Running into the New Year: Crafting a Christmas training plan
Balancing holiday celebrations with training requires flexibility and smart planning for runners. Here are strategies to weave training into the festive period:
Set realistic goals: Modify training expectations to fit the season. Adjust workout frequency or intensity based on time constraints and prioritise key sessions that align with your long-term goals.
Adapt workout schedule: Be flexible with training days. Adjust the schedule to accommodate family gatherings or holiday events. Early morning runs or lunchtime workouts might be more feasible during busy evenings and will allow you quality time with your loved ones.
Shorten workouts and maintain consistency: Opt for shorter but consistent runs or workouts instead of skipping them entirely. Even a quick 20-30 minute run can maintain fitness levels and provide mental rejuvenation during hectic times.
Include family and friends: Combine training with family time. Why not plan group activities like holiday-themed runs or walks, encouraging loved ones to participate and share the festive spirit while staying active.
Embrace high-intensity workouts: Incorporate HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) sessions. Short, intense workouts can maximise calorie burn and improve endurance in a shorter time frame.
Utilise active rest days: Turn rest days into active recovery. Engage in light activities like yoga, stretching, or gentle runs to maintain movement without taxing the body.
Stay flexible with locations: Embrace new running routes or opt for home workouts. Utilise local parks or scenic trails when visiting family or friends. Remember to have a means to contact someone on your person, just in case you do lose your way, and let people know where you are heading if running a new route!
Plan ahead: Schedule workouts in advance. Block out time in your calendar for training sessions, treating them as non-negotiable appointments to ensure commitment.
Mindful nutrition: Be mindful of nutrition during celebrations, it’s important to not restrict yourself but if you’re training for an event, you’ll need to try and stay on track. Enjoy festive treats in moderation while ensuring the majority of meals align with your training needs to maintain your energy levels and avoid sugar crashes.
Prioritise recovery: Quality sleep and recovery are key. Ensure adequate rest to support training adaptations, reduce stress, and keep the immune system strong during the busy season.
By integrating these strategies, you can strike a balance between festive fun and maintaining a fitness routine, allowing you to enjoy the festivities while staying on track with your training goals.