OK, so the title of this is pretty obvious 🙂
One of the things that I love about the holidays is the food. I’ll admit that I’ve had some issues in my past with “portion control” which caused a significant weight gain for me, but once I discovered the joy in running, the holidays are probably one of my favorite times of year to run.
This isn’t me permitting you to overeat, this is more of a guide to help with the bloat that gets associated with food during the holidays.
- Plan out a day or two that you will absolutely dedicate to getting out for a run. We travel a lot for the holidays since our families live quite a ways away. We have to pack according to the locale where we’ll be celebrating (dress clothes compared to sweats). One thing that I always do is plan to take at least (depending on the number of days we’ll be away) two running outfits in a separate bag. I put them all in a separate bag, primarily because I don’t want my actual clothes to smell, but because I want that bag to be a reminder that my running clothes are in there. If I see the bag with all of my other items before I go to bed, I’ll be more likely to get up in the morning to go.
- Make your runs a social thing. Get others involved. Know that you’re going to a party that evening, get some friends that will also be going to get your “pre-party calorie burn” on. It doesn’t need to be a hard effort, but one where you can all talk about what you plan on for the evening.
- Make running during the holidays a tradition. My hometown is small and doesn’t have a lot of people in it that “run for fun”. That’s why when we go back, I have a standing “date” with one of my oldest friends and her husband to go out and pound the pavement. I bet it’s been 7 years since we’ve missed one. Rain, snow, -20 temps…it doesn’t matter. We never miss one and don’t plan to ever.
- Explore new areas. Getting stuck in a rut sucks. Why not make your travels an opportunity to explore different areas of the town in which you might be traveling to. Find a park that you’ve always wanted to go to. Hop on some trails. Try an “every street challenge”…look it up on Strava…Find a way to avoid running the same route.
- Just have fun. The holidays are a time of celebration for the gift of life that we’ve been given. The end of the year is a great way to reflect on the year that you’ve had and the year that’s on the horizon!
More than anything, the holidays are a great way to spend time with friends and family. Don’t let the fitness that you’ve built over the past 12 months go to waste. Eat, drink, be merry…and don’t forget to watch out for Santa crossing the road 🙂