The month of December is a bit of a crazy time of year, yes?
Between now and the end of the year, things just tend to be a bit crazy.
Holiday parties. Christmas pageants for the kids. End of the year “things”. Family demands. Travel.
Add it all up, the routine is a hot mess from now until somewhere around 4-5 January when the New Year is here and we settle back in to our nomal busy lives.
All of this disruption can wreak havoc on your running over the next 5 weeks.
But it doesn’t have to.
Aim for “Good Enough”
Can we go ahead and acknowledge that you’re regular training schedule probably isn’t going to be perfect during the holiday season?
So from the outset, let’s not set a goal for this month that requires you to be running each and every day that you normally would.
Because odds are, that isn’t going to happen.
Now to be clear, I’m not saying you shouldn’t aspire to run as much as you normally would. I’m just saying that odds are you’re going to miss a run or two.
And guess what?
This time of year, when life is crazier than usually and stress levels are high, don’t let your running become another source of stress.
Do your best, and accept that “good enough” is good enough to keep you moving in the right direction and setting you up to start the New Year with a good base of fitness upon which to build.
A Missed Run Doesn’t Matter
Missing a run, or few, really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
Whenever I talk about the value of consistency in your training, I’m talking more about the bigger picture than I am about the here and now.
If you miss a run here and there, that’s not a problem.
And life is going to happen.
The trick is to not let one missed run turn into on missed month.
When that happens, your fitness is going to take a step backward. (Though maybe not as much as previously thought.)
But when you miss a day or two?
No. Big. Deal.
Most of us would benefit from a bit more rest anyway. And an unplanned day of non-running, at any time of year, isn’t going to hurt us at all.
Stress is Stress
When in doubt this holiday season, run easy.
If your stress levels are up this holiday season, and let’s not kid ourselves into thinking they won’t be, the last thing you need to do is heap MORE stress upon your system by trying to hammer