Girls on the Run Interview

My daughter participated in Girls on the Run last fall and I was curious about her feelings about it now that some time has passed and she has since then participated in some other running activities.  I recently conducted an interview with her that will follow but first some background information.

Girls on the Run is a program found in every state in the United States that teaches girls in grades 3-5 (grades 6-8 is their Heart & Sole program) about nutrition, positive influences, and emotional and physical development. There are several core values emphasized including teaching girls to embrace their differences and find strength in one another.  They also add in some running at the meetings of course.  Girls meet after school twice a week in a 12 week program that culminates with a Girls on the Run 5k.

Here is the interview:

Me:  “What kinds of things did you do at Girls on the Run?”

Daughter:  “We talked about different ways to stay healthy and we talked about staying active.  We also ran on a school track where we met.”

Me:  “Can you tell me about the actual running you did?”

Daughter:  “Personally, I didn’t like the running part.  I like when people push me to run and they didn’t do that.  They were slacking in that, so I didn’t like that about Girls on the Run.”

Me:  “What do you think your coaches could have done differently to make it a better experience for you?”

Daughter:  “Maybe they could have pushed us more, made us run harder rather than just say go run.  I think they should have pushed us harder instead of just telling us to run and then watch us run.”

Me:  “So the coaches didn’t run with you?”

Daughter:  “They did run with us.  One coach would be watching and the other would run with us.  They would switch off so one coach would watch and the other would run.”

Me:  “What about girls who were anxious about running or who maybe hadn’t ever ran before?  Do you think pushing them would have been too much?”

Daughter:  “I think it really depends on the girl.  Some girls were obviously forced to be there by their parents and didn’t want to be there.  They wouldn’t have liked to be pushed.  But there were some girls who seemed like they would have done better, gone faster, if the coaches would have pushed them.”

Me:  “So maybe they should have made the runs more individualized to suit different girls’ needs and abilities?”

Daughter:  “Yeah.  Definitely.”

Me:  “What did you like best about Girls on the Run?”

Daughter:  “I think I really liked that although a lot of the girls there didn’t want to run, the coaches didn’t hold me back with them.  They let me run as much and as fast as I wanted.  It was nice to just get out and run.”

Me:  “What did you learn from Girls on the Run?”

Daughter:  “That I’m a lot better runner than I thought before.  You were right when you told me I was a fast runner.  It gave me more self-confidence in running.”

Me:  “Would you recommend Girls on the Run to other girls?”

Daughter:  (hesitation) “I don’t know.  It really depends on what kind of a challenge they’re looking for and why they’re running.  It depends if they’re running for exercise or to get faster at races.”

Me:  “So would you say Girls on the Run is best for girls who have never really ran before?”

Daughter:  “Yes.  It’s kind of a warm-up.  After Girls on the Run, if they think it was fun, they can look into another program or run with a parent that runs.”

Me:  “Thank you very much for your time and your insight.”

Daughter:  “You’re welcome.  Those were tough questions! (laughing)”

There were a lot of runners at the 5k- not just girls from GOTR
The finish line is now in sight
The finish line!

Author: runningtotravel

I'm a long distance runner with a goal of running a half marathon in all 50 states in the US, which I completed in 2021. I also love to travel so I travel to other places when I'm not running races. Half the fun is planning where I'm going to go next!

12 thoughts on “Girls on the Run Interview”

  1. What a fabulous interview! Now if this could just be passed onto the coaches for learning how to make it the best experience ever for everyone!! Did the coaches conduct a survey themselves at the end so they could learn from it?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! The coaches themselves didn’t conduct an interview at the end, but there was a generic form for parents to fill out online with not much room for comments or suggestions. One thing I didn’t mention here is the GOTR girls running the 5K were not allowed to be chip-timed for the race even though everyone else had that option. My daughter was furious when she found that out (she said, “I don’t want to run a fun run, I want to run a 5K!”), so I actually paid for a registration for her the day of the race even though the 5K registration fee was included in the fee I had to pay at the beginning. While GOTR is generally a good program, there are definitely some flaws IMO.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I can definitely see that there are flaws. It’s almost as if they should have an intermediate level, one for girls who actually have been exposed to running before. I mean, I understand their concept and where they’re coming from, but they shouldn’t hold back the one’s who are ready to fly. ;D Still, what a great club!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great feedback from your daughter! I think Girls on the Run is a wonderful organization — I’ve volunteered with them a few times. But I agree that there should be opportunities for more individualized coaching or perhaps an intermediate level, like another commenter suggested. Maybe one day it’ll happen. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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