The Holidays can make it difficult to stay on track with your running. There is a strong temptation to let it go and wait until a vague sometime in the new year to start exercising again. And let’s face it with everything going on from family visits to shopping, to end of year parties it is easy to find an excuse. All those extra cookies and late nights are also a good reason to keep a focus on your health and fitness though, so here are a few suggestions on how to stay motivated and have fun running during the holidays.
It is Ok to be Flexible
Yes you have a training plan and schedule, but that doesn’t mean you can’t adjust it. This is a busy time of year, so you need to work with yourself. The trick is to allow for adjustments, or a change of plans rather than just throwing up your hands and saying it isn’t going to work. If it is a busy day and you don’t have time for your scheduled long run, take a shorter one. Or if you have to get out early to finish up some business fit in a little cross training in the evening. Like they say a short run is better than no run at all.
Make it Festive
The house is decorated, the ugly Christmas sweaters are out, the fridge is stocked with eggnog, so why not add a little holiday spirit into your running routine to help you stay motivated. Set up a 12 days of Christmas running schedule to help feel festive, or make yourself a running advent calendar with treats for all of your awesome success. Or plan out different running routes so that you can admire the decorations and lights that have been put out in the neighborhoods around you.
Do Some Holiday Shopping
Everyone loves getting gifts for the holidays, so why not get yourself something special, like some new running clothes, or those awesome running shoes you have been eyeing up. Don’t stick them under the tree, open them and put them to good use. You will feel so great with your new gear that you will forget you were thinking about skipping ran or two.
There is often a variety of different races and fun runs around the holiday. Sign yourself up for one, having an event coming up will keep you focused on your running and make sure that you don’t slack off. Maybe you can even turn it into a tradition and get some of your family or friends to participate as well.
Think about all that Holiday Stuff
If nothing else is working think about all the extra dinners, and sweets, and cocktails that you will be having over the holidays. Your guilty conscience and healthy mindset will push you out the door. If you are still having trouble remember that you have to make it though over a month of family gatherings and visits without throttling any in-laws or annoying uncles. If there is a time to hit the road and let off some steam this is it!