With the festive period fast approaching Saucony Hurricane Charlene Thomas explains a little bit about how we can all make sure we get our training in and make the most of the time spent with family.
I actually enjoy the Christmas period and it's always nice to change up the scenery and train at a different venue or try new running routes when visiting family. Embrace the explorer in you. As an athlete, keen not to miss a single track session, I've spent many Christmas weeks travelling the breadth of Yorkshire to find athletics tracks open during the Christmas period, or with a low enough fence for me to climb over and break into. Finding a gym open can make things a bit more challenging, and if you really can't move your gym session to a different day, there's always baked bean tins in the cupboard to use as weights for 'running arms' or a small child to do squats with. It's fun to be creative with training. The most challenging part about training over the Christmas period, for me, is that you would rather be spending as much time as possible playing board games, watching Christmas films and eating chocolate with loved ones. It makes it a lot easier if they can be involved; we have the 'Snelly Christmas Day Run' as a tradition, where my dad will run as hard as he can for 20 minutes and I'll then add on at the end. He loves it and can justify eating two Chocolate Oranges. Make training as fun as you can over the Christmas period and don't get too stressed if you have to move your schedule around or run road reps instead of a track session. Speak to your coach if you have one about a revised schedule over the Christmas period; if you have a long travel day, visiting family, switch your sessions to accommodate this. Rest and recovery is just as important as the training so take advantage of the down time and, if you work full or part time, a break from work over the Christmas period. Catch up on some well-earned sleep and rest. I love training over the Christmas period and Christmas day run, sporting my Santa hat and wishing passers by a 'Merry Christmas'. Enjoy yours.
Photos by Paul Craig