Supplemental Advice

  • Just Run Kids

Warning message

Mean Menu style requires jQuery library version 1.7 or higher, but you have opted to provide your own library. Please ensure you have the proper version of jQuery included. (note: this is not an error)

If you are training children to run in the JUST RUN! Just Kids 3K goal races in November and April, other races for children, or goal races in your locale, this advice will help your young runners.

POINTERS FOR WARM UP AND TRAINING:

  • Always stretch and walk or jog a bit before running.
  • Start slowly and then pick up the pace.
  • To gain endurance while training for the race you should be gradually increasing your distance run in the weeks leading up to the race.
  • It is OK to walk a little in your training and in your 5K.
  • Always stretch and walk or jog a bit after running.

GETTING FASTER:

  • Work on endurance first, then speed after. You should be able to run over a mile without walking before you work on getting faster.
  • Learn to get faster by doing “interval” training. Run short distances faster---then slow down until you are rested--- then run faster again. Make your faster intervals longer as you get closer to race day.
  • NEVER run as fast as you can except right at the end of the race.

CLOTHES and SHOES: No need to run in a sweatshirt or layers.

  • Leave your sweatshirt on the bus; you may need it after the race so you have some dry, warm clothes to change into.
  • If it’s raining, a lightweight, breathable nylon jacket (windbreaker) can keep you dry. A cap with a brim will keep the rain out of your eyes. Get warm, dry clothes on as soon as the race is over!
  • If it’s going to be a hot day, avoid dark colors, as they absorb the heat!
  • Wear running shoes or tennis shoes when you run. Double knot your shoes before the race so they don’t become untied.

FOOD/DRINK:

  • Drink water the day before your run. Don’t eat a big meal the night before. A few nights before, pasta is good (provides carbohydrates).
  • ALWAYS have a good diet with lots of fruits and vegetables. It makes you healthier.
  • Day of the race: Don’t have a big breakfast! Drink plenty of water and eat a slice of toast or a bagel. Some fruit or a power bar works too.

GOOD RUNNING FORM

  • Stay relaxed. Don’t grit your teeth or clench your fists. Keep Smiling. If your face and hands are relaxed, your whole body will be relaxed, and you will be able to run easier. Keep your hands cupped but not closed tightly.
  • Be efficient. Keep your head steady, swing your arms in a relaxed manner and avoid wasting energy. Your arms should NOT swing across your body.
  • Run upright, leaning forward slightly but not bending over.
  • Breathing: Breathe through both your nose and mouth…you need as much oxygen as you can get! Keep your breathing relaxed.

WHAT IF YOU HURT? Remember it is normal to feel very tired in a race.

  • Sideaches: Slow down, rub the area. Wait and it will go away. Everybody gets them. Try to relax. You may also want to raise the arm on the opposite side of your body and run with that arm up in the air for awhile. The cramp should lessen.
  • Very Very Tired: Slow down, relax, but keep moving. Walk.
  • Dizziness: Walk or Stop and tell a grownup near you.

RACE DAY MANNERS:

  • Don’t start out too fast; you will be excited and probably start too fast. Hold back! It will help you towards the end of the race. If your heart is thumping and you can hardly breathe, you’re running too fast!
  • If you notice your shoe is untied, don’t just stop in the middle of the run! Pull over to the side of the street or trail to tie that shoe. If you stop in front of other runners…you might get run over.
  • If you are not passing slower runners, stay to the right. Leave enough room for other runners to pass you.
  • When you are running along Highway 1 at the beginning of the race, ensure you stay to the right, because the faster, elite runners will be running past you in the other direction!
  • Water will be on the course at the last mile (when the trail meets highway one). If you walk when you drink the water, do so on the side of the road…don’t stray to the left, into other racers who may not be stopping for water.
  • When you get to the finish line you will be given a medal. Keep moving. Don’t just stop or sit down….walk around, stretch.
  • Get food from our finish area and be sure to drink plenty of water.

HAVE FUN AND DO YOUR BEST!!!!!

