A few months ago I got in the mood to run my first marathon and since I’m always looking for an excuse to head to Disney World, I decided the Walt Disney World Marathon was the obvious choice (though, in full disclosure, there are other marathons out there). Since then, I’ve been logging some training miles out on the open road and researching as much as I can about training plans, nutrition suggestions, WDW Marathon reviews, etc. Due to its very nature, marathon training can be time consuming, with its commitments quickly dominating over life’s other important responsibilities (family, work, etc.). However, while on a recent long run, I realized that this shouldn’t be the case, especially when it came to family.
Reflecting on my experiences thus far, I began to realize just how supportive my family has been throughout my training. In fact, it hit me that my family is an active part of my marathon training and experience, from making sure I get up for those early morning runs to helping me make time for some of the longer runs. It will be their support and encouragement that will get me to the starting line and it will be their cheering voices that will greet me at the finish line. Thus, I began to think about ways that my family and I could prepare for my upcoming WDW marathon together, as a team. From physically training together to highlighting the many life lessons one can extrapolate from marathon training, there are numerous ways that you and your family can accomplish the challenge together.
Join me as I highlight 26.2 of the ways I plan to include my family as I prepare to go the distance. Not only will these items hopefully ease the burden of training and preparations but doing the items on this list will help to keep marathon training and goals in check. It is my belief that each of these will help take an already incredible event and allow it to be used to bring family closer together, while having fun at the same time. Further, as I’m preparing for a RunDisney event, it is my hope that these items will pay homage to the importance and value that Walt Disney placed on family. So, without further ado…
- Learn more and talk about the importance of a healthy diet
- Research and try cooking new, healthy meals to help maintain that healthy diet
- Learn more and talk about the importance of an active lifestyle
- Plan family pasta party nights before those long runs!
- Go to the track together for some of your workouts – you can all run around the track together at your own pace
- Cross-train together by doing outdoor activities such as hiking, bike riding, swimming, etc.
- Want to incorporate some speed workouts into your training? Chase your kids or have them chase you for 20 minutes!
- Stretch together and practice your favorite yoga poses
- Get some extra training in by pushing your little ones in the stroller on your long runs
- Spend your rest and recovery days enjoying quality time together
- Watch the old Goofy sports cartoons to learn all about the proper sport techniques (such as the 1942 classic, “The Olympic Champ”)
- Watch Disney sports-inspired/athletic movies (e.g., McFarland USA, The Mighty Ducks, Hercules, Air Bud)
- Create inspiring posters for race day
- Create a team uniform, preferably including your favorite Disney characters
- Register your kids for one of the runDisney kids races
- Register your significant other for a race (preferably with their permission)
- Use your experience as a teaching moment to talk about the importance of identifying and sticking with goals
- Developing a family mantra that you can all use to get you through not only the hard training and race, but also future challenges, difficult times, etc.
- Take the time to build a sense of family teamwork and find out what motivates each other
- Learn about running safety, especially when running along the roadside or in the dark
- Practice the importance of helping others by cheering for those you don’t know during race day
- Think about how you’re going to celebrate post run – maybe it’ll be a Dole Whip, a Mickey Bar, or the whole Kitchen Sink!
- Take the time to talk about how victory and accomplishment mean more than just being #1
- Have your family learn about and remember the pre-race information so that you can be free to concentrate on the challenge ahead of you
- Plan your upcoming Disney vacation!
- Experience the race day together – from the dreaded start to the earned ending
And, last but not least… #26.2. In everything, have fun!
Do you have any suggestions? Let us know in the comments below!
Photos courtesy of RunDisney and the The Walt Disney Co.