February 22, 2020
From Podcast: https://bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/lifestyle-podcasts/outdoor-activities-for-kids/
[00:00:47] Send a Review of “Boundless”
[00:02:08] Podcast Sponsors
[00:04:24] Guest Introduction
[00:06:29] Winning the Leadville Trail 100 Run on Her First Try
[00:09:47] Training for the Marathon
[00:18:05] Listening to Body versus Tech Biohacks
[00:23:48] Most Difficult Part of the Event
[00:25:35] Using Music for Pacing
[00:32:25] Podcast Sponsors
[00:35:47] Training Plan Within Family
[00:48:05] Indoor and Outdoor Activities for Kids That Strengthen the Family Bond
[00:54:04] The Kids Being Against to The Activity/Exercise
[01:01:09] Why “Rippers?”
[01:11:06] Closing the Podcast
[01:13:08] End of Podcast
Ben: On this episode of the Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast.
Katie: Our relationship with the natural world suggests that we are superior to it or we're going to dominate this mountain. That's actually not really what I want to foster my children.
Ben: A child develops a greater respect for nature, a greater respect for the mountain, for the raging river, for the cold, for the heat, et cetera, when they're not in it to beat it, but just to be in it and to dwell within it.
Health, performance, nutrition, longevity, ancestral living, biohacking, and much more. My name is Ben Greenfield. Welcome to the show.
Alright, today's episode is a good one. It's with a mom and a super athlete. Her name is Katie Arnold. She has cracked the code on how to raise healthy kids, how to stay active, how to get your kids outdoors. We delve into the science of that, we delve into how to be a busy parent and stay fit at the same time, and we delve into even more deeply. I cover a lot of these productivity and parenting concepts in my new book, “Boundless,” which if you haven't read it yet, please grab it at boundlessbooks.com and please, please, please, if you do not get a chance to read a review or not read a review, but a leave a review on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or Goodreads, please leave my book a review. It's the best thing you can do to help this message of boundless energy take the world by storm.
And what we talk about in today's episode is a little bit of what's in “Boundless,” parenting, productivity, staying fit, but having a life and having a social life, and having hobbies, and all those other things that you crave in the meantime. That and much more is in boundlessbooks.com. But what I'm specifically asking you for right now are review. So, wherever you got the book, or wherever you're getting the book, please, please, please leave a review. It helps the show or helps the book out a ton.
And this podcast is brought to you, in addition to the book, which you can get at boundlessbooks.com, this book is brought to you by Kion Aminos, our most popular supplement at Kion. It can be used to enhance recovery from exercise, to promote muscle synthesis, to get to sleep faster. It supports optimal cognition because it serves as a base for your neurotransmitters, it supports the immune system, it can help with the lining of the gut, very similar to something like collagen or glycine or bone broth. This stuff is like the Swiss Army knife of supplementation. We've got it in a super delicious mixed berry powder, also a cool lime powder. It's called Kion Aminos. If you haven't tried it yet, then you got to give it a try and see what everybody is talking so much about. So, you get a 10% discount on anything at Kion, including these Aminos. They're fantastic. So, what you need to do is use code BEN10 at getkion.com. So, you go to getkion.com and your discount code is BEN10.
This podcast is also brought to you by Joovv. Joovv makes these near-infrared and red light panels that are used for skin rejuvenation like collagen and elastin formation to enhance nitric oxide production, to help more rapid wound healing, scar healing, get rid of wrinkles. It can reduce joint pain. If you put it on your genitals, it can be used to enhance your endocrine system, your testosterone. It can be used pre-bed to simulate the sunset for sleep or in the morning to jumpstart your circadian rhythm by simulating sunrise. What can't these lights do? They mimic that natural spectrum of infrared light that sunlight is going to give you, but inside, wherever you need it, they have a tiny little traveling called the Go. They had the big Elite that I use in my office. And the good folks at Joovv are giving a free copy of my book, “Boundless” to anybody who gets a Joovv only while supplies last. So, to get your Joovv and to get your Joovv on, you go to J-O-O-V-V.com/ben. That's joovv.com/ben and check out the new science of photobiomodulation, infrared, and red light to enhance your health.
Well, folks, my guest on today's show, her name is Katie Arnold. You may have come across her writings before, especially if you're into the outdoors because she is a contributing editor at Outside Magazine. And she even has a column with a great title called “Raising Rippers.” It's a column about bringing up adventurous children that she writes for Outside online. She's also written for the New York Times, for Runner's World, for ESPN, and many, many other publications. And as you no doubt have guessed, she herself is an outdoors athlete. She's actually the 2018 Leadville Trail 100 champion. She lives in Santa Fe. Great city to be an outdoorsy person.
And really relevant to today's discussion, not only has she written a book called “Running Home,” and I'll link to that in the shownotes, but she also has two daughters and she has managed to weave together life as a successful endurance athlete, and also a successful writer, and also a successful parent. At least from what I understand, her children are not in prison, so I'm going to put her in the category of successful parent. Her name is Katie Arnold. And everything that Katie and I talk about today you can find over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/katie. That's BenGreenfieldFitness.com/K-A-T-I-E.
So, Katie, welcome to the show.
Katie: Thanks, Ben. I'm psyched to be here.
Ben: Yeah. Well, I'm stoked to have you. And I've seen some of your articles pop up now, and again your “Raising Rippers” column about how you're raising adventurous children. And I know you've been involved in this elite ultra runner community for quite some time. But just so people can wrap their heads around what it means to be an elite ultra runner, describe the Leadville Trail race to me. What exactly does that look like?
Katie: That is 100-mile high altitude ultra marathon.
Ben: Like how high?
Katie: It goes to 12,600 feet. So, it's pretty high.
Ben: That's enough. Anytime you get above 6,000, you can feel it.
Katie: Yeah. It starts at 10,000, right? It starts in Leadville, which is about 10,200, and kind of rolling terrain but at high elevation, and then it climbs over what's called Hope Pass, which I love the name because you do feel such hope when you're on top, and you cross it, you climb it once, and then descend the other side, and then you have to turn around and climb it back the other way, and then descend.
Ben: I hate that.
Katie: Yeah. So, I think some people would think that's a nightmare. Actually, mountains are my favorite. They're sort of my specialty, so it plays to my strengths, but it's a terrific race. It's a big field about 800 people started and maybe about 350, 400 finish it in the allotted time, and the scenery is stunning. Yeah. It took me just under 20 hours. So, that's a long time to be in motion.
Ben: Just under 20. Now, when you say that that number of people finish, based on my rough calculations, that's less than a 50% finish rate.
Ben: Are people primarily dropping out aside from pure boredom in the case of some folks due to injuries, due to attrition from poor nutrition management, or what do you think is the reason that the failure rate's so high?