Marie Edgemon, Adaptive P.E specialist, advises that there are a large variety of different disabilities and the child's physician approval and the parents approval should be required before inclusion in the program. The parents should be consulted whenever possible and their guidance be used. The parent or guardian will be your best source of information about their child's particular needs.

General tips are to provide an alternate activity for a child that cannot participate in a particular drill or game. Obstacle courses that can be done on pavement involving navigating cones or other obstacles that can be "gone around" rather than over are certainly possible.

Ask a child, prior to assisting, if they would like help in an area in which they may be struggling.

Consult with or include the Adaptive P.E. specialist when possible.

Providing a fairly level surface for activities will insure more active participation.

Be aware of weather or particular heat related issues as they may effect certain activities and disabilities such as Multiple Sclerosis in different ways.

Integration of Students With Disabilities Into JUST RUN

Kevin Casey, one of our JUST RUN CSUMB student interns suggests the following: Quality physical education should be available to all children. Physical education can lay a foundation of a healthy lifestyle, and lead to skills and practices that can last a lifetime. Some leaders in the JUST RUN program may have students with disabilities that you want to integrate into your program and give them needed physical education activities and experiences. Depending on the nature and severity of the disability, innovative and imaginative adaptations can be made to allow the disabled child to participate. Certainly doing JUST DEEDS and eating nutritionally are two cornerstones of the program that can be done by disability students you may have in your program.

Feeling good about yourself and developing pride are qualities which everyone is entitled to and these feelings can be fostered in everyone in the program.

Signs and symptoms of asthma vary from person to person. It is very important to identify each person’s signs and symptoms, which can include:

  • Wheezing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Persistent dry cough
  • Coughing or shortness of breath with physical activity
  • Itchy, tingly throat or chin

A trigger is any factor that can irritate the lungs and lead to an asthma episode. Not all triggers affect people in the same way. Some common triggers include:

  • Animal dander from skin hair or feathers
  • Pests - house dust mites found in bedding, blankets and stuffed animals, cockroaches
  • Pollens - from plants, grass or trees
  • Molds
  • Air quality - cigarette or wood smoke, air pollution
  • Chemical irritants - perfumes, cleaning solvents, paint
  • Seasonal changes: weather change, cold air, upper respiratory infections
  • Strong emotional reactions Exercise

Asthma episodes can be mild to life threatening. An attack is mild if the episode settles quickly with rest and treatment. Further medical treatment is not usually necessary, but the student should avoid vigorous exercise that day. An attack is severe if:

  • The rescue inhaler doesn’t help after two treatments.
  • The student has difficulty in any of the following:
    • Speaking
    • Moving
    • Is blue, pale, or sweating
    • Is struggling for breath
    • Requests a doctor
    • Requests an ambulance
    • Requests to go to the hospital

In case of a severe attack, seek professional medical attention immediately. Important note: a severe attack may not have wheezing because there is not enough air in the lungs to generate a wheeze. Under these circumstances, MEDICAL HELP IS URGENT! Delays can be fatal.

A typical workout session includes:

  • Hydration
  • Dynamic Warm up period involving movement and some gentle stretching - 5-10 minutes
  • Drills in the form of games - 15 minutes
  • Walk/run workout - 20 minutes
  • Stretching and warm down - 10 minutes
  • RE-hydration

We recommend having all participants in your program fill out the Student/Parent/Leader JUST RUN contract. This helps with parent involvement and has each child agree to particpate in the program and work on improving their fitness and nutritional habits. Each Child should keep this contract.

Running form should be reviewed regularly. Basic concepts are:

  • Run tall - don't lean too far back or forward.
  • Run relaxed - head, face, shoulders, and arms should feel relaxed.
  • Chin up and eyes forward.
  • Arms swing straight ahead - not from side to side.
  • Relaxed hands with thumbs up - no clenched fists.
  • Start slowly.
  • Exert the same effort going up or down hills as on flat ground.
  • Do not overstride.

