I’m coming up on 1 year as a BibRave Pro! It’s been a great experience and amazing to connect with runners all over the country and world. I’ve had the opportunity to test well over $1000 worth of new products and races and really looking forward to anothe great year. I guess you can say it’s something I’m very thankful for…and that leads me to the topic of this blog post: the BibRave Thanksgiving Linkup! BibRave Pros will be posting Thanksgiving related posts (what we’re thankful for, how to stay fit during the holidays, holiday themed races, etc.) and linking to another Pro’s post. So, you can keep reading and keep linking to new posts! It’s a hefty serving of blog turkey without the tryptophan. Onwards!
For me the holiday season is a terrifying time of excessive food, alcohol, parties, traveling, cold weather, early darkness…everything that makes maintaining a healthy food and fitness regimen really difficult. It’s no wonder we all end up exhausted and sick by January 1. For me, the key to avoiding the January challenge is to find ways to keep healthy and active, even when it’s most difficult. Here’s my list of keys to a happy and healthy holiday season:
⦁ Indoor cross training: I could sit here all day and tell you to suck it up, bundle up, and head out for those cold, dark, early morning runs no matter what. However, I’d be lying if I told you I’ve ever successfully made it through the winter that way. Instead, use the winter months to find some fun, indoor cross training: crossfit, Orange Theory, kickboxing, swimming, indoor rock climbing, yoga, indoor cycling, etc. Cross training works different muscle groups, builds strength, burns fat, and gives your body a break from constantly hitting the pavement.
⦁ Morning workouts are ALWAYS easier to complete, even if the alarm doesn’t feel that way: sleeping in sure is nice but leaving your workouts for after work hours, when it’s already dark this time of year is a recipe for lots of missed workouts. Leaving work when it’s already cold and dark had me headed straight for home to bundle up, rather than heading to the gym. Put your alarm on the other side of the room and get out of bed no matter what; getting that workout done in the morning leaves a lot less room for excuses later in the day (stuck at work, tired, cold, happy hour).
⦁ Sign up for holiday races: there’s no shortage of turkey trots and Santa shuffles this time of year. Sign up with friends and have a blast! At least you’ll have a better reason to head out for that Saturday morning training run if you get to wear a Santa hat too!
⦁ Sign up for January races: registering for races in January means you have to keep training through the holidays if you don’t want to have a completely miserable race experience. I’m signed up for the Cloudland Canyon 50 on January 7 (my favorite trail race of the year) and the Hot Chocolate 15k. The Hot Chocolate Series even sends a weekly training email once you sign up, so you get motivation each week. The Hot Chocolate is a really fun race and keeps a lot of people motivated through the holidays. If you want to register for the Atlanta race, use code ‘BRATLHC’ for a free visor.
⦁ Join a challege: one of the most popular holiday running challenges is the Runner’s World Holiday Streak. Run or walk at least one mile every day from Thanksgiving through January 1 and post about it with hashtag #RWRunStreak. Join the Facebook group, get your friends involved and share your progress. It’s a great way to keep motivated and accountable.
⦁ Food: holiday food is one major component I fail at to some degree every year. I’m really good at nursing a single glass of wine throughout one dinner, but the food is a difficult task. I often avoid parties just to avoid all the food, and this isn’t a great solution. Some things that have worked for me: drinking lots of water, sharing plates, single plate rule (no seconds). If anyone has recommendations, besides don’t eat the food, please comment below.
What tips and tricks get you through the holidays happy and healthy? Comment below. When you’re done, visit Katherine Pease’s blog to see what she’s thankful for (running edition) this season.