Katie: A lot of people I think are getting cut off. There's time limits, and that's in the interest of runners' safety so that they're not out in the mountains too long. So, there's a 30-hour cutoff. And at various aid stations, they are cut off time. So, if you don't make it into, say, the 50-mile aid station in the allotted time, there's someone there, race official who, just clips your bib and you're done. I think most people who show up at Leadville, I mean obviously some people have injuries or their stomachs go south on them, but most people I think would be able to finish if there wasn't a time limit. You just can cut it out.
At that point, it's so mental you do to get to the finish line, but there are those very strict down to the minute, absolutely. I was crewing last year. I was helping someone, so I was pacing someone, and I got to hang out at an aid station at Mile 62 coming back in to the finish, and I saw the woman cutting people off. It's very moving because the runners know there's no wiggle room. There's no talking her out of cutting their bib, but she has so much compassion. You can just feel the absolute human will to keep going is so strong.
Ben: How many times have you done it?
Katie: That was my first time.
Ben: You want it the first time you did it?
Katie: I did, yeah. That was my first 100-mile race, my first time at Leadville.
Ben: Wow. Okay. So, for you, for something like that, I want to get into your training a little bit. I don't want to just turn this into an insider glimpse of ultra-running that 0.1% of the folks who are listening are actually going to go out and do, so I'm not sure how relevant your training program is going, but I want to hear you weave that into family. But I'm curious, just for me because I am huge into the logistics of the nutrition, the fueling, the pacing aspects of these type of events having done Ironman for quite some time, I love to geek out on it. So, I'm just curious like how you actually engage in self-care during the event like this, like what are the big wins when it comes to the type of nutrition or hydration tactics you use, the type of pacing you might use, whether that'd be power or heart rate to ensure you aren't blowing up too soon. Are there specific big wins that you think really helped you win?
Katie: Yeah. I think first of all, nutrition. And so, fortunately, I usually have a pretty good stomach. Meaning, I can take in calories and convert them into energy and not get an upset stomach. But my strategy for that is that I eat every 30 minutes. So, I'll take a gel, I'll take a GU every 30 minutes during the race, and that just kept my energy steady. I never had really any low points where I felt like I was bunking, and I really could get everything down. It was probably the last 10 or 15 miles that I started to have a little bit of that gag reflex when I tried to eat. I also had trained myself, so I practice that in training and I've always found that that works for me, about 200 calories an hour. That's at lower elevation. So, when I get above 11,000 feet, I need more, so then I'm about 300 calories an hour. But I'd practice that.
I've been ultra-running for eight years and I've been doing that the whole time, but what I really practice in the training cycle leading up to Leadville was also training myself to be able to eat whatever they were offering on the aid station tables. So, to eat what they are offering and to not be so rigid with my nutrition that I couldn't say have some watermelon. I tend to go for fruits, bananas. I had some ramen soup at the high point at Hope Pass. I learned how to drink soda when I run, which I'd never done and I thought that was–I just thought that was sacrilege, right, to have soda.
Ben: I don't know. I think soda can be a Godsend.
Katie: I do, too.
Ben: Not only do I agree with you that in these long events where flavor fatigue can become an issue that you don't anticipate for the first few hours or that you haven't actually gotten to because you've only gone as far as, say, 75 miles in a training run, flavor fatigue becomes an issue, which dictates that what is available at these aid stations becomes increasingly attractive as the race–whether that'd be cookies, or coke, or bananas, or watermelon, or what have you. And if you're, say, relying upon that fancy, I don't know, liquid ketone ester dextrose blend, that that is all you're going to touch during the entire race. It can become an issue when you can't even think about that particular form of fuel without the thought of vomiting or gagging.
And then when it comes to coke, specifically, I used to stick to my guns during Ironman all the way up to the half marathon mark of the run. And it was at that point when I figured out that the sugar caffeine flavor combination of coke was perfect for that final kick to the finish line. So, I would kind of wait and wait and save it, but I would also occasionally during training do things like have an Oreo cookie, or eat a piece of a PowerBar, or consume those things that might not be staples but that I knew were going to be part of the aid station because of, A, the flavor fatigue, and B, what if it goes south and you actually lose your fuel belt or your nutrition and have to rely on coarse fuel, you can't put yourself into the corner of being just a stickler on, whatever. This has got to be gluten-free or this has got to be something that shifts me into ketosis versus maltodextrin and fructose. You got to be a little bit freewheeling with these things.
Katie: I'm a big believer in that. I think that you have to train to be nimble, and that goes for life, as well as training and endurance. But right as when we get super stuck on the only thing that works, that's pretty good sign that we need to shift our thinking and be more open-minded. And so, that's what I did. I love what you said about flavor fatigue, but I would also say that texture fatigue is a big one, right? So, I'm sponsored by GU, so I eat GU, and they've always worked for me and I love it, and to credit winning Leadville really to a lot of my nutrition strategy.
But after a certain point, just the texture of those gels becomes oppressive. And so, I would just mix in watermelon, whatever I could. And certainly the soda, unlike you, is–I just did a race on Saturday, 60K, and I didn't drink soda until–I wait until about the halfway mark, or if I'm having a bad day, then sooner. But if I really start thinking about it and I'm down or I'm having a hard day or something's not working, I'll get to the coke sooner.
Ben: Yeah. And for you, in addition to the nutrition, are you doing things special from a hydration standpoint, hydration electrolytes, et cetera?
Katie: Yeah. I'm drinking the GU Roctane, so I'm drinking the–the bottles have, I think if you put the right amount of powder in, like 200 calories. So, I've gotten a lot of liquid calories, too. My hydration strategy has always been–I'm pretty much a minimalist when it comes to sort of bells and whistles, and strategies, and products. But when I think about drinking, I drink. Right?
Katie: So, anytime I think I should drink, that's my cue to drink. And just this race on Saturday, I was even more deliberate, and my goal was–it was a training race. So, my goal was to practice things that I would–strategies that I would try to use later and some of my bigger goal races. But one of them was to finish a bottle between every aid station. So, I've never been so deliberate about that. Sometimes I'd come into aid station and be like, “Oh, I only drank half a bottle.” And so, this was a really good practice to do that and I was successful in that regard in this race. I emptied a bottle between every aid station, which was about seven or eight miles.
Ben: Yeah. The GU Roctane also is interesting for those of you listening in. Most energy gels are either fructose or maltodextrin. I used to use GU Roctane during some of my Ironman races. Prior to shifting into the use of essential amino acids, I would use a Roctane energy gel because that has the branched-chain amino acids in it, and I think they double the electrolytes in that and kind of turn it into like a little bit more of a slow-bleed ultra-endurance fuel. I've since become a little bit less excited about branched-chain amino acids and I like essential amino acids better just because I think those do a better job staving off central nervous system fatigue and post-race or post-workout soreness.