Be prepared in any weather conditions. Runners are very very lucky to live in Monterey County because we rarely have snow and ice or too much cold or heat or rain. It does rain quite a bit from November through April, and it can get very hot in some parts of Monterey County if you run in the middle of the day from May through September. Here is some advice for different weather conditions.

HEAT:

  • Make sure you drink water or a sports drink before running and after running- stay hydrated.
  • If you are running for more than 20 minutes you should drink water or a sports drink during your run. It's ok to stop and drink.
  • Wear light clothes both in weight and color. Wear shorts and a singlet if you can. Or shorts and a T-Shirt. Wear white as it does not absorb the heat as much.
  • Wear a hat or cap to protect your skin from the sun and keep you cooler.
  • Wear sunscreen but NOT on your forehead because it might get into your eyes.
  • Run slower on very hot days.
  • Try to run in the early morning or later in the afternoon when it is not as hot.

COLD:

  • Run in sweatpants or a sweatshirt or a long sleeve shirt.
  • Wear gloves - there are very light gloves made especially for runners.
  • When you run or exercise you warm up very quickly and it's easy to dress too warmly even on a cold day - so be careful.
  • Wear a stocking cap or hat to keep your head warm. You lose most of your body heat from your head and your hands.
  • If you don't have gloves one thing some runners do is wear socks on their hands. Its fun and it keeps you warm.
  • It is easier to hurt your muscles if it is cold so start out slower and make sure you warm up.

RAIN:

  • Do NOT run if there is lightning or thunder.
  • Do NOT run if you are planning to run on the roads and you cannot see and cars cannot see you because of the rain.
  • In most conditions it is FUN to run in the rain. You are going to sweat/perspire anyway after a little bit of running and the rain can be refreshing.
  • Remember that the rain can make your clothes very heavy if you are wearing a sweatshirt and sweatpants. They may keep you warmer for a short period of time but not very long.
  • Bring a change of clothes so that when you are done running you can change quickly into dry clothes.
  • Wear a hat to keep your head dry and the water out of your eyes.
  • Wet shoes can be very heavy and wet socks can be very uncomfortable and cause blisters so even though it is fun to run in puddles try to stay out of them.
  • Take good care of your shoes after a wet run. Don't put them in the dryer as it could ruin your shoes. Let them dry naturally.

WIND:

  • The Wind can be your friend as a runner if it is coming from behind you or it can be your enemy if it is blowing in your face.
  • Wearing a hat can help unless it is so windy it blows off your head and you have to chase it around. Make sure your hat is tighter than usual when you wear one in the wind.
  • A big Wind from the side can knock you off balance so always be aware of the wind when you run.
  • Treat running into the wind as a fun challenge. Pretend it is making it easier for you to breathe. Pretend that it is blowing around your body and then coming back to help you run.

Training is difficult when weather is an issue. If possible, try to continue with outdoor training. Bundle the children up - after about five minutes of running the body acclimates well even when temperatures are as low as 28 degrees. Gloves, stocking caps and sweats are a must.

Safety is imperative; there are indoor training alternatives. You can measure the distance around your gym and have the kids run a number of time to reach 1/4 mile at each session; one mile can be recorded every four sessions. Combined with the drills and relays, the kids will get a great workout each time.

There are also indoor activities like running in place and old fashioned jumping jacks. Running relays on a basketball court or inside a multi-purpose room are great. If your school has corridors and steps (and you can ensure that doors aren't opening and closing) create a pathway for the kids to follow. An interesting "indoor obstacle course" is always something kids love.

Annie Hanshew, a student at CSUMB, and one of our experienced after school JUST RUN leaders, offers the following advice to anyone who has a JUST RUN group in excess of 40 children.

The ideal size for a JUST RUN group is 30 to 40 children. The primary reason is not control and discipline, but any larger group will get across the country in the JUST RUN across the USA program too quickly. It is best to split up groups at a school either by grade level or ability level. Natural competition develops between the groups which promotes fun as well as motivation. You can also provide individual attention to each child when you know them and their habits and ability levels. This becomes more difficult as the group gets too large.

