park run, you are allowed to run with your children, you just have to move out of the way at the finish line so that you do not mess up the timings of everyone else.

We ran the first 200 metres hand-in-hand as he was finding his feet and getting into his pace. We skipped through a few runners and got some clear ground whereby he felt comfortable enough to let go of my hand and run alongside me.

We ran at a comfortable pace, there were odd times when he got distracted and kept looking behind and around himself while running forwards that he lost a bit of momentum, but that was to be expected with it being his first event of this kind.

He had a huge smile on his face the entire time. I mean, he loved it. He waved really enthusiastically every time we ran past my wife and his younger sister who were cheering him on, and he gave high-fives all the lovely marshals on the course as he ran past them.

We are very lucky to have Parkruns and junior Parkruns in the UK. They are well organised, free, full of lovely, supportive people and it is so fabulous to get my son out running and being part of this kind of event. To be around other like-minded people is great too, and seeing the bigger children flying fast around the course gave him something to aspire to.

He saved enough energy for a sprint finish that I had discussed with him, and here he is with both feet off the ground, flying up to the finish line to collect his finish time token and get his barcode zapped.

He is now keen to go regularly, to try other junior park runs, and he really wants to run it faster and beat his time.

His attitude and mindset toward the run was spot on and is something I maintain and talk to him about (in age-appropriate ways) with regards to pacing himself and knowing his limits at this early stage, and knowing how to push himself further and run faster and so on – that will come with experience. However, I think the run also serves him well mentally too – he had great fun, he felt a real sense of accomplishment, it was something we did as a family who all gave him loads of well-earned praise and love, and of course, it is all very healthy for him.

So just a small and currently rather rare and isolated post here on the hypnosis for running blog, I’ll be back with more as the year progresses and will keep you posted on my own progress too.