But yeah, the Roctane, it's an interesting blend and it's something so many people don't realize is the amount of training that goes into one of these ultra-endurance events can immediately or very quickly be negated by the improper nutrition practice, not fueling early and fueling often. I would always have a timer. For me, it was every 20 minutes during Ironman that I would fuel, maintaining hydration and electrolytes, not waiting until you're thirsty.
Katie: No. No way, yeah.
Ben: There's just so many things you have to stay ahead of. Now, for your pacing, did you simply listen to your body, or do you use like a running power meter or a heart rate monitor or anything like that?
Katie: I'm low-tech. I listen to my body. Actually, in Leadville, I had just started using–I rarely use a watch even. But sort of in the lead up to Leadville, like the last six weeks, I started using my GP–like a Suunto watch just to get a handle on pace. But really when I run, I try to let go of time, and be in time, and be in flow with time, and not try to race it. I think also in life, sometimes we're trying to slow things down, slow time down. Your kids are growing, everything's going too fast, you're trying to fight time, or you're in a race. And that's just we create so much resistance around time. And so, my home mantra at Leadville was to be in time, to be in the flow of time and let it carry me.
And so, I didn't want to get hung up on the time on my watch or my pace down to the second, which is an ultra means nothing. You can certainly get hung up on it. So, it was a little bit out of character for me to use my watch. But right before the race, I was debating it and a friend was like, “Just use it as a tool. Don't get fixated.” And so, I had a great race with my watch because it died at Mile 50.
Ben: You mean your watch for time or your watch for heart rate?
Katie: No, I don't do heart rate. I mean, it runs heart rate, but I don't really look at it. No. My watch was telling me distance, so I knew where I was, I knew my pace. I would check it occasionally. And so, it gave me a good sense. And because the course is an out and back, it was actually quite helpful to have it on the outbound right on the way out, so I knew what sort of pace I was running. And then right as I got to Hope Pass, I guess that's about Mile 42, my watch died because I didn't know to run it on low. I'm very low-tech, as I said, and so I didn't know how to run it on low energy use.
And so, my watch died, which was also a gift because then I could let go. I was already in the flow of the day and I'd already–I was really having a great day, and then I could just run free of all that and just run with my body and the mountains and the energy that's just in the mountains. And so, the pacing was helpful, and then it was nice to not have to worry about it. But that's when I picked up–I did pick up a pacer. I picked up three runners. One, my husband started at Mile 50 and brought me to Mile 62, and then I picked up another who took me 15 miles, and then I picked up my third who took me the final 25. And so, then they were keeping an eye on the pace, and I just said, “I just want to roll nine-minute miles in here,” and they would keep an eye on the watch so I could just focus on running.
Ben: Yeah. That's one of the difficult things to about ultra-endurance events is this idea of cardiac drift, meaning that if you've identified your aerobic heart rate zone that you would rarely want to shift out of so that you're not exhausting glycogen stores or causing lactic acid metabolites, et cetera, to build up too quickly, you would stay within that zone. But as your blood volume decreases and the race progresses, that heart rate shifts dramatically by the time that you've finished. So, it can be dangerous to rely purely on heart rate versus associating the feeling that is associated with that fat oxidation kind of aerobic heart rate and relying more upon that and the feel of it during the race itself.
One thing I used to do is I would use technology quite a bit in training and then unplug during the race and listen to my body because I knew the sensation, like I know, okay, my lactate threshold heart rate might be at 175, but here, I am at hour nine of an Ironman Triathlon. I have that same feeling and my heart rate is at 165, and that's because of that cardiac drift. And so, if I would have pushed and tried to get higher and higher and closer to that 175 mark, I would have blown up. So, yeah, understanding how to listen to your body, I think that's also very important during these events.
Katie: Yeah. I mean, that's always how I've been an athlete. I've been an outdoor athlete my whole adult life. I am low-tech and it's interesting to hear you talk about your strategies. It's so interesting that you train with all your metrics and then let go of it during a race. I didn't race on Saturday with my watch, and I think it was actually a mistake because it was too early in my season, it was a training run. And so, I hadn't maybe, in my mind, earned the ability to leave my watch behind. I hadn't done the work I needed to, which is normal. It's February. I mean, I'm an outdoor athlete.
I ski all winter in very different place when I am in August, where I am in August where I've been training in the mountains, running hard in my element and my natural habitat for months, and you can let go of the watch. This time, I think I probably would have been better served having my watch, checking my pace because I spent a lot of mental energy on Saturday wondering, “Am I going too fast, too slow?” And a watch, I had this idea that my watch would sort of enslave me to the time, but it actually would have probably been a pretty useful tool. So, that's just good learning for next time.
Ben: What was the most difficult part of an event like this for you?
Katie: Leadville was such a magical day. It was one of those really rare days when everything converges and kind of comes behind you and is just powering you. There really weren't any low points and I'm not, I mean, at all. I had a little bit of a dip when I was climbing Hope Pass where I felt an energy slump, a little bit of–it had been raining, so I was wet. I was climbing Hope for the first time, and so I did what I will do when I'm feeling like I'm losing my mojo or getting a little down as I ate something, and then I changed something. So, I got out my trekking poles. I knew that was part of my race plan that I would use my trekking poles climbing Hope. It's steep enough and it's just a nice break, it helps your back instead of really bending over into your knees, you're on your poles, and I had trained with them.
So, I stopped. I made a conscious effort. I stopped, took out my poles. Part of me, I was in that slump a little bit and I–when you're in that slump, there's this stubborn tendency just to keep going because maybe you'll get out the other side if you just put your head down and grind through it. But I knew enough that that was my signal note, “Katie, stop, take 30 seconds, get your poles out,” and just changing positions. Just changing something about the dynamic is such a great reset. And I'll use music to do that too, so I run a lot with music. Often in races, I will use the music as a reward saying, “When I get to the halfway point, I'll let myself put in music,” and boy, that makes such a difference.
Ben: Music is dangerous. I am so driven by and connected to music, not that human beings don't inherently have a connection to music, and I think music is woven deep into our DNA, the way that our cells vibrate and respond. I realize that might sound a little woo-woo or esoteric, but I think most human beings are more connected to music and dancing than we actually realize. I think our very existence to a certain defense dwells upon frequencies and vibrations and in tunes. Well, I'll give you an example. Music is so powerful and such kind of a sometimes drug that I'll pull out during a difficult training session.
Most of the races I participated in, you weren't allowed to have any type of earphones in, so I wouldn't use music that often during a race. But two days ago, I was driving my boys to the YMCA to work out and they asked if I could play some epic music. So, I went to Spotify and I found it's basically epic battle music. It's just like very deep orchestral driving, occasionally kind of crunchy and dark, but all over the place when it comes to motivation, particularly just think like “Lord of the Rings” or “Pirates of the Caribbean” or movies like that. And so, I played it for them in the car just to humor them.