Unavoidably, if you are left to handle a large group of over 40 by yourself, it is imperative you try to find a parent, teacher, administrator, or friend, who can help you. It can get chaotic without another leader or assistant, but it is possible to handle a large group by yourself.

Structure is key for any group but even more for a large one. Plan the activities in advance and hand out a schedule or post the schedule on a chalk board for each activity session. Then everyone knows what to expect in advance. You can even use the more mature children as small group leaders in order to keep structure and make sure each child has a supervisor and help.

When doing laps I would place a sticker for each lap on each child so I could keep track of their laps. They enjoyed stickers and often asked to run more than a mile. Even if they have to wait momentarily each lap to get their sticker it gave them motivation and kept them running. I used Tuesday and Thursday as "lap" days and had the children build up the number of laps they could do over time.

I used Monday, Wednesday, and Friday as activity days. To start activity days the kids would take a slow warm-up lap around the field then spread out in a circle for stretching. I used students to help lead the stretching routines. When we were nicely stretched, we would then split them into groups in accordance with the activity planned for that day.

The children really enjoyed the JUST RUN relays and drills so we organized a variety. They would be split up in even groups, according to age; each group would have a variety of ages, so the groups were as even as possible. I or another student would then give an example of what needed to be done in the relay. Children need examples otherwise they will not fully understand how to do it and will perform the task differently than the others. We put older kids in the front of each line because they have more of an understanding and were example for the others in line.

Motivation is another big aspect to their success. Encourage them the whole way through; other kids will catch your energy and encourage too. I suggest keeping the same teams for a few games and see how they progress. The kids really enjoyed jumping and going around things. We used small dodge balls, soccer balls, and cones. We also had them circle around leaders because they seemed more encouraged; a leader is more fun than a cone. As each child finishes have them raise their arms so you know when their whole group is done. The kids always wanted to do another relay so they could do better than before.

Dealing with a big group isn’t always hard. It can be accomplished with structure and a positive atmosphere.

If you are training children to run the one mile Fitnessgram test, Just Run has the following suggestions for preparation and the best race day performance.

Children should have fun and do the Make the 1 mile race an “event.” Make it fun and enjoyable.

Pointers for Warm-up and Training:

  • Always stretch and walk or jog a bit before running. 2. Start slowly and then pick up the pace.
  • To gain endurance while training for the race you should be gradually increasing your distance run in the weeks leading up to the race.
  • Always stretch and walk or jog a bit after running.

Getting Faster:

  • Work on endurance first, then speed after. You should be able to run over a mile without walking before you work on getting faster.
  • Learn to get faster by doing “interval” training. Run short distances faster---then slow down until you are rested--- then run faster again. Make your faster intervals longer as you get closer to race day.
  • NEVER run as fast as you can except right at the end of the race.

Clothes and Shoes and Weather:

  • Optimal performance will be on a “good” weather day with the temperature between 55 and 65 degrees. Try to schedule your Fitnessgram mile run under ideal conditions, even if you have to run early in the morning to avoid heat. Look for ideal temperature, no wind, less humidity.
  • Children should wear shoes made for running, shorts and a t-shirt or singlet.
  • If it’s going to be a hot day no matter what you do, avoid dark colors, as they absorb the heat!
  • Double knot shoes before the race so they don’t become untied.

Food / Drink:

  • Drink a bit more water than usual the day before your run, but NOT huge amounts. Don’t eat a big meal the night before. Try to have pasta the night before because it provides carbohydrates which give you energy.
  • Day of the race: Don’t have a big breakfast! Drink some water and eat a slice of toast or a bagel and a banana about 90 minutes to 2 hours before your race and don’t eat anything after that.

Good Running Form

  • Stay relaxed. Don’t grit your teeth or clench your fists. Keep Smiling. If your face and hands are relaxed, your whole body will be relaxed, and you will be able to run easier. Keep your hands cupped but not closed tightly.
  • Be efficient. Keep your head steady, swing your arms in a relaxed manner and avoid wasting energy. Your arms should NOT swing across your body.
  • Run upright, leaning forward slightly but not bending over.
  • Breathing: Breathe through both your nose and mouth…you need as much oxygen as you can get! Keep your breathing relaxed.

