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Outdoor Activities For Kids & How To Raise Adventurous, Healthy Children

My guest on today’s show, Katie Arnold, is the author of the critically-acclaimed memoir Running Home published in 2019 by Random House, a longtime journalist, and an elite ultrarunner.

A contributing editor at Outside Magazine, she created and launched the “Raising Rippers” column on Outside Online about bringing up adventurous children.

She has written for The New York Times, Travel + Leisure, Runner’s World, ESPN: The Magazine, Elle, and many others. Her narrative nonfiction has been honored in Best American Sports Writing. She also happens to be the 2018 Leadville Trail 100 Run champion. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico with her husband and two daughters.

During this discussion, you’ll discover:

-How Katie was able to win the Leadville Trail 100 Run on her first try…6:30

  • Very low rate of finishing in the allotted time (for safety)
  • Keys to her success:
    • Eat every 30 minutes during the race
    • 300 calories per hour at high altitude
    • Eat what they’re offering
    • Coca Cola is surprisingly efficacious
    • Minimalist for hydration
  • GU Energy
  • Be in the moment, not hung up on a certain pace
    • Use a watch as a tool, not a necessity
    • Train with the metrics, let go for the race
  • “There were no low points” throughout the race
  • Music can be dangerous

-How to make training a part of your life…36:33

  • Life is Katie’s “training plan”
  • It’s hard to overtrain when you’re a parent
  • Training concepts carry over to other aspects of your life
  • Walk the kids to school, take the long way home (4-mile walk)
  • Every moment on foot counts as exercise
  • Activities with kids
  • Don’t make training separate from life
  • Avoid the car whenever possible
  • Ben walks to any place under 3 miles away
  • Blood Flow Restriction bands

-Indoor and outdoor activities for kids that strengthen the family bond…48:12

  • Indoor gyms with kids activities
  • Tag-team training is hard on a family bond
  • Always find time to be present
  • Family dinners including games, singing
  • Don’t be an invisible exerciser; let the kids embrace the struggle


-What to do when your children aren’t as excited about exercise as you are…54:06

  • They’re trying to differentiate; but can be inspired by your dedication
  • Don’t push an agenda on them
  • Katie was taught to love the outdoors as a kid
  • Running is a way to engage imagination; give kids same opportunity with whatever they like to do
  • Don’t get so caught up in the “doing” that you forget about the “being”

-Why Katie chose the name “rippers” for her column…1:01:24

  • Kids who “rip” or “shred”; do something really well
  • Encourage children to take on a symbiotic relationship with the world around them
  • Exercise is viewed as a cathartic activity, not necessarily for enjoyment
  • Teach a stewardship mentality of nature, the outdoors, etc. (you can’t beat the mountain)
  • Raise lifelong humans who are comfortable in their own bodies
  • Reinforce that winning the tournament isn’t the ultimate success
  • Playing just one sport year-round has its hazards

-And much more…

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

NYT article about Katie

Katie’s Raising Rippers column on Outside Magazine

– Katie’s book Running Home

BRF bands

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Do you have questions, thoughts or feedback for Katie or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

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