The clock is ticking folks, and we are steadily getting closer to Christmas and the New Year. This season is filled with fun activities and holiday parties. Cookies, cake, candy, and family cooking are lurking around the corner to invade on the body’s fitness. Time is also a victim of the holidays. Holiday parties and Christmas shopping fill the final days leading up to Christmas and New Years. Because of these things, it will be difficult to get a run in and to stay in decent running shape.
The answer is to keep running through the holidays with no excuses. The following tips can help to make it easier to squeeze your run in.
Early morning runs: Running first thing in the morning allows a person to check it of the list right away. No one feels like running after a long day of shopping or attending a party. Get up a half an hour earlier and force yourself out the door. Who knows you may become an early morning runner for life. Early morning runs free your day from the worry of getting the run in later.
Specific Training method: Utilize this time of the year to focus on specific endurance training. Run less mileage and work on more specific training such as speed work, hill work, and sprints. This type of training requires fewer miles to perform, which is less time invested. Run three days a week instead of the usual five to seven days using quality runs instead of quantity. Usually this period is in between marathons and should be used as a recovery time. Running fewer miles will give the body a rest and promote recovery.
Cross Training: If your schedule works better by performing various forms of cross training than by all means go do it. Cross training activities include the stationary bike (spin class), treadmill, and weight lifting. Adding diversity in your workouts promotes growth in the body; constantly running every day around the year will eventually slow down your success rate in races. Walking is a great form of cross training. If the holiday weeks do not allow for any scheduled exercise then try walking a little faster and longer during shopping at the mall.
Schedule: Be sure to look at your holiday calendar a couple of weeks before. Place your running times in the calendar first then fill in the spaces with the other activities. Treat the run as the most important part of the calendar. The holidays are much more enjoyable knowing that you are in control of your weight and training. More time without exercise creates a sluggish person.
The RRCW team wants to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, happy holiday, and a great new year! Get out there and run, and be safe while enjoying your activities.
“Some people regard discipline as a chore. For me, it is a kind of order that sets me free to fly.”———————-Julie Andrews
John K Carlson V.P.