WHAT IF YOU HURT? Remember it is normal to feel very tired in a race.

  • Sideaches: If you get one then slow down, rub the area. Wait and it will go away. Try to relax. You may also want to raise the arm on the opposite side of your body and run with that arm up in the air for awhile. The cramp should lessen.
  • Very Very Tired: Slow down, relax, but keep moving. Walk.
  • Dizziness: Stop and tell a grownup near you.

Race Day Manners:

  • Don’t start out too fast; you will be excited and probably start too fast. Hold back! It will help you towards the end of the race. If your heart is thumping and you can hardly breathe, you’re running too fast!
  • If you notice your shoe is untied, don’t just stop in the middle of the run! Pull over to the side to tie that shoe. If you stop in front of other runners…you might get run over.
  • If you are not passing slower runners, stay to the right. Leave enough room for other runners to pass you.

How Do You Teach Children to Pace Themselves?

This is a key area and there are many techniques you can use. Children (and adults) will always run their fastest in the mile run if their “splits” are approximately equal. That means each 200 or 400 meters that they run are approximately at the same pace. As you know, most children go out way too fast and then pay for their enthusiasm by slowing way down. This also makes the run less enjoyable. Here is what you can do in the weeks leading up to the timed mile run.

Introduce concepts of pacing—a key element to running—in a simple and fun manner. School kids are used to activities based on short bursts of speed, not on running a sustained slower pace. You should train them by having them run at different speeds and have each child judge how tired they are at each speed.

It is important that you use a display time clock or, if you cannnot acquire one, that you shout times using a stop watch. Ask your local college, junior college, high school track, or swimming coach to borrow a display clock – they should all have one.

  • Do a time trial early on to establish a baseline measurement so runners can measure their progress.
  • Use the baseline time trial to calculate initial goal times, target paces, and splits for each student.
  • Have similarly paced students run together and with a display clock have them run 400 meters and try to come close to pre-determined times. For example, if you have a group of students who run 10 minute miles, have them run each 400 meters in 2 minutes and 30 seconds each. Then have them try to run 2 minutes and 20 seconds to see how that feels. If you have a group of students who run 8 minute miles have them run each 400 meters in 2 minutes even.
  • A suggestion is to turn the clock backward so they cannot see it – ask them to try to run 400 meters in 2 minutes and the student who comes the closest “wins.” When they pass the clock they stop and turn to see how close they came.
  • Pick students who run 7, 8, 9, 10 minutes a mile and have them lead a group run at their pace and everyone has to stay behind them. Then each student knows approximately what pace and how it feels to run that speed.
  • Find adults or high school students to run with your group at certain paces and your students have to stay behind them and learn that pace. Have them run at different paces so each child knows that pace and how it feels.
  • Teach kids to start slower by saying they have to sing a song or talk to the person next to them for the entire first lap. If you are running too fast, then you won’t be able to run or sing.

We consider any school that implements the JUST RUN program a great school. Many school leaders ask how they can make their program better so we have created this list of activities and actions that can take your school from being a great basic JUST RUN school to a great Platinum JUST RUN school. JUST RUN can be implemented very easily but it is extremely comprehensive. This list gives you some guidance of all the JUST RUN activities that can lead you from Basic to Platinum.

