Here's how to combine your love of running with your love for your kids—all while making it a fun experience for them.
Moms are badass. Period.
Moms that are marathoners take the badassery to a whole new level. Am I right?
We cook (nutritious and organic!), clean, chauffeur, teach (fractions, anyone?), play, soothe, referee, schedule—and let’s not forget about the endless amounts of laundry…double that when you add in your own clothes during a training cycle. Whew, I’m tired just writing about it.
Yet, somehow we manage to throw in MARATHON TRAINING on top of all of the chaos. Sounds crazy, but we love our sport and it’s worth all the juggling, super early morning runs, the runs that don’t happen until evening (cause you had a sick kiddo in the middle of the night) and everything in between.
So, how do you combine your loves—the kids and the marathon training? Make it fun for your kids, too! Get them involved and let them see that you really are a glowing runner goddess (kidding—wait, I’m not) and a great role model for them!
Let Them Finish A Run With You
One idea is on your easy run days, ask your kids if they’d like to run the last half mile with you. Most kids will jump at the chance to do something fun with mom. Make it interesting by singing a song along the way, picking wildflowers at the end, or taking them for a hot chocolate afterwards.
In our family, we love going to a beautiful trail some weekends—I will run, the kids play and explore with Dad and then we all run together at the end.
My kids know that I am stretching before and after a run. Before I head on the road, I perform a ten minute dynamic warm up and they think it is hilarious to see me jumping around and kicking my legs. Now, they love to do it with me—and they are good! We laugh at how funny we all look and it’s a great way to include them.
Two Words: KIDS RACES
Next time you are running a race, register your kids for a fun run! Most races have a kids division and who doesn’t want a shiny medal around their neck?
Create Nutritious Treats Together
Kids LOVE to eat and as marathoners, we have to eat or drink something after a run. During the weekend when you are prepping your snacks for the week, bring your kiddos into the kitchen with you to stir or form protein bites or bars.
Smoothies are a big in our house and the kids love adding fruit to the blender, brainstorming new combinations and pressing the button!
Color And Paint!
Lay out a variety of colorful poster boards and paint and have your kids indulge their creative side by painting signs for your next big race. It’s such a treat at your goal race for your kids to see you speeding by, while they cheer and wave their homemade signs.
Goodie Bag Surprises
Let’s face it, the kids need something to keep them entertained while they are waiting for you to pass by at mile 14 during a marathon. Surprise them by creating a small bag filled with a few fun items—sliced fruit and berries, a mini coloring book with crayons and a lollipop. Include a heart shaped note thanking them for being part of this journey with you.
These are simple ideas that will go a long way with your kids, plus you are making memories that will last a lifetime. That is what I call a total win.