With the Brentwood Half Marathon and Virgin Money London Marathon a mere 15 and 20 weeks away respectively, it is important to keep your motivation and your spirits high this festive season.
Xmas is traditionally a busy, and sometimes stressful, time of year for many people and as such, training can often suffer. If lack of time and over-indulgence are a concern, we have three quick tips to help keep you on track:
No we mean really set goals. Take the time to sit down now, before it all becomes too much, and set yourself some festive targets. Write them down and make them real, not just vague notions floating around in your head. Be prepared, plan and complete!
Reduced time does not have to mean reduced effectiveness. If you find yourself short on time it may be best to take a maintenance approach to training. By keeping intensity high and making small reductions in volume we can maintain training effects and, on occasion, even provide the short-term recovery our body needs to come out the other side of Xmas performing better than before.
Avoid belly busting
Not only do we tend to be bombarded with high calorie foods and drinks over the festive period but portion control seems to become a non-entity for many of those around us. If you are going to enjoy that Xmas fare, try to keep to your typical portion sizes; not only will this help to keep excess and unused calories to a minimum but it will help to avoid that post dinner bloating (the nap is still allowed).
This is worth saying twice for alcoholic drinks! Not only will large glasses of red wine or huge steins of beer add an excess of energy to your overall intake, the alcohol will also encourage the release of catabolic hormones (those that help to strip away muscle tissue) potentially damaging your hard work during training.
Above all try to ensure a balance over the holiday period and have the best of both worlds!