With the holiday season here, you may be feeling a little anxious about your running schedule and performance. You have parties to attend, shopping to do, and with baked goods around what feels like every corner, sticking to a healthy lifestyle can feel next to impossible.
Fortunately, with the right game plan, it is possible to get through the festive season with your fitness intact. Here are four ways that you can stay on top of your game.
Schedule Your Runs Early
The first smart tip to follow is to schedule your runs for as early in the day as possible. If you can, get up before work and get them done. As your day gets busier and busier, something may creep up that demands your attention. That could mean your after-work run gets cancelled.
If your run is scheduled first thing in the morning, all that is standing in your way will be yourself and that snooze button. Plus, a run first thing in the day is a great way to jump-start your metabolism and boost your energy for the day ahead.
Don’t Be Afraid To Mix Up Your Training Schedule
Next, don’t be afraid to mix up your training schedule as need be. Perhaps you had a long run scheduled that would normally take 90 minutes. But, you have somewhere to be just under an hour.
Should you skip your run entirely, feeling defeated in the process? Definitely not. This is the perfect opportunity to do some interval or tempo training, both of which will require a faster pace and will shorten the total time you spend doing the workout.
While it may not be a long run, you’ll still be improving your fitness and getting that training in.
Remember Something Is Better Than Nothing
It’s also important to remember that some running is always better than no running. So you can’t do the 30 minute run you wanted. Even a 15 minute brisk jog over your lunch break is better than sitting through your lunch hour, possibly pouting because you won’t get to run that day.
Be creative. If you know your scheduled run will be cancelled, try and find 15-20 minutes to squeeze in a brisk jog throughout the day. You’ll always be better off because of it.
Realise The Benefits Of Rest
Finally, if despite your best efforts, your run just isn’t going to happen, try not to get too frustrated. Remember that there are many benefits to rest as well. An extra day of rest will help replenish your muscle glycogen levels, ensuring that during your next run, you’ll have a little extra energy in the tank. That could then translate to superior performance and faster results.
Likewise, an extra day of rest here or there can also help keep you mentally fresh and hungry to keep training. This is important to prevent burnout. By focusing on these benefits rather than dwelling on the fact you aren’t running and believing your fitness is going down the tubes (which it won’t with one missed run anyway!), you’ll stay in a more positive frame of mind.
So don’t let the holiday season detour you from your running goals. Be flexible, be creative, and stay motivated. If you do, there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy the festivities all while staying true to your running roots.