Saturday, November 25, 2017

GUEST POST: Staying Stress-Free Around the Holidays by Amanda

I realize there was a similar post a few days ago, but with the stress of the holidays coming at us full steam ahead, any tips and tricks we might be able to put into our arsenal to help us not only survive, but to thrive during this crazy time is MUCH appreciated in my book! So, without further ado, let's give Amanda a warm welcome!


Staying Stress-Free Around the Holidays

Ah, the holidays. Good food. Friendly gatherings. Family time — and trying to sneak in your run.

It can be hard to stick to your training schedule when you have holiday commitments, but it doesn’t have to mean putting off your training and stressing yourself out because you’re worried about losing your fitness. For me, a person who is prone to stress, the holidays are already a high-stress time, and I don’t need the added worry of how missing a run is destroying my training or worse, how missing a run is making me stir crazy.


For most runners our workouts aren’t just about priming our bodies for the starting line, but also about keeping us sane, and if there’s one time we’ll need a little more sanity, it’s usually the holidays.


But instead of letting the holidays wreck your running and getting stressed if you have to miss key workouts, here’s some advice to help you stick to your training during the craziness of the season and keep you sane in the process.

Plan your workouts.
You may already be following a tightly packed training schedule, but if you’re not, now is the time to write some goal workouts on your December calendar. You’re more likely to try harder to fit in a workout if you see it on your calendar.

Be flexible.
Instead of forcing yourself to trudge through a painful and unproductive run the morning after indulging in too much holiday "cheer", recover and run the next day. If your family insists on an event, be willing to move your runs around.

Talk to your family.
You may find yourself facing guilt for hitting the treadmill instead of spending time with family. Let them know that you will have more energy and a better attitude if you get a workout in, even if it’s a short run. Speaking of short runs…

Go with timed runs.
Opt to set your runs by time. Instead of a 5-miler, schedule a 45-minute run. If you log 5 miles, great, but don’t worry about it. This may not be a high-mileage season, but you can still fit in a few quick runs if you change your strategy.

Go hard.
If you can’t get in your long run for the week, trade it out for a tough, but shorter workout. Speeding up the pace during a shorter run will give you similar benefits to running long.

Know you’re still in fighting shape.
The key is to remember that as long as you don’t skip the next six weeks of running altogether, you'll maintain a strong fitness base. Don’t let missing a few workouts worry you, and you’ll be able to log stress-free runs during the holidays.

Major props to Amanda for taking on the extra stress of writing a guest post for us to enjoy on top of all the other holiday stresses going on - ROCKSTAR! Amanda is a writer based in Dallas, TX. She has contributed to Women’s Running Magazine, and REI’s Trail Run Project. She blogs about training through migraines and running with her rescue dog Prince at You can also follow her on TwitterInstagram and Facebook

Do you prefer to do your runs based on distance or on time?

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