Christmas presents to buy and wrap, the family to feed, the house to clean, the in-laws to entertain...Are you finding the Christmas period to much and finding that your usual running time has disappeared?! Well don't let your training dip over the christmas period, with some advanced planning and organisation, your normal runs do not have to be abandoned and suffer this Christmas!
Below are 5 top tips for maintaining your fitness over the Christmas period:
1. Plan your days - If you know you have key events in the day to complete (i.e. the family dinner to start or the weekly trip to the supermarket to complete), plan those in and work out what time you have between these, by clearly identifying a spare hour or two at the start of the day, you can also plan in that vital run or trip to the gym!
2. Prepare the night before - Having all your running kit laid out the night before means you can just jump straight out of bed and put your clothes and trainers on and your out of the door, making the most of your precious time and reducing the likelihood that someone will stop you while you are getting ready with another job for you to do
3. Use the time to catch up with friends as well - Christmas is a time for catching up with long lost friends, family and neighbours. Why not arrange with them to go for a run at the same time!? Running with someone else passes the time and the miles much quicker than counting the miles by yourself and it provides the perfect backdrop for a quick gossip away from prying ears!
4. Make the most of your running time - Rather than going for your normal long 2 hour run, if you are struggling for time, you can keep the training intensity high but lower the training volume. Instead plan in a hill session or an interval session. Try 5 x 2 minute hill loops with your recovery being the jog back down. Or an interval session of 8 x 2 minute efforts on the flat with a 3 minute recovery between each rep.
5. Make it a family affair - Involve the whole family. Whether it is your husband or wife on the bike, the kids on their rollerblades or the grandparents sitting on the park bench feeding the ducks while you do laps of the common, get the whole family out and about this Christmas with you. Make sure you all wrap up warm and get out and enjoy the fresh air. This will give you all a mental lift and you can all enjoy the warm mince pies and mulled wine when you get back in front of the fire!
The Christmas period can be a stressful time, but remember one of the best ways of relieving this stress is by running! Getting out of the house with your trainers and your ipod could provide that 'you time' that one needs during one of the busiest times of the year. If you have any tips on making sure you still fit your weekly running mileage in around the festive time then post your comment and feedback back to us at Northern Running Guide in the boxes below.