But then although I'll usually listen to a podcast or an audiobook when I'm working out, I kind of pride myself on the ability to be able do hard things while something boring is playing because it's nice to be able to educate yourself and not just entertain yourself during a workout. But I kept these tracks on my phone and I worked out while the tracks are on my phone and literally felt yesterday morning like I had rhabdo because I will push myself so much harder for so much longer when the music is playing that I almost have to be careful not to overtrain when I play music. I'm actually a fan of–it sounds like you are not using music all the time, but pulling it out when you really want to push hard.
Katie: When you need it, yeah. I think it's really good to have in your back pocket, especially it sounds like we're similar and that music is very powerful, there's something about that vibration, sound healing, kind of just puts you–I feel more connected to my body and myself and the environment that I'm in when there's music in the background and people will say, “Oh, you're disconnecting, you're escaping,” and I actually have the opposite experience. But like you, I had this when I first–I think when iPods were first invented. This was maybe in the early 2000s and I was doing a lot of trail running.
I was so into running with music that I ended up getting a stress fracture in my foot because I was just doing these epic miles on not very much training, and it was the music that was–I was just lost in it. So, I know what you mean about it being dangerous. So, I make sure that I don't have it. You can't have it all the time. You have to be able to run without it. And with that, I just listen to my body, “Today is a day I want to just hear the birds, I want to be in nature in the silence,” or, “No, I want to listen to the stories of these songs while I run.” It just depends.
Ben: Yeah. I grew up on a Walkman, running in “Loose Tonight.” I'd run the hills behind my house on the Lewiston Hill where I grew up to get myself fit for my tennis matches. I had about a two-mile straight up the side of this grade, two-mile down. In retrospect, it was horrific sport, specific training for tennis because I was engaged in kind of like a lactate threshold movement for four miles when that's not what you experience in a tennis match, but I love those runs. I even remember now; it's so burnt into my memory. I would play KZZU-FM 92.9 in Lewiston running up that hill, just old school. It was kind of like '80s but rock and it would just push me. There's this old Walkman.
So, even before iPod, it was just me and a Walkman, the radio and that hill, and occasionally my dog, my boxer Bruno would run with me. And man, early on, I was just so driven by that, and then I would lift weights as well. I converted one of my parents' bedrooms, spare bedrooms into a gym. I went to guard sports and I bought the little rusty dumbbells and the bench and the barbells, and taught myself how to lift weights, and had a couple of mentors come up to the house and showed me how to squat and how to deadlift. And I used to play the entire rocky series all week long. Like, I would watch Rocky one through five over the course of a week while lifting weights. And then when the next week would start, I would do it over again. So, it's still burnt into my memory when I hear like Eye of the Tiger, I'm ready and raring to go.
Katie: I had a similar story in that, and I write about this in running home, is that I've always been a runner, and I've always been an athlete and always most comfortable outside in motion. Like you, I would go out and I would just go for these runs with my Sony Sports Walkman, the yellow, with those awful metal headphones that would go in, jab in your ears and just run and run and run. I was not on the track team or the cross-country team. I ran really because I loved it and it was my way to be creative, but it was part of how I saw the world as a writer, and this is in high school.
And so, I've always had this relationship with running that's more than competition, which I think has helped me just stay in the sport because it is coming from this deep place of intrinsic. It's this intrinsic pleasure of running. But I was also really into tennis, but my version was that I would do the Jane Fonda workout in the living room. I'm from New Jersey and my dream at the time was to be in the US Open. That was like as a kid, I always wanted to get to that level in tennis. And it's just funny how the world works and how life works like you get to a different level in a different sport, but it's not that dissimilar to pursue that life in motion of dedication and commitment to endurance.
Ben: Hey, I want to interrupt today's show. I interviewed this guy named Robert Slovak on my podcast last year. He's a pioneer in water research, the health of water, salt, reverse osmosis, water filtration. He's a well-known figure in the water treatment industry, and he has launched a website called Water and Wellness. They have almost everything that I talked about in my podcast with him, hydrogen water tablets, different kinds of water filtration units that use the same type of technology that Robert and I discussed. They even have Quinton Marine Plasma, which has 78 different trace minerals and elements straight from the ocean, microfilter to help restore your biological terrain, to protect your gut, to help with your adrenals, to help with your hydration. Everything they have at Water and Wellness is absolutely amazing and Robert's one of the smartest guys that exists in the water industry. So, he's offering 15% to all my listeners from anything, anything from your first order at Water and Wellness. You just go to waterandwellness.com/greenfield. You're going to instantly save 15% if you go to waterandwellness.com/greenfield, and use code GREENFIELD at checkout.
This podcast is also brought to you by the wonderful folks at Thrive Market. I'm actually, at the time that I'm recording this particular introduction for you, about to head out to India. One of the things that I carry in my bag is a big old Ziploc bag of macadamia nuts. Not only do they have the fiber and the protein and the fats in them to help to keep you full because they actually reduce the hunger hormone ghrelin, but macadamia nuts have a whole bunch of research behind them to reduce metabolic syndrome and diabetes risk, to promote brain health. They're very high in tocotrienols and flavonoids, unique forms of vitamin E. They've been shown to help reduce heart attack risk.
They've even been shown that the palmitoleic acid, the omega-7 fatty acids found in unique form in macadamia nuts can improve skin elasticity and appearance, and boy oh boy, my friends at Thrive Market have every form of macadamia nut known to man, from the Primal Kitchen Collagen Fuel Bars, jam-packed with macadamia nuts to Royal Hawaiian Orchards, organic mac nuts to the Thrive Market brand, organic raw mac nuts. They got roasted, salted, unsalted. Thrive Market is your place to shop for anything, anything healthy. They've got keto, paleo, gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO, Fair Trade certified, BPA-free, a whole lot more. A bunch of their catalog you can't even find on Amazon, and they've marked everything down to 25% to 50% off traditional retail prices. It is a membership website, but it doesn't cost much at all. Twelve-month membership is as low as five bucks a month, and they're giving all my listeners first 30 days absolutely risk-free. If you cancel, you get a full refund, and it's very simple to do. You go to thrivemarket.com/ben. Do get you some macadamia nuts, by the way, thrivemarket.com/ben. You can instantly go, choose your membership level, and you're off to the races at thrivemarket.com/ben.
Well, you also have an interesting life in that. I know you are doing all of this ultra-endurance training with the children. How old are your daughters?
Katie: Now, they're nine and eleven.
Ben: Okay. Oh, cool. My boys are 11, 11-year-old twin boys.
Katie: Oh, nice.
Ben: I trained with Ironman for them back in the day, a lot of double strollers and double bike drillers.
