Under 9: Maximum distance: 3K 9-11: Maximum distance: 5K 12-14: Maximum distance: 10K
My 8yo DS has been going to a running club on & off for the last year but they do short bursts of exercise, no great distances and are working on technique. He's not allowed to compete until 9 years old (apart from cross country) though he has done some orienteering and short fell races.
I'd be cautious of road running as there could be damage to their developing joints.
How about your DD cycling alongside you whilst you run? That was you/she can cover a greater distance. Or you could all get out on your bikes for family rides?
My DS1 rides his bike around the park with me or DH running, we cover about 5-6k easily, I think that would be too much for a 6yo to run and probably doing the distance that would be suitable for him to run would be too short for you to get a decent workout....the cycling will make DD stronger and therefore maybe better at running with other kids and then in a couple of years she could start with you or a club?
I take my 4.8yo for a trot around the block before I go on my proper run, she absolutely loves it. She's getting pretty good and really wants to do a race. Will probsbly look for some 1k races for her next year. Google junior parkruns, see if there's one near you.
I don't think it is too young... One of the triathlon organisers does a 'scootathon' which is a triathlon but with a scooter instead of the swim, then a bike bit, and then a run I think they have to be 5 to enter that... I think it is really great that children see running as something which is a fun thing to do, on a par with football as entertainment, rather than something to be endured or even worse, something that is used as a punishment. Good luck!
I take my 5yo orienteering - and we both love it. We went on a 'taster' session in a local park first and then joined a club. Now we go once or twice a week. Orienteering is great because you are running from checkpoint to checkpoint - for the kids its a bit like going on a giant treasure hunt. Its usually in woodland or heathland, so ds gets to explore along the way...we usually come back with feathers, pine cones, flowers etc!. You can choose how long a course you do, so can start on short courses and then build up. Because you are running the course in sections I think it is less overwhelming for ds than heading off on a straight 2mile run. Also, you are usually running on soft ground, so I find I end up with less injuries. After every run we get a printout with our time on it, so ds can work out how he/we did. Its good fun!
Last summer I decided in some insane moment to start running (I weighed over 17 stone). I did the NHS C25K and loved it and now run regularly (and am 6 stone lighter). I've mentioned light-heartedly to my two about coming running with me when they are older, only to be met with 'no way!'. Anyway, this week my 6 year old said that she would like to start running as the other children at school are laughing at her because she is slow (to be fair she is diddy like me and has diddy legs).
Looking at athletics clubs online they don't seem to start doing running till 8 or 9 so I'm wondering if 6 is too young to take her out with me for a short run. Anyone got any thoughts on this? I don't want to discourage her, but don't want to do her any damage.