You’ve just gotten into the swing of things and your carefully considered running routine is about to be upset by school breaks, holidays and travel plans. Don’t worry though this happens to everyone! And no matter how well established your routine is, this time of year proves difficult for all.
So here are tips for the festive season that you can use for either staying active or if you have an event you are training for. Then you can go and enjoy family time and Christmas pies and stress less.
1. Set times for your training
If you have a certain time of day or days that you run then try to stick to that as much as you can. Keeping some sort of schedule will help you stay accountable to yourself and prevent indecision and procrastination.
I’m a big fan of morning exercise, even over the holidays. Mainly because I know that I’ll be enjoying a beverage come evening and it can be far too hot to run in the afternoon!
2. Bring your home routine with you
While I encourage a certain element of flexibility and relaxation while on holiday, if you do have an event you are training for then keeping to a routine is going to help you reach your end goal.
Getting up at the same time and having a similar breakfast routine are examples of things you can do no matter where you are. These routines will signal to your mind and body that a run is coming and make it easier to stick to your training plan.
Even if you don’t have an event around the corner then keeping a routine will help you feel less out of whack.
3. Cross training is your best friend
Cross training has always been your friend. But over the holidays it comes into its own!
While you may not have access to a gym or want to take lots of equipment away with you, taking a few stretchy bands will allow you to do some simple body weight exercises anywhere. This helps you keep strong and injury free for when your usual training resumes.
Cross training also extends to other activities such as swimming, cycling and walking. So embrace those holiday activities! You get to spend time with your family with everyone being active and healthy.
4. Get some sleep!
It can be tempting to stay up late. But as with tip #2 too much disruption to your normal routine will only make you feel lethargic and unmotivated.
The odd late night is ok of course! But getting enough sleep is not just about recovering from your run or because you are getting up early to do one. It helps with stress (in-laws anyone?) and gives you the energy to do activities with your family and train.
5. What's your why?
Relating your behaviour and decisions back to your goal can help you stay on track with your running over summer. Event and performance based goals are unfortunately going to mean a stricter adherence to your programme. General fitness goals allow for a little more leeway.
Understanding your goals and the importance you place on them will help guide you through the summer.
6. It’s ok to give yourself a break!
This last tip is more of a summary. Once you know your goals and how they fit into your life you’ll be able to come up with a plan for your summer running.
Bear in mind that this time doesn’t necessarily feel like much of a break for parents!
Organising holidays is a paid job for a reason. So it is ok to take a break and focus on rest and relaxing so that you are ready to go once your holiday is over.
Just keep in mind that you won’t be starting back at the point you left off from before the holiday. Ease back into running on your return for a few weeks. The focus is not that you lost fitness, it is that you gave your body a chance to rest so you can run further, faster and stronger in 2024!
Sierra is a TriNZ accredited coach and a top age group triathlon athlete.
For more information or to contact Sierra on:
021 2589 445