The Running Coach: It’s The Holidays! Strategies For Staying Fit
Posted Dec 19 2012 6:53am
Year round, finding time to do all the training you want can be tough. Finding that time at the holidays can be even tougher. Parties, kids’ plays, shopping—it all grabs for our precious hours. So what’s a runner to do?
I say—do what you can do. Really, when you look at the busiest season, it amounts to not much more than a couple of weeks. If fitting in your training the way you would like to adds to the stress level, remove that source of stress—to an extent.
I’m not suggesting you sit on your rear for the last few weeks of December. But I am suggesting that this is a time to let your workouts slide a bit if you really need it. You won’t get many other chances and the timing couldn’t be better—your next important races are probably quite a ways off.
So here’s what you need to do to hold onto some semblance of fitness during the holidays:
Try to run at least three times/week for at least three miles. Not much at all, but it will keep the running muscles firing.
Try to maintain some strength training at least twice each week. You don’t want to lose hard-earned muscle tone and a couple of easy sessions each week will help you maintain what you’ve gained.
Potentially throw in a yoga session each week. I suggest this because yoga not only aids flexibility, but also helps keep stress levels lower.
Plan to get back on track come January 1.
That’s it. Pretty straightforward and pretty easy. Of course, doing more is fine, too, if you have time and room for it in your schedule. But if you’re feeling backed into a corner this time of year, know that you’ll be just fine come January with doing the bare minimum. In fact, the rest will probably do you good!
What are your strategies for staying fit and active during the holidays? Will you get back on track after New Years? What are your holiday goals?
(Amanda Loudin is a runner, coach, and freelance writer with 15 years experience in endurance events. As a runner, she’s in perpetual training mode, usually with a slate of about eight races per year on her plate. As a coach, she has helped runners achieve their goals in every distance from 5k to the marathon. She shares her passion for the sport on her blog, MissZippy1 , and daily on Twitter at @ misszippy1 .)