Basic:

  • 1 Classroom or more participating
  • 1 Day of JUST RUN activities per week
  • Mileage for your group is recorded every month
  • Running and other physical activity are encouraged on weekends
  • Some type of award presentation to encourage pride in accomplishment occurs every 8 weeks

Basic Plus:

  • 2 Classrooms or more participating
  • 2 days of JUST RUN activities per week
  • Drills and relays are done as well as running
  • Mileage for your group is recorded every month
  • Running and other Physical Activity are encouraged on weekends
  • Some parents/guardians are involved and helping
  • Stretching is done at the start of every session
  • Some type of award presentation to encourage pride in accomplishment occurs every 6 weeks

Bronze:

  • 3 Classrooms or more participating
  • 2 days of JUST RUN activities per week
  • Drills and relays are done as well as running
  • Mileage for each child in your group is recorded every 2 weeks
  • Running and other Physical Activity are encouraged on weekends
  • Some parents/guardians are involved and helping
  • Stretching is done at the start of every session
  • Some type of award presentation to encourage pride in accomplishment occurs every 4 weeks
  • Students are encouraged to use the JUST RUN website for information
  • Some parents/guardians are actually running with their children
  • At least 1 class accumulates enough mileage during the year to run across the USA
  • At least 20% of the students earn JUST RUN shirts by running 50 miles and doing 26 JUST DEEDS

Silver:

  • 5 Classrooms or more participating
  • 3 days of JUST RUN activities per week
  • Drills and relays are done as well as running
  • Mileage for each child in your group is recorded every 2 weeks
  • Running and other Physical Activity are encouraged on weekends
  • Some parents/guardians are involved and helping
  • Stretching is done at the start of every session
  • Some type of award presentation to encourage pride in accomplishment occurs every 3 weeks
  • Students use the JUST RUN website for information
  • 20% of parents/guardians are actually running with their children
  • At least 3 classes accumulate enough mileage during the year to run across the USA
  • At least 40% of the students earn JUST RUN shirts by running 50 miles and doing 26 JUST DEEDS
  • Most Classes are doing the JUST DEEDS program
  • Most Classes are doing the JUST TASTE program
  • Each Student is given a JUST RUN club card from the website
  • Some of the children participate in a race in your area
  • JUST RUN leader completes end of year compliance form and submits it
  • JUST RUN leader insures that the JUST RUN program will continue the following year

Gold:

  • 7 Classrooms or more participating
  • 4 days of JUST RUN activities per week
  • Drills and relays are done as well as running
  • Drills and relays are done at least 2 days a week
  • Mileage for each child in your group is recorded every 2 weeks
  • Running and other Physical Activity are encouraged on weekends
  • Several parents/guardians are involved and helping
  • Parents/guardians sign the Family/Student contract form
  • Stretching is done at the start and end of every session
  • Some type of award presentation to encourage pride in accomplishment occurs every 2 weeks
  • Students use the JUST RUN website for information
  • 40% of parents/guardians are actually running with their children
  • At least 4 classes accumulate enough mileage during the year to run across the USA
  • At least 60% of the students earn JUST RUN shirts by running 50 miles and doing 26 JUST DEEDS
  • Most Classes are doing the JUST DEEDS program
  • Most Classes are doing the JUST TASTE program
  • Each Student is given a JUST RUN club card from the website
  • 30% of the children participate in a race in your area
  • JUST RUN leader completes end of year compliance form and submits it
  • JUST RUN leader insures that the JUST RUN program will continue the following year
  • JUST RUN poster is displayed in the school
  • Student Mileage Markers are displayed in the classroom
  • The JUST RUN Across the USA or Europe program is used and talked about in the classroom

Platinum:

  • ALL Classrooms are participating
  • 4 or 5 days of JUST RUN activities per week
  • Drills and relays are done as well as running
  • Drills and relays are done at least 3 days a week
  • Mileage for each child in your group is recorded every 2 weeks
  • Running and other Physical Activity are encouraged on weekends
  • Several parents/guardians are involved and helping
  • Parents/guardians sign the Family/Student contract form
  • Stretching is done at the start and end of every session
  • Some type of award presentation to encourage pride in accomplishment occurs every 2 weeks
  • Students use the JUST RUN website for information
  • 50% of parents/guardians are actually running with their children
  • At least 5 classes accumulate enough mileage during the year to run across the USA
  • At least 80% of the students earn JUST RUN shirts by running 50 miles and doing 26 JUST DEEDS
  • Most Classes are doing the JUST DEEDS program
  • Most Classes are doing the JUST TASTE program
  • Each Student is given a JUST RUN club card from the website
  • 50% of the children participate in a race in your area
  • JUST RUN leader completes end of year compliance form and submits it
  • JUST RUN leader insures that the JUST RUN program will continue the following year
  • JUST RUN poster is displayed in the school
  • Student Mileage Markers are displayed in the classroom
  • The JUST RUN Across the USA or Europe program is used and talked about in the classroom
  • Leader/parents/guardians complete the pre and post JUST RUN evaluation
  • At least one class puts on a JUST RUNATHON or JUST TASTEATHON during the school year

