6 Ways to Keep Your Running on Track This Christmas
Written By: SportsShoes
It's the most wonderful time of the year, but the festive period can be both the best and the worst time to run. Family commitments, office parties, too many mince pies and copious amounts of alcohol can all too easily scupper your good intentions and derail your training. Here's how to keep on top of your running over the season's festivities.
1. Go Early
If you're late back for Christmas dinner, not around to help prep or you're interrupting family time to run, you're probably going to be the least popular person at the dinner table. Head out as early as you can both on Christmas Day and the days beforehand, and make sure to get your run in before other commitments get in the way and with minimal disruption to family plans. Not only will you start the day filled with feel-good endorphins, but you can also enjoy a guilt-free Christmas dinner in the knowledge you've earned it.
2. Do a Christmas Park Run
Park Run is getting bigger and bigger and there are now loads of Christmas and New Year's Day runs across the country. It's a great way to get in a fast 5K in a festive, fun atmosphere before digging in to Christmas dinner - and even better, you can take the kids along too. What's more, you'll be done and dusted by mid-morning and in good time for the day's festivities ahead. And if you can't get out on Christmas Day, there's almost always a Boxing Day 10K to be found nearby.
3. Run With A Friend
Stress from last minute work commitments, Christmas shopping and other festive preparations can leave you feeling exhausted and stressed - and the last thing you can feel like doing is going for a run. Turn your run into a social occasion by arranging to run with a friend and have a catch up. By socialising your training you're likely to enjoy it more, stay motivated and you also have the factor of accountability so you're more likely to stick to it - it looks bad to cancel on a friend at Christmas!
4. Increase Intensity
If you're time squeezed and you've only a tiny window to fit your training into, then pre-plan and switch up your training sessions to get the most out of enforced shorter runs. Adjust intensity so that your shorter interval and tempo sessions happen on the days you know you're going to be struggling for time. Round the block intervals are a great way of staying close to home and saving time, while getting in a really worthwhile workout.
5. Start a New Tradition
We all know that when you've got kids it can be virtually impossible to get out of the house on Christmas morning. Christmas is family time, so why not start a new tradition and take the family running with you? Bring the dog, let the kids bring the bikes and turn your Christmas run into a fun family outing - a traditional Christmas family walk with a runner's twist.
6. Enjoy Some Solitude and Blitz Stress
Study after study indicates that the most wonderful time of the year is also one of the most stressful. Many runners say that their Christmas morning run is their favourite of the year, helping them to take time out to de-stress and set them up for the festivities ahead.
Deserted streets, crisp morning air, twinkling Christmas lights and happy "Merry Christmas" greetings from the odd passer-by make for a stress-free atmospheric run - there are few better conditions for lacing up your running shoes and pounding the pavements. Even better, hit the trails to get the proven stress-blitzing, mood boosting benefits of green exercise - just make sure you're home in good time for dinner! Merry Christmas!