Even though the holidays are coming, running and training do not have to stop.
For many of us, the holiday season starts with a bang. First Halloween creeps up, then before you know it, Thanksgiving is here, followed by December--the month of holidays, and soon, New Year’s Eve rolls around. Typically the holiday months pass full of family visits, friend gatherings, work events, and late nights. Unfortunately, all of these things can make it challenging to balance training.
With the disruption of regular schedules combined with rich foods and alcohol, it’s common for many runners and athletes to lose momentum during this time. Luckily, with the right mindset and some tips, you can navigate the holiday season while still moving your body.
5 Essential Holiday Training Tips
1. Plan Ahead
As mentioned above, the disruption of regular schedules is a momentum killer. To help combat this, planning ahead during November and December will become a lifesaver. Take a look at the week’s schedule and map out when a good time to train is. You might have to run earlier in the morning or squeeze it in at lunch. On top of that, look for virtual events to join. Planning to take part in an online Turkey Run is great for motivation.
2. Train Socially
Whether you are visiting family, having people stay at your home, or away for work, stay active by getting other people involved. The social aspect of training can be very vital during this time of year. Team up with another runner, get your cousin to go break out their sports gear, take a walk to explore after a big meal. Whatever it is, move with the people around you--safely in the face of Covid, of course--and have fun.
3. Focus On Maintenance
In stressful, busy times like the holidays, instead of focusing on improvement, focus on maintenance. Keeping your fitness baseline by staying active for 20 to 30 minutes a few times a week instead of pushing for hour-long sessions every day will help reduce pressure. Keeping healthy and allowing yourself time to enjoy the holidays will feel more manageable than being hard on yourself for not having the time or energy to train at full speed.
A continuation of the above tip, to help balance, try to go with the flow and adapt workouts as much as possible. During those 20 to 30-minute training sessions, instead of running at your normal pace, opt for sprints or higher speeds. Changing pace can prove impactful even during shorter periods of time.
5. Workout Inside
Although the ideal situation is to stick to your normal running or training areas, in time of need, get a workout in using an app or YouTube. A yoga video, at-home cardio, stretching, even dancing is better than nothing. Get creative and most of all, remember the holidays are a time of joy--so put joy into staying active.
At the end of the day, the one thing that will help you stay active during the holidays is to remember that regular training sessions are going to be impacted. Avoid the momentum meltdown by remaining aware of time and commitment. Put some effort in and just keep going.