JUST RUN is a great program to use for a healthy fundraiser for your school or youth organization. Click Fundraiser Form to download a form that can be used for this purpose.

This healthy fundraiser is approved by the STEPS for a Healthier Salinas Organization and the Monterey County Health Department.

The forms can be modified for your school's or organization's use. Students then take the forms to family, friends, and businesses and receive pledges for miles run by each student.

We also suggest trying to get businesses to sponsor your school or organization by matching donations that are collected.

Your students run and have healthy activities AND your school or youth organization earns money.

 

Allan Stanbridge is the Adapted Physical Education Coordinator for the San Mateo Union High School District, as well as an excellent competitive masters (over 40) runner. Allan offers the following information.

In most school districts virtually all of the children with special needs are provided with Adapted Physical Education services through their schools, as part of their Individualized Educational Plans. The Adaptive P.E. Specialist in your school or district would be glad to provide information about individual students that would assist the regular teacher in developing a successful program for the student. This would include appropriate activities that would fit into the JUST RUN program. JUST RUN leaders should seek assistance and advice from the A.P.E. specialists as a first step.

Depending on the child, there are general modifications/adaptations for the special needs student that can typically be made to insure the JUST RUN program is inclusive, effective and fun. The teacher or specialist has to determine the level of functional mobility for the student; this can be in the complete range from the ability to run and do drills and relays in a normal fashion to disabilities or motor deficiencies that completely impair running ability.

Fortunately, almost all children function with some type of mobility. Your evaluation may show that some children can run for a limited time or distance and then need to walk for recovery. Others can only walk. Even students who use crutches, or either manually powered or motorized wheelchairs, can cover measured distances and their mileage can be recorded, as well.

The assigned distance or course would have to be modified {shortened, or moved to a surface which would accommodate the student's level of mobility). This student would need a smooth, firm surface on which to perform the activity.

Special needs students can perform all the warm-up exercises and drills assigned with modifications being made according to the nature of the disability.

The JUST RUN leader can also involve aides or assign certain students to assist special needs students. This could be a key element of success for many. They can be classmates, older students, adult instructional aides, parents, siblings, etc. The aides would lend physical assistance, directions and instructions, and offer important support and encouragement. The aides would assist as needed and follow closely along as the special needs student covers his/her assigned distance. They would keep the student on the designated course, count or measure the distance covered, and provide motivation to help the student stay on task.

The basic goal as a JUST RUN leader is to include the student in the activities. This will increase self esteem and level of physical and health related fitness, and help with skill development.

Special needs students are given a modified version of the California Physical and Health Related Fitness test including: the 1 mile run, sit ups, sit and reach, and pull ups / flexed arm hang. I test the students three times per year. Each student has a goal in their Individualized Education Program related to improving their fitness level/performance. We do running, stretching, and strength development each day.

Our County has a person from the Education Department who organizes school-related Special Olympics competitions for all interested schools throughout the school year. In the Fall there is soccer; in the Winter, basketball, and in the Spring there is track and field. I base the rest of my instruction around skill development in these areas to prepare the students for these competitions. In the Spring, students participate in an all school day track meet where each student is timed or measured in a running event, the standing long jump, and some sort of throwing event involving various implements.

Consult the Special Olympics coordinator in your area for more information.

Adaptive P.E. Website 

To visit a great website for all sorts of information on Adaptive P.E. click here. If you want to learn more about how to provide activities for children with special needs then take a look.