Running as a Family
Ian Klassen

If you are thinking of running, then you should think about running with your family. Building healthy behaviors for kids and you is important. This blog post will review three things to get you, and your family, running.

#1 Pick A Fun Race

The Bay has a ton of great races, but the best race in the Bay is the Giant Race! The Giant Race is quite a big endeavor: four races across two states and four cities. If you want a road trip, then you can do the Scottsdale Giant Race, Sacramento Giant Race, San Jose Giant Race, and San Francisco Giant race! The San Francisco Giant Race is the largest of the four races spanning two days - kids and family races on day 1 and the Giant Race on day 2 (5km, 10km, and half marathon). If you are racing with a baby jogger, then you must do the 5km race. The 5km race is a great way for the whole family to participate and if your kids are young enough, they can go in a baby jogger. If you have older kids, then everyone can walk/run the course.

#2 Train

You have a fun race in mind, now you need to get some miles in! There are a bunch of free resources for getting motivated. Two free resources worth noting are Nike+ ( nikeplus.com ) and Strava (Strava.com). Both have run programs that you can use and great social features to connect with other running friends. Running for Beginners ( runningforbeginners.com ) has free programs to get you from couch to 5k (or 10k) safely. For more advanced runners, I would recommend checking out Dr. Jack Daniels (yes, that's his real name...no, I don't know if he has a brother called Jim Beam) from the Run Smart project ( runsmartproject.com ). Dr. Daniels has a number of run programs that are well regarded in the running community. Make sure to follow your programs closely so everyone can safely get up to your goal distance.

#3 Eat Smart and Sleep

The final step is to plan out your eating, running, and sleeping schedule. Eating healthy and getting a good nights rest is important for a healthy body. It's far easier for the whole family to be eating better than one person (to reduce temptation). The USDA has a great site called Choose My plate ( choosemyplate.gov ) that will help you make healthy food choices. As for sleep - make sure to get 7 to 8 hours a night. Have a schedule and eliminate distractions (TV, phone, reading) when going to bed.

Have fun as a family and we'll see you at the starting line!

- Ian Klassen , @ianklassen
The Starting Nine