It’s officially the holidays. But for many runners, training doesn’t take a break. The holiday rush means get togethers, festive parties, turkeys, and bright lights. With the hustle and bustle, there’s lots to do, and training can sometimes take a back seat. Fear not. Keep the consistency this season, and use these tricks to get out for your run:
For your tempo run
This is a key run in the training week, that you don’t want to miss.
Time needed: 40 minutes to two hours
What to say: “I’ll pick up Aunt Betty from the airport.”
Why it will work: Airport pickups aren’t fun. Likely no one else is keen to drive all the way to the airport, risk getting stuck in traffic, and deal with unnecessary stress. Plus, your family will be grateful for your help.
Holiday execution strategy: Go to the airport early (in other words, early enough to sneak in your tempo). Do your tempo on the way to the airport, and quickly change from the car. Don’t forget to pick up Betty.
For trail time
Whether your training week requires trail time, or your sanity is in need for training in the forest, this run is necessary.
Time needed: 30 minutes to several hours
What to say: “Leave the grocery shopping to me.”
Why it will work: Grocery stores are chaos over the holidays, and this errand could take 30 minutes or several hours. Chipping in for groceries is a huge help for family get togethers. There is ample opportunity to spend extra time ‘grocery shopping’ (in other words, on the trails) because there was no parking and they were out of egg nog.
Holiday execution strategy: Leaving early for the grocery store is justified, since stores are a zoo this time of the year.
For an interval workout
Whether you’re running hill repeats or intervals on a track or trail, this run requires focus.
Time needed: 40 to 90 minutes or more
What to say: “I need to wrap presents.”
Why it will work: No one will argue with you for wrapping up their gift. Wrapping presents also requires focus, and you can do it alone since you don’t want to ruin the surprises. Wrapping presents can be quick like an interval workout on the track. But if you run out of tape or offer to help family wrap their presents, you may have time for a handful of kilometre repeats.
Holiday execution strategy: Sneak away to get your wrapping done. Don’t do this workout after a long night of partying and little sleep.
For an easy recovery run
An easy recovery run can usually be done at any time, so there are less logistics involved.
Time needed: 30 to 90 minutes or more
What to say: “Let me fix the Christmas lights outside.”
Why it will work: If all goes well, fixing the Christmas lights can take twenty minutes to an hour. If the bulbs are burnt out, then you’ll need to head to the store to buy more (in other words, your easy run can go a bit longer).
Holiday execution strategy: Get dressed to run when no one is looking. Head outside to check the lights, and don’t come back until your run is done.
For your long run
This is another key component to successful training, and a run you don’t want to miss.
Time needed: 90 minutes to four hours
What to say: “I’ll make the turkey”
Why it will work: Cooking a turkey takes all day, and is similar to a long run. Once it is in the oven, you can sneak away for a few hours and get your long run done. As well, no one will judge and will be excited someone took the turkey initiative.
Holiday execution strategy: Prepare and brine the turkey. Head out for your run once the turkey is in the oven.