Katie: Oh, that's so intense.
Ben: A lot of workouts in the pool, kicking them on kickboards and dragging them on my back, and did a lot with them. I'm always curious, because we do have a lot of listeners who has families who are training maybe for CrossFit, for Spartan, for Ironman, for cycling, for life, for health, and I would be curious–and we have time. You can get in details if you like. But I'm curious what an actual week of training looks like for you. And I would be particularly interested in if you can weave in some helpful anecdotes of what that looks like in consideration of family and time with your daughters.
Katie: Yeah. This is something I've thought about a lot, written a lot about. I wrote a piece last summer for the New York Times about basically just that, like how my training plan is really life, and life as a mother and a writer and an athlete. There's no gap between all of those things. And that's really how I've approached training since I became a mother because I first started doing ultras when my second daughter had just stopped nursing. So, she was about a year old. I've always been a runner, always done trails, but I didn't actually start competing until after I had my kids. So, this is all I know as an elite athlete is having kids in the mix.
And I actually think that it plays to your advantage. And here's why I think that it's hard to overtrain when you're a parent because we have so many demands. And so, it gives you this forced sort of balance and moderation, which I think is really helpful so that you're not so myopic that you're just going down this one path and it's the only thing in life. As a parent, you know this, like there's a lot of parts and they all have to work together, and one is not more important. I mean, on a certain day, running might take precedence, but in the big picture, they're all part of the mix and they all have the same weight. And so, for me–
Ben: Yeah. And if I could interject a quick thought not to derail you too much, but training almost becomes part of life, and this whole idea that I preach quite a bit now, weaving low-level physical activity into one's day, having a pull-up bar in the door of the office or the home, something heavy you can pick up a few times during the day to work on your strengths, having quick movement breaks or so-called micro workouts, 30 burpees thrown in here and there. These things become not an option, but a necessity if you want to stay in the pointy edge of fitness when you have children because there are no other options, the two-hour, three-hour timeslots available to simply go to the gym and start with foam rolling and do the workout, progress to sauna, do some parasympathetic work like yoga afterwards. That is one of the most luxurious things you could ever imagine once you become a parent and you have children to take care of, and to weave into this lifestyle.
So, I completely agree. Your time management skills go through the roof. And also just to your view of exercise, kind of being a part of life in and of itself really increases, and that's actually–it's going on to serve me very well, being forced to train for Ironman. And then later on when I'm not training for Ironman, I just wanted to stay healthy carrying some of those concepts over into the rest of my life.
Katie: Yeah. I mean, my approach is very much what you just said, that it's basically staying in motion, and everything counts was really my mantra for training for Leadville. I had just heard someone say, “All time on your feet counts toward running 100.” And training, capital T, I've never been a conventional athlete with like a training plan. I only just started working with a coach, which is very different for me, but I was self-coached through my whole life, including my ramp up to Leadville. And so, basically, my approach was everything counts and just stay on your feet, stay in motion, which is really the way our bodies are–we are born for motion, we are happiest, we're most productive and creative when we stay in motion. And so, it serves me as a writer very much, too.
And so, my day would start with walking the kids to school. That's three-quarters of a mile there. I would have the dog, I would listen to a podcast and have that be sort of my creative time, and I would take the long way home. So, by the time I got home, I've probably done four miles walking. I'm not clocking myself. I'm not trying to get my heart rate up. I'm just out in the day, just starting my day with very healthy, low-impact walking. Then I would probably go and do whatever run I needed to do that day between 90 minutes and two and a half hours and off, most of the time always on the trails.
So, I'm not a roadrunner. I would just use the roads to get to the trails. Then I would come home and I would work. I would do my writing for three or four hours 'til my girls came home. And then we would go do something active together, whether it was bike riding on the trails or just around town, and that's really my strategy is just to not make training separate from life. Life is training and training is life, and have it all be of a part. And that is best for my happiness bottom line for sure because if I am getting so serious about my training, chances are I'm not that fun to be around. Whereas if I look at, “Oh, my gosh, we're going backpacking for a weekend,” that's great training. I'm going to be at elevation, I'm carrying a lot of weight, perfect. And so, we just make family activities part of my training plan and vice versa. Like I said, my basic mantra is that everything counts.
Ben: Yeah, I agree. A few things that helped me out particularly when it came and still comes, to a certain extent I do this quite a bit, is getting from point A to point B. If you have an excuse to do something other than a car to use–a means of transportation other than a car, oh my goodness, like I really went on a formal bike training ride when training for Ironman because my office was eight miles from my home. Come hell or high water, I would ride my bicycle to the office, and at the end of a long day, whether on my feet or sitting down programming for my personal training clients, I would ride home no matter what, there and back. And even just having to push that mental cognitive fatigue at the end of the day, mount the bicycle and ride. Eight miles is not much, but it adds up five days a week.
Katie: Part of the day, yeah, when you want to get home and mentally you're sort of already at home. I mean, I ride my bike all the time and I'm not–I used to be really big into mountain biking. And I'm not into mountain biking as much as just cruising on my bike. It's good for the environment, it's good for our bodies. I would ride my bike everywhere if I had more time. Honestly, I don't leave myself enough time to get around, but I love being on the bike. That's just pure joy.
Ben: There's a little bit of a mental frameset switch that occurs as well as you begin to commute more and more because for me, especially when I'm in a large city like L.A. or New York City or what have you, I walk nearly everywhere. And for me, as long as something is under three miles, I will walk there, and I will be with friends sometimes who will balk at walking 1.3 miles to go to a Whole Foods to grab lunch. And for me, that's nothing. 1.3 miles is a stroll, it's a walk in the park. And as you begin to commute everywhere, just your idea of time and distance kind of shifts and you have this greater and greater propensity to simply hoof it or to grab a bike if need be.
And then what I would do is practically figure out ways to include the kids. Like I mentioned, for me it was double, but the double jogging stroller, the double bike trail or anything that I could do to take the kids in a safe scenario along with me. And kind of similar to that, not that pushing two children in a stroller or pulling two kids on a bike trailer is too easy, but I also figure out ways to make things harder. Like if there's a family hike, I would be putting a 50-pound kettlebell in a backpack and going out on the family hike that way.
Occasionally in more difficult training blocks, I would have periods of time where I'd hike ahead of the family, stop and do 50 pushups, wait for the family, and then hike with them for a while, and just creatively weaving elements of movement in to make–figuring out ways to weigh yourself down or to restrict oxygen flow, to restrict blood flow. Meaning, like blood flow restriction bands are fantastic for this, like tourniqueting the arms and legs for a long walk. There's all sorts of little sneaky things that you can do to make that day-to-day movement more difficult. And so, in addition to just going everywhere, I would figure out ways to actually make it more difficult when I would be getting from point A to point B. Did you ever experiment with anything like that?
