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5. Troubleshooting

This section contains advice and solutions to the most common issues. If your issue isn’t addressed here, contact your Regional Coordinator or e-mail [email protected].


How can I get other staff at my school/site to get involved?

  • Make it easy: Print out hard-copy class rosters from STRIDES for the teachers to track miles, and encourage them to use session activities like Loopy Laps, which can be fun class breaks.
  • Be creative about times to run and other staff who can assist: Can a cafeteria or teacher aide monitor recess running? Is there a parent or para-professional who can supervise a before- or after-school session? Would the principal be open to a Fitness Friday or creating one day where everyone runs/walks?
  • Include them in the club: Sign up interested staff to be Program Assistants. Let them know they can run/walk with the students and get fit during the work day.  Staff who run with the kids can join Teacher Tracking, enter mileage into STRIDES and earn a t-shirt and medals.

We were planning to run at recess, but the kids aren’t as motivated as I thought. How do I inspire them to run?

  • Create a contract and have each student write in his or her running goal and sign it. Post them around the class mileage meter.
  • Create in-school incentives for participation, such as a Wall of Fame, assembly announcements, classroom privileges and school-bought incentives. For example, in one school the principal has a special lunch with the class that has the most miles each month.
  • Set up friendly grade-level or class competitions.
  • Run with them! Kids get excited when teachers, coaches, parents, principals and administrators run with them.

We don't really have a place to run indoors because the gym is in use and my principal won't let us run in the halls.

  • As kids often show us, there is always a space to run. Cafeteria? Auditorium? Multipurpose room? See our suggestions in the Set Up section.
  • Suggest to your principal that you walk (instead of run) in the halls, or up and down stairs.
  • Get some snow on your boots! Check your school or site guidelines about temperature and outdoor activities, and then go out in the great outdoors.
  • Make creative use of smaller indoor spaces by having relay races or doing agility exercises like Bean Bag Relays.
  • Running-based games like Loopy Laps help you make use of small spaces.

STRIDES Troubleshooting

Below are common problems and solutions when using STRIDES.

I am having trouble uploading my roster.
Please contact your Regional Coordinator.

Goals for Students

Session Goals

  • Site Coordinators and Sessions Leaders should discuss goal setting with kids and work towards this goal.
  • Pre-K, kindergarten, first grade and adaptive PE students are encouraged to run one quarter-mile (about 400 meters) per session.
  • Students in second grade or higher are encouraged to run at least a half-mile (about 800 meters) or more per session.

Year-end Goals

  • If your students start Mighty Milers at the start of the school year, they can be encouraged to strive for big goals such as completing a “marathon of miles,” (26.2 miles), by the end of the school year.  If possible, students can work towards even bigger goals, —that’s why we have multiple marathon medals!
  • If your students are starting Mighty Milers late in the school year and 26.2 miles isn't possible before the end of the term, set a lower goal -- perhaps a half-marathon (13.1 miles).
  • Students in adaptive PE may have different goals based on their ability.
  • If your students achieve their set goals, you can make them higher using the Set Up/Maintenance Menu in STRIDES.
  • The mileage goal for your class and school can also be monitored on the Mileage Meter in STRIDES.

Sessions Troubleshooting

Counting laps is a pain...can I just time the kids?

No, but don’t panic. Do this instead:

  • Run together so each child has the same number of laps
  • Punch-card system
  • Popsicle-stick system

Can we use pedometers to track our miles?

No, because their measurements can be unreliable and compromised.

The kids are getting kind of bored...can we play games and time them for miles?

  • If you want a time game, implement a half-mile time trial periodically over the course of your program: Record a baseline for your students in the first trial and then do a second one several weeks later.  This is a great way to get kids engaged in monitoring their own cardiovascular fitness and preparing for an upcoming event or fun run.
  • Check out Loopy Laps, games that let you track mileage
  • Check out A Running Start for other playful ideas and activities.


  • 4. Program Maintenance

    In this section you learn the basics of managing your program—from recording laps and giving out awards to reaching us.