Wednesday, November 22, 2017

GUEST POST: Managing Your Runs During the Holidays by Emily

Let's be real, running during the holidays can sometimes feel like a chore. The days are shorter, you have a hundred extra events on your schedule, the temperatures are colder and the excuses are never ending. I knew while I was out of town that I wanted someone to share some tips on keeping their running "on point" and Emily offered to do just that! So, without further ado, let's listen in on some of her thoughts about how to manage your running during the holiday season.

Managing Your Running Around the Holiday Season

Hi everyone! My name is Emily (known as @littlerunnerem on Instagram) and I am BEYOND excited to be a guest blogger today on Carlee's blog! I've been following her running life for awhile now, both on here and on Instagram so to have this opportunity is a dream come true! I have been running for about 4 years now. While that may not seem like a long time, it sure does feel like it with the amount of races I have completed in that short amount of time. I have ran 20+ 5k races, 2 10k races, 4 10-milers, 5 half marathons, and I just completed my second full marathon this past Sunday! I have come a long way in the past 4 years when it comes to running. I have discovered what works for me and what does not. One thing I have noticed that really works for me is running is cooler temperatures. Unfortunately, these ideal temps come during the most busy time of the year: the holiday season. I've compiled a list of my own tried and true tips for managing your running around the holiday season!

Plan out your running schedule ahead of time. Before things begin to get hectic, sit down with your schedule and map out when you want to run or do your workouts. This can either be done in the beginning of each week or if you're feeling good, for the next month or so. Having everything written down (or typed out) and it front of you will help keep you on schedule and allow you to plan around those runs. I like to plan and write my future runs in my Believe Training Journal because once it's written down I personally feel obligated to get it done!

Run early. We've all been there. You tell yourself you will go for a run after work/dinner/a party/etc. When the time comes around, the last thing you want to do is slip on your running shoes and head out the door. You're tired, too relaxed, or too warm inside your cozy house to immerse yourself into the cold air outside. Instead of pushing your run off into later in the day, run as soon as you get up in the morning, before your body has time to find a way to stop you! Forcing yourself out the door in the morning can benefit you in more ways than one. First, you are getting your run over and done with before your busy day begins. Second, you will feel more energized the rest of the day. And third, you will start your day with some time to yourself. Just remember, if you are running early enough where it is still dark outside, wear your reflective gear! Invest in a reflective vest, a headlamp, and any other reflective gear that you wish.

Make your workouts shorter but more intense. With busy schedules and shorter days, long runs may not be possible for you. When I only have a short amount of time to run, instead of just scrapping the whole run because I can "only get one mile in," I choose to run that mile at the quickest pace I can. This allows me to complete the run in a reasonable amount while also making the run effective.

Set a simple goal for the holiday season rather than a more complex goal. I always love to have a goal. Working towards a goal gives me a sense of purpose and is my go-to "why" for when I really don't want to lace up and head out the door. Big goals may be hard to focus on during the busy holiday season so I usually choose to give myself a more simple goal. These goals usually focus on the number of times I will run in a week. Setting a goal for distance is tough because I never know the amount of time I'll get to run each day. I can always manage to squeeze in a quick mile or two a few times a week, though!

Sign up for a holiday themed race to run with friends and family. There are such a wide variety of holiday themed races that range in mileage. Ask your friends and family in advanced if they would like to join you, allowing them the appropriate time to train, if needed. Most of these themed races are just for fun, making them possible for all runners and non-runners. My sister and I have done the Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis where you tie jingle bells onto your shoes so you can hear them as you run the whole 5k. It is super festive and also supports a great cause! Also, it's totally acceptable to dress up for the race!

Arrange a "light run" with a group of friends! One of the best parts of the holiday season is Christmas lights, in my opinion. What better way to check out the beautiful light displays in your area than on foot? Gather a group of your friends and head out for a short run (or even walk!) around the neighborhood to check out the lights. Since this is just a fun run/walk, everyone can be included.

My number one running tip for any time of the year is to just have fun! While running may be an important part of your life (I know it is for me!), never let it feel like a chore, especially during the holiday season. Unless you are on a serious training schedule, do not let running come in the way of family events or some holiday shopping that really needs to get done. Do what you can and continue to love running!

Enjoy your running and happy holidays!

Let's give Emily a BIG THANKS for the great tips! Can I just say how much I love the idea of a "light run"?! I've never thought of that, but it will now be a MUST during the holiday season! And don't forget to follow Emily on Instagram!

How do you stay on top of your running during the holiday season?

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