Dear Carol, Thank you,
I used to run and I know the enormous advantages of a balanced low fat diet
coupled with a solid running program. Although the solution is crystal
clear. The implementation is not.
First of all, my wife and I take full responsibility for our daughters
health. We have allowed poor eating habits coupled with inactivity. My wife
eats right for the most part and looks great at 41 years of age. I am 44
years old, 6 feet tall and about 50 pounds over weight (246 pounds). Mainly
in the stomach.
My daughter is 13 years old and weighs 208 pounds and she is an absolute
For some time now, but more so in the last month, we have been buying the
right types of food. My problem and the reason for this e-mail is that I
would like my daughter to start a running program because I know it is one
of the best, if not the best, ways to shed the pounds (coupled with a
However, she claims that she hates running because of her
experiences in her previous gym classes. I believe it's because it took more
effort than she was used to.
We live in northern Wisconsin and before long it will start to get cold so I
don't know if I could keep her running even if I could get her running in
the first place.
I'd love to see your 13 year old daughter start a running program. We can plan one that will probably be very different from the kind she had in gym class.
First of all, you or your wife would need to run with her. You'd start out with short distances, combining some easy running and walking...run 3 minutes, walk 1 minute. something like that. Maybe go for a 1/4 to 1/2 mile in total to start. I think that would be doable. You'd want to build in some stretching.
She could start our Log-a-Mile Program and track her mileage.
Sometimes, running in gym classes can be competitive, faster running, and perhaps it involved longer distances than your daughter was ready for.
You'd want to run with your daughter slowly enough at first so that you could carry on a conversation while you ran. You can build speed and mileage gradually over time.
Here are some articles on the sites that will help..go to the column section and look for my story, Running with Josie. This gives 10 tips to parents to make their kids love running.
I also have been putting some nutrition articles up on eating following the food pyramid, which is subltly different than a balanced diet.
Find somewhere to run with your daughter where she feels comfortable. Maybe in your neighborhood, or in a park on a trail.
Don't stop running in the winter. It can be more fun in the winter. It makes you feel tough to go out on a day when others are snuggled inside. You can actually be warmer outside running, with proper layers of clothing than staying inside.
Good luck. Please let me know if you have any success.
AND have your daughter write to me if she wants.
Run for a lifetime,
Another note from Rick:
Thank you so very much for your timely response. I will keep in touch and I will encourage my daughter to write you as well. She will be gone next week on a trip with our church but when she gets back we'll do our best to start an agreeable / doable program. I would in fact love to run with her.
Photo of Matthew Linde, RW, Carol Goodrow, KR, and Parker Morse, RW at Runner's World, Emmaus, PA, July 2000, by Melanie Strong, RW.
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