I mean, we have a very similar approach in that we both try to do as much movement as possible. And same thing, like if I'm doing a trail run with friends or whatnot, or I get to a point where I'm waiting, I'm always doing what I call rock jump. So, I'll find a flat rock and I'll do box jumps on a rock, or I'll do sit-ups in the dirt, whatever. I make the outside my gym, but I'm not quite as systematic or as premeditated as you. I sort of go with what my body tells me and whose harebrained schemes I come up with. I admire what you do. I've never really turned a kid in my arms with a band. But that said, I will, on the top of the mountain, I'll do 50 squats and lunges. For me, it's just like it has to feel joyous and free and not like I'm stealing myself for some intense challenge, but more than this is how–it's like a natural expression of myself when I'm outside and I'm pushing my body.
But if it ever starts to feel like it's getting to be a super big grind, I don't know. That's the Zen part of me kicks in and it's like I just–it needs to feel free and it needs to feel joyous for me. And so, that's always like I come back to that. If it starts to feel too much like work, trust me it's work, like you're doing the work. But when it starts to feel like work, that's a good signal to me that my balance is off or that I'm focusing too much on the goal rather than the process. And I want the process to feel joyous, not every day, but most days I want it to be invigorating and not depleting to me.
Ben: Yeah. Because I found this to be helpful, I think a lot of especially new parents do not realize how much if you are going to be going beyond just the outdoors, which is, of course, we both know we'd be preaching to the choir to tell our audience that the outdoors is amazing for children, their sensory perception, their dopamine and neurotransmitter levels, the fresh air or the negative ions, I mean, the list goes on and on of how freaking important it is for your children to grow up with the realization that the outdoors is the place that you go to move. But nonetheless, the health club, the gym is often a place where a parent might go to lift weights or to go to a class to be with their friends, to take a spin or a Zumba, what have you.
Man, for us, joining a health club–in our case, it was the YMCA, with really stellar kids' activities, that was huge because there was a time when both mom and I were training for triathlon for us to be able to show up at a health club that we trusted, put the kids into an activity, we check out for an hour. Did you find that some kind of a health club or a club that had kids' activities? Did that serve you?
Katie: We didn't have that, we didn't, but that's just my husband and I are outdoor athletes, first and foremost. And so, the idea of going to a gym, I think it's great and I do try to go to the gym now twice a week for strength. But in our time away from our kids, we wanted to be outside. So, we just did that tag-team business, which is great and it works, but boy, it's hard on a marriage or it's hard on a relationship because it's like, “Okay. I'm going to run and then I'm going to come back and you're going to run or do your thing, you're going to go ski.” Whatever you need, you do.
And so, it worked for us, but we didn't have a lot of time together. And I write about this in running home. We did have one once a week where our friends would take our kids and we would go running together and it was so magical because when you have young, young kids, you are, you're just tag-teaming and you're like ships in the night. And so, that was really how we did it because in that hour or two that we would get a day if that to ourselves, we both wanted to be outside. My husband's really big into backcountry skiing and skiing. But that's just us. I think that those can be great tools for sure to get the time you need to work out and your kids are in a safe place.
Ben: Yeah. Of course one elephant in the room here I would be remiss not to bring up is the fact that you do want times, and I'm very careful to weave this into my children's routine and even was when training for Ironman, when you are fully present, when it's not about your workout, when it's literally you sitting cross-legged with your child in the living room, building the new Lego set or gathering around the table for family dinner, and it's going to be a two-hour family dinner because you're playing Monopoly. Basically, you never want to give your kids the impression that you're figuring out a way to squeeze in time with them. You want those times when you're fully present.
But I remember I always just kind of viscerally did not like the idea that I would hear from some parents about being invisible exercisers, like making sure that they had short sleep, get up at 3:30 or 4:00 a.m. to shower, to meditate and to train, or wait until the kids are off at school to train. I think it's healthy for kids to join with their parents in some of the activities, some of the extra and just to see what it looks like. I remember there was one particular hill on the Centennial Trail here that I would have to climb up on the bike every time we'd leave the house. I remember my kids sitting in that little trailer and they'd be like, “Go, daddy. Go, daddy, go, go. Harder, daddy. Come on, go up the hill.” But it's cool for kids to be able to see some of–not that you want exercise to be associated with pain and suffering for them, but just to see some of the hard work and to be a part of not just being outdoors and having the wind in their face and sunshine on their skin, but also just to be participants in the session itself.
Katie: Yeah. I love that. I think that changes too as they get older, right? So, when my kids were very little and they weren't as aware of what I was doing, it probably was invisible to them. I mean, I never got up at 3:00 in the morning to go running, but I would go out and I would even use the words like, “I'm going to sneak out for a run,” which now I've kind of caught myself and I'm like, “I don't need to sneak. I'm proud of what I do and how I train and I'm a role model to my children.” But I would go out before they were awake or as they were just waking up, and those edges of the day, I write about that. And running home is like stealing time from the edges of your day.
But now that they're older, they can stay home by themselves while I run, or I'll go for a run and then come back, and then we'll all go for a hike. So, I'll get some extra trail time and I'm with them, and I've done my run, so I'm more settled in myself and then I can be more present to them. And so, it's always shifting, and I think that when we get attached to the way something is and think it's going to stay that way, we create suffering for ourselves and resistance because we don't want things to change. But if we take this open mind like, “Okay. That's how it was last year. This year, it's different. My girls can stay by themselves. They're going to even start running with me sometimes.” Just being open to sort of what life is giving you right now I think is such a good practice.
Ben: Mm-hmm. Kind of an existential question here as well that I don't know if anyone's ever asked you this, but have you ever found that your children seem to grate against or almost rebel against the idea of being engaged in the same type of exercise activities that you are? I mean, I've noticed, for example, this happened last week. I commented that I was going to go out to the gym and crush it. One of my boys, Terran, he said, “I'm going to go and paint at the table because I feel like relaxing right now.” And you could tell he was almost doing it to say, “Alright, dad, you're going to go crush it and I'm going to be in here painting butterflies,” which that's him, that's who he is, but to differentiate. Have you run into that?
Katie: Definitely. I mean, for sure, my girls are very engaged, game, active girls, love being outside. I mean, we were taking them on river trips on our raft when they were babies. So, they've grown up in nature and outside, but they still like to differentiate and sometimes my older one will say, “Well, I'm not going to be a long-distance runner.” My younger one I think is more interested in that, but there's definitely–they'll say like, “I'm not a writer like you, mom.” And I think that's healthy. They're just trying to differentiate and not get swept up in my stuff, but I do think they're inspired by what I do. I know that because they were at Leadville for my race and it was such so powerful for them and it was incredibly powerful for me to have them there.
