The Pre Christmas Social Survival Guide
Finding the right balance between the pre Christmas mayhem and your training can be tough. As another email drops into your inbox inviting you to another Christmas bash I can almost hear you thinking ‘yes I’m free that night – although I was meant to be doing that recovery run and then there’s my planned long run the morning after’ – your conscience will already be starting the agony process! The guilt of missing a planned run versus the guilt of letting family, friends or work colleagues down. Surely all of this running means you are allowed to indulge from time to time without feeling guilty!
Let’s be honest, December is not an easy month to be a runner if you live in the real world so here are few tips for surviving the busiest month of the year and still feeling like you are a runner!
– Have a routine but also accept you have no routine! By this we mean, be prepared to be flexible.
– Identify the most important elements of your training that you wish to achieve each week and ‘ring-fence’ them. This may mean doing runs on unexpected days. There is no law saying your faster session must be on a Tuesday and long run on a Sunday. Move the key elements to days that suit you.
– If you can only run twice in a week then we suggest targeting a threshold session and your longer run.
– Don’t forget the extras…stretching, core and x training. However, these don’t need to take long when busy. Maybe drop the weekly Pilates class or body conditioning circuit if it’s difficult to attend but retain some of the key elements from each workout in your own 10 min snap shop at home a few times a week. Research tells us that a few short workouts are better than one longer session and can still improve posture and prevent injury. Something is always better than nothing.
– Calories, calories and more calories! Yes the festive season is a minefield for those who want to eat healthily and stay in shape. There will be bad days or moments where mince pies, dinners and Christmas cake seem impossible to refuse. Enjoy yourself as one of the real benefits of being a runner is that we know we can and will burn it off. However, we need to retain a balance here guys. Don’t over indulge just because you CAN, choose healthy options whenever possible then you will enjoy the treats even more.
– No excuses! Although we have acknowledged that December is busy don’t use this hectic month as an excuse to slack off! Think about clever uses of time. Most find getting up a bit earlier and heading out of the front door into the early morning chill, a refreshing, invigorating way to begin the day. Your run is then completed and you don’t spend the rest of the day putting a planned run further back or feeling guilty. You are then free to enjoy that late night shopping. Oh and scientifically speaking, running early in the morning pre breakfast is a great way to work with stored fats, raising your metabolism and therefore burning more calories whilst at rest all day. Bonus! Make sure you fuel up quickly after your run with a good breakfast though!
So there you have it, you CAN survive December and if you follow these tips it is a great month to be a runner! ‘Tis the season to be….Healthy?