Use these handy tips and workouts to keep your legs ticking over this December, because going on holiday doesn’t mean you have to stop training or lose your fitness. – BY RAY ORCHISON, REGISTERED COACH
Holidays are a great time to rest, relax and recover from the year’s work and stress, but they’re unfortunately also a great time to get unfit! That’s because we end up consuming copious amounts of food, unhealthy snacks and far too many drinks, while not running as often, but the solution is simple: Keep an element of training in your holiday.
Also, for those planning a marathon or ultra early in the year, the holiday period is a crucial part of your training, and having a few extra hours in your day is great for getting some solid training done. Personally, I find it motivating getting up early on my holiday to get my training done in new surroundings, before the rest of the family wakes up, and I can then devote the rest of the day to them.
Surviving the holidays
Getting through the holidays without losing all that hard-earned fitness and keeping the bathroom scale from groaning is not as hard as it sounds:
1. Make it count: Where time is an issue and your training session has to be short, get the most bang for your buck by keeping the intensity up. Just because it’s a shorter session doesn’t mean you can’t get a lot out of it.
2. Be disciplined in your binges: No need to suffer a case of FOMO because you can’t eat biscuits, chocolates or your Gran’s shortbread… Allow yourself some treats, but that doesn’t mean eat everything!
3. Eat less, enjoy more: We tend to go overboard when it comes to the amount of food prepared over the Festive season, but instead of eating until you pop, dish up smaller amounts. You still get to try everything, and you will enjoy it far more than if you’re so full you feel sick for hours afterwards.
4. Allow yourself time to de-stress: This is probably the most important aspect of a holiday, so take time out, allow the cortisol levels in your body to return to normal, and give yourself the chance to dream about the exciting year ahead.
There’s nothing worse than trying to get back into your training when it feels like everything you’ve worked so hard to achieve has disappeared, so you ideally want to start the new year having maintained a decent level of fitness, and training on just three to four days per week during your holiday should be more than sufficient to keep things ticking over.