But I'd certainly don't push any kind of running or competition on them. I mean, I do getting outside every day and having a relationship with the natural world, and with their own bodies as physical beings is not negotiable in our family. But I'm not pushing them to be competitive athlete and X or Y. And that really came from my own childhood because my father–and this is a huge part of my book, “Running Home,” the relationship we had. And he taught me to love the outdoors. He was a National Geographic photographer and was always out exploring and wandering. And it was he who suggested I run my first race when I was seven and it was a 10k, and I'd never even run a mile before. It was a total lark. And I ran it or walked it, and I was sure I was last that day, but it didn't matter. I got that taste of doing something that I didn't think I could do and that stuck with me.
The beautiful thing with my father is that he never pushed me ever to be a runner and he didn't have any ambitions like, “Oh, you better join the team.” And parenting now, there's so much of that. We have our own ambitions we want to foist onto our kids. And my dad never did that. He introduced me to it, and then he totally stepped aside so that I could have my own relationship with it, and that's really why I'm a lifelong runner because it's never about competing to impress or to win, it was sort of how running for me has always been a way that I engage my imagination. And I'm a creative person because when I run, when I move my body, I move my ideas.
So, I want to give my children that same opportunity to have their own relationships with things that bring them joy and inspiration. And if it's running, great, but it could be anything. We got them a trampoline so that they could go out and just have that daydreaming time, like you probably had that as a kid when you would go out and do something that was physical, but that you're in this sort of waking daydream. For me, it was shooting baskets in my backyard.
Ben: Oh, man. Yeah.
Katie: I started with basketball.
Ben: Me, too. Shooting baskets and throwing the football against the chain-link fence, and not that I want to give people the impression I was by myself all the time, but I would often just go outside and daydream. I think what you just pointed out is important because it's that multi-sensory kind of like rhythmic activity that kids get to engage in that builds the kinesthetic and the tactile stimuli and really trains the senses. I think that one thing kids can see, especially in hard chargers like you and me, Katie, especially if we're engaged in these chronic repetitive motion activities is the goal of exercise or the goal of movement is to get from point A to point B, or to check off the allotted period of time or weight or metric for the workout. And sometimes you need to just allow yourself to be instead of do. My friend Paul Chek told me this once. He said, “Ben, sometimes you get so caught up in the being you forget about the doing.” Or actually, it's the opposite, “You get so caught up in the doing you forget about the being.”
Katie: Right, and I think that's sort of how running, how I have a very different approach I think to running than some other elite athletes for whom it is about speed and getting from point A to B as fast as possible. For me, running is becoming more and more of an exploration of how to be in sync with time and nature and to not just rush through a landscape but to run as kind of a form of awakening. It's just interesting to see how my running evolves because sometimes I don't know if that is conducive to racing. I just did a race over the weekend, as I mentioned, and even though it was a training run, I got really caught up in sort of where I was in the pack and my “results”. It was a stunning single track, but I really was not that present to it, and I came away from that wondering like, “I don't know if running and racing is helping me be more present or sometimes it's taking me out of it.” And so, it's always a practice for me because the competition is like the tiniest part of why I run. It's like the tip of the tip of the iceberg.
Ben: Yeah. Well, fortunately, you chose a distance that does lend some amount of conduciveness to checking out and daydreaming. My wife, she ran the 800 for University of Idaho. So, for her, running is just pure all-out intense focus because if you aren't focused and your turnover decreases just ever so slightly, then that's the difference between first and fifth place. And so, for her, a run is, “Let's strap on the shoes and crush it.” And there's a little bit less of that daydreaming aspect versus if we go on a hike. But yeah, I think ultra-endurance is a little bit more conducive to just the daydreaming movement aspect of it that we should indeed be fostering in our children.
I know you have a lot of articles on the Outside Magazine, “Raising Rippers” column that I'll link to in the shownotes if folks go to BenGreenfieldFitness.com/katie, K-A-T-I-E. But I just have to ask you, why Rippers? What does Rippers mean?
Katie: Rippers is just kids who kind of rip, who shred at something, who do something well. When I first came up with the name, this was in I think 2011, I've worked for Outside for 25 years. It's like family to me, but I know their vibe over there. They wanted to feel sort of like charging and hard-charging. So, I came up with it and I've always struggled, not struggle, but I've always had some conflicting feelings about it because I don't just believe kids need to be rippers and the best at everything, or that go crush this mountain. Sometimes even the way we talk about our relationship with the natural world suggests that we are superior to it or we're going to dominate this mountain.
That's actually not really what I want to foster my children. The mountains and the wilderness have this energy that we are part of. And if we can be in sync with it in harmony, we will live happier, more fulfilled lives, more able to be our truest selves and more creative, and therefore, have more powerful impact on the world. I knew that Outside, they probably would want something a little snazzier, a little less like–
Ben: Of course.
Katie: –feel good or a little less new age. I have wrestled with that. That said, my kids are–they do rip at things, but I don't really want the ripping to be the focus. I want the focus to be how do I feel when I'm outside in nature, and how does that make me feel more creative, inspired, and how can I do good in the world.
Ben: Yeah. Well, we do live in a society where exercise is often viewed as a cathartic activity. And so, if you do go to crush it at the gym, or to throw yourself at the weights, or to dominate the mountain, you're engaged in that aggressive yang approach to movement, which lends itself well to say battling or extreme competition, but unnecessarily to enjoyment, and relaxation, and distressing, and all these other wonderful things that movement have to offer us. And I would even argue that a child develops a greater respect for nature, a greater respect for the mountain, for the raging river, for the cold, for the heat, et cetera, when they're not in it to beat it but just to be in it, and to dwell within it.
Katie: I mean, I don't think you can beat the mountain or the river, right? They're so much more powerful than we are. And to teach that humility and that sort of bringing up this next generation of stewards who really care for the environment, that is sort of much more where my focus is as a parent, and my husband's focus too. We do these backcountry trips. We're not out taking our kids to competitions or crushing things, but it's like for us, that sustained experience in the wilderness is the most important thing for us to give our kids. And if they're athletes too, great. I mean, I'm a big believer in team sports. Our girls play a sport a season, but it has to be in balance with also that time, that unstructured time, that unmeasured time in nature where we're not racing the clock, but we're just out on a long family hike, or we're out on the river all day. And so, all those pieces go into a really healthy relationship with both the kids with their bodies and with the natural world and being in motion.
