ISSUE #9: For the Kids & Running Book Recommendations
One of my main goals with these newsletters is keep health and wellness top-of-mind and create some discussions. I think a lot of us are aware of most of the information that I’m sharing. You’ve probably heard it before and thought, “Wow, that’s really important, I need to do something about that.” Then you got distracted by life and nothing changed. Hopefully, by keeping the information flowing each week it’ll allow a seed or two to take root – and changes to occur.
As promised, let’s talk about the kids. Just to be clear, I do not have all the answers on this topic. My oldest daughter is a vegetarian and youngest daughter “only” eats processed foods slathered in cheese. I exaggerate a little – but only a little. With that said, here are some tips;
1) Worry about yourself first. Once they see you eating better, they’re more likely to get onboard.
2) Don’t sell them short. Kids are adaptable and they may even surprise you with their willingness to follow along. Like we talked about last week with genetics, don’t use kids as an excuse.
3) Make good food. If it tastes good, I doubt kids will say “Where's the beef?”
4) Start with meatless Mondays. A friend of mine is doing this with her family. Her husband says if #3 is followed, then he doesn’t care if there’s meat or not.
5) Gradually reduce your meat consumption by making 1-2 chicken breasts instead of 2-3.
6) Make a salad with each dinner with all the toppings on the side and let the kids create their own salad.
Some other random ideas; Always have fresh fruit ready to go. Keep healthy snacks like nuts, seeds, and dried fruit around. Get the kids involved by helping you find new recipes, shop for groceries together, cut up veggies, cook together, and then rate and talk about the food. The more they’re involved, the more it’ll feel like they’re part of the process, rather than being forced to eat better. But don’t make it too restrictive either. If they have friends over and they’re used to ordering pizza, order pizza. If they’re at a birthday party with cake and ice cream, let them eat cake and ice cream.
Here’s a recent story that encompasses tips 1-3 above. A month or so ago I was watching a 40-minute documentary about a teacher that teamed up with Nutribullet to bring smoothies into her classroom for 5 weeks. My daughter was sitting next to me, but I didn’t think she was paying attention. The next day she started making smoothies for her breakfast and has been doing it ever since. She even takes them with her to school. I could have told her every day of her life to drink a smoothie, but she probably never would have listened. But when she saw kids her own age doing it and heard their impressions, all the sudden she was onboard.
Finally, speaking of smoothies, thanks again to everyone that came to my Smoothies 101 demo last Saturday. And thanks to Mark at Performance Running Gym for hosting me. That was my first time doing something like that and I thought it went very well – if I do say so myself. I talked about the benefits, equipment, ingredients – and ended up making 5 different smoothies during the demonstration. If anyone knows of any other opportunities to host such an event, don’t hesitate to reach out.
Recipe of the week:
If my 18-year old likes these Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie Pancakes does that make them “kid-friendly”? Granted, they take a little more effort than using pre-made batter, adding an egg and some water, but sometimes we have to sacrifice convenience for taste – and health.
What I’ve been reading:
For the runners out there, I have two books I’d like to share this week, one was just published and the other is 35 year old. Thanks to Josh for recommending Inside a Marathon. The book chronicles Northern Arizona elite runner Scott Fauble and his coach Ben Rosario as they prepared for the 2018 NYC Marathon. As the title suggests, it’s an inside look at the training and the coaching involved with running a marathon at the elite level. Each chapter is a week leading up to the race. Not only is Fauble’s training outlined, but it includes descriptions from both Fauble and Rosario regarding how they think things are going, how they feel, what they’re trying to accomplish, what adjustment they had to make, etc. If you’re interested in elite running and the coach/athlete relationship, it’s a great read – with great photography. And the format is terrific as neither Fauble nor Rosario was aware what the other was writing until the end of the project. I can’t think of anything else like it on the market.
One thing I like about the NAZ elite training group is that they realize that their job isn’t just to run fast. It also includes providing value to their sponsors. In addition to projects like this book and encouraging their athletes to engage in social media, also provide value via podcasts – both hosting their own show and being guest on other shows. To make things easy for fans, they have a podcast page on their website. If you want to learn a little bit about Inside a Marathon before spending $28, there are links to 3-4 different podcasts where Scott and Ben talk about the book.
Getting back to “nothing like it on the market,” that also refers to my all-time favorite running book (at least on the topic of mental toughness); The Competitive Edge: Mental Preparation for Distance Running. Luckily, I still have my copy from my college days. However, it was out of print for year and years, so I could never recommend it to anyone. Well, great news, I Googled the author again recently and found his website. I even sent him an email telling him how much his book meant to me, that I was happy to see it back in print, and asked if he ever thought of revising it with updated references. He responded to thank me and said it’s also available on Amazon. He agreed that they book could use an update with examples from more recent runners, however, other projects continue to take priority.
One option with my coaching services is mental skills training. Quite honestly, a lot of what I learned came from this book. It doesn’t matter if you recognize names like Lasse Viren, Jim Ryun, Mary Decker, or Steve Placensia. The principles, concepts, and exercises in this book are still as relevant today as they were 35 years ago. This is a must-read for any competitive distance runner not only looking to understand how their brain works during competition, but also learn techniques to harness its power.
“The mental aspect is the only real issue in any race.” - unknown