Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Q: Why the young age?
A: Studies show that girls between the ages of eight and twelve are still receptive to adult influence, while at the same time beginning to feel peer pressure. It’s an age psychologists call the latency period of development when girls begin to confront important life and relationship issues. As a prevention program, Girls on the Run© initiates healthy decision making and prepares girls for these difficult issues.
In addition, learning healthy exercise habits early in life increases the chances that participants will value their own physical fitness as adults. Recent studies show that only those who develop exercise habits in their teen years or earlier are likely to maintain those habits for life. It’s well documented that regular, moderate exercise improves cardiovascular functioning and reduces the risk of developing breast cancer, osteoporosis (brittle bones), and obesity. In addition, girls of this age are more open to the positive peer influences, positive adult role models and the confidence enhancing which are all parts of the GOTR experience.
Q: Is it safe for young girls to run the 5K (3.1 mile) distance?
A: “Children’s bodies are well suited for endurance exercise, and numerous studies have shown that children show many positive physiological adaptations to endurance exercise training. The keys are gradual progression and common-sense adult supervision. If those conditions are met, running three miles is a reasonable goal for most young people.”
– Russell R. Pate, PhD
Department of Exercise Science, University of South Carolina
Q: Do girls need to like running to sign up for the program?
A: No, we do not focus on speed or competition, and we fully expect that girls may need to do some walking, especially at first. Because our program is non-competitive, we attract girls of all shapes, sizes and abilities and just ask them to try their best.
Q: How long is your program?
A: Our 10-week programs meet twice per week for 90 minutes at various locations around the area. Our fall season runs from September through late November, and our spring season runs from March through May. At the end of both seasons, there is a 5k run/walk for all the girls in the local area.
Q: Does my daughter have to attend the school where the program is offered?
A: No. Girls are welcome to attend any program at any school that fits within their schedule.
Q: What is the cost?
The cost of the program is $150 and your child receives: 20 lessons, 90 minutes in length, conducted by a certified coach; healthy snack at every lesson, lesson handouts and materials, water bottle, program t-shirt, adult running buddy to run with during the final 5K event, end of season celebration, finisher’s medal, and much more! There are also scholarships available to those who need it.
Q: Can my daughter take it three seasons in a row?
A: Yes. The curricula were designed so that girls can participate in consecutive seasons. There are three Girls on the Run© curricula that rotate every season. They have the same basic lessons but different games and work-outs. Plus, each group has a different dynamic and the girls are at a different point in their lives, so no two lessons have the same direction.
Q: What about a program for boys?
A: Girls on the Run International has piloted a boys program within their Charlotte, NC Council for several years now which unfortunately has had little or no success. In early 2005 they were faced with the decision to cancel the pilot program due to lack of interest and have also decided to not roll out the boys program to other councils within the United States. Although it was a difficult decision to make, they could not continue to allocate resources towards an unsuccessful program. They do hope that the support needed to have a successful program will present itself in the future and will continue to have Boys on the Run in their long range plan. It is their goal to one day have a program equally as successful for boys as they have for girls.
Q: How can I get involved?
A: We are ALWAYS looking for more volunteers! There are positions available for everyone-you could become a running buddy, a volunteer coach, a member of the Advisory board, or a Solemate. And don’t worry, you don’t have to be a runner to volunteer for Girls on the Run! Check out our Get Involved page for more information on how to get involved!