Ben: Yeah. And dare I say not to get too epic for a podcast, but just purpose and fulfillment itself, so many of us. I think part of this might be mildly American, although you see this in Europe a little bit as well and in Asia. But this idea that we want our children to be able to beat other kids upon the field of battle, to be able to throw that leather ball in such a manner that they rise in the top of the ranks and a parent retires upon their children's success in the pro-field that they emerged to from high school and club, and then finally collegiate athletics, or we want to pour all the energy into our child having every last fine motor skill developed in tennis at as early an age as possible, or in golf so that they can achieve that success that society tends to measure as a true metric of success, success upon the field of battle, upon the sporting field, which I think is natural because it's part of Maslow's hierarchy, right? Like, are you hard to kill? Can you survive? Can you beat others when it really counts?
But ultimately, I think a greater calling, a greater purpose, especially for a youngster, and we need so much more of this in this day and age is the ability to be able to care for this planet and to love others. For me, there was a time when I just–like my highest calling would have been, “Oh my gosh, if River and Terran could be like professional tennis players and rise in the ranks here locally for USAT then go on and play at Stanford, and then go and enter into Wimbledon and the Grand Slams,” I'm like, “That would just be amazing.” And now what's more amazing and more goose-bumpy for me is thinking about, “Gosh, what if River and Terran were traveling the world in sandals supplying water to people in Africa spreading a message of love, and sacrifice, and salvation, and fulfillment to so many people who are thirsty and hungry for so much that goes far beyond just kicking a leather ball around.”
The sports, don't get me wrong, those are short-term pleasures, but once we get attached to those, once we begin to become attached to those as the ultimate sources of fulfillment or pleasure or meaning, I think it's much more dangerous than raising a child to use whatever skill they've been given in life to just love the hell out of people, to love others and to be there for others and to change as many lives as they can if they're successful at sports or fitnessing in the process, great. But I think the foundation should be that the highest calling, the most noble calling is to love other people. And if you're good at sports, great, but you don't have to be the fittest or the best or win the tournaments to actually make a very, very big difference in this world.
Katie: I mean, I completely agree. I think for us, my husband and me, it's like we want to raise these lifelong athletes, or not even athletes, but like kids who are comfortable or humans who are comfortable in their own bodies, who trust their bodies, who can use their bodies to move in the world and be healthy and to be in nature, and have a positive relationship with themselves, which leads to being able to be more engaged in the world and have positive relationships with the world outside. Yeah. For us, the competition is I think that we're far more–we want our kids to be engaged, kind, curious, and healthy.
And I think nature and sports are part of that, but if the focus becomes–and so many kids these days are–I heard someone, a friend of mine told me that her son, who's I think 12, doesn't consider himself an athlete because he's not on the traveling soccer team. So, he plays soccer, he plays on a normal team, but because he's not on the most competitive team, he doesn't think he's an athlete. And I found that so sad because–right? So, these kids are disconnecting from–they don't have that sense of themselves as athletes, as kids who are physically capable and athletic and sporty.
I grew up in New Jersey in the '80s and I played three different sports. I was good at some and sort of mediocre at others, but I always thought of myself as an athlete. There wasn't sort of a benchmark that I had to meet in order to be an athlete. I played sports, I was athletic, and it was such a big part of my self-concept and how I saw myself in the world, and it makes me so sad that we've raised the bar so high for our kids, that they are not thinking of themselves in that way, what's being lost with that.
Ben: We don't live in Sparta. You do not have to be like a Grecian warrior to consider–if you have a body, you're an athlete. If you have a mind, you're a mental athlete. If you have a spirit, you're a spiritual athlete. I mean, there's so much more that goes beyond.
Katie: Yeah. Our culture has so deviated from that in terms of–your kids have to play one sport all year round. And I've written stories for Outside about how that is not good for your families, and it's not good for the kids in terms of burnout and physical injury and change sports with the seasons, stay nimble, just to take it back to that idea that we talked about earlier. I think we're becoming more rigid certainly with what our definition of success and sports and athletics.
Ben: Yeah, yeah. Well, I know you have just a ton of wonderful articles. If folks wanted to kind of like add Katie's Outside feed to your feed reader or follow a bit more of her column, “Raising Rippers” there, I will link to it on the Outside online website in the shownotes at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/katie, K-A-T-I-E. I'll also link to Katie's book Running Home, which is a memoir of a lot of what she's done, just a story of parenting and adventure and how running can change your life. It's a relatively new read. It's come out last year, so that one's called, “Running Home,” and I'll link to that. You can get it wherever fine, fine books are sold, also at BenGreenfieldFitness.com/katie.
And Katie, thanks so much. I think this is a message a lot of people need to hear, especially parents or parents to be, and I really just love your approach to all of this.
Katie: Well, thanks, Ben. It's been great. And yeah, I would just say get outside, keep moving, and don't take things–we don't have to be so serious about everything. If it feels good, do it.
Ben: Word. Alright. Well, thanks so much for sharing this conversation with me. And to all of you listening in, go out, equip a child in your life to be outdoors, to get exposed to healthy physical activity, to not just doing but also being, and share this podcast if you can with other parents you know or teachers or folks who are spending time with kids because we can make a real difference in the lives of kids and just change the way that the next generation perceives fitness, competition, and we can really, really equip them with a healthy perspective on all that. So, thank you for taking the time to listen in. Katie, thanks so much for coming on the show.
Katie: Thanks, Ben. It was great.
Ben: Alright, folks, I'm Ben Greenfield and Katie Arnold signing out from BenGreenfieldFitness.com. Have an amazing week.
Well, thanks for listening to today's show. You can grab all the shownotes, the resources, pretty much everything that I mentioned, over at BenGreenfieldFitness.com, along with plenty of other goodies from me, including the highly helpful “Ben Recommends” page, which is a list of pretty much everything that I've ever recommended for hormone, sleep, digestion, fat loss, performance, and plenty more. Please, also know that all the links, all the promo codes that I mentioned during this and every episode, helped to make this podcast happen and to generate income that enables me to keep bringing you this content every single week. So, when you listen in, be sure to use the links in the shownotes, use the promo codes that they generate because that helps to float this thing and keep it coming to you each and every week.
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…
Resources from this episode:
– Katie's Raising Rippers column on Outside Magazine
– Katie's book Running Home
–Kion Aminos: Building blocks for muscle recovery, reduced cravings, better cognition, immunity, and more. Get 10% off your order of Kion Aminos, and everything at the Kion site when you use discount code: BEN10
–JOOVV: After using the Joovv for close to 2 years, it's the only light therapy device I'd ever recommend. Give it a try: you won't be disappointed. Order using my link and receive my brand new book, Boundless absolutely free!
–Water and Wellness: The best solution for clean and safe drinking water. Water and Wellness also offers an amazing line of essential water additives such as Quinton Marine plasma which contain over 78 trace minerals and elements from the ocean to help restore your biological-terrain. Get 15% off your order when you use discount code: GREENFIELD
–Thrive Market: Organic brands you love, for less. Your favorite organic food and products. Fast and free shipping to your doorstep. Receive a gift card up to $20 when you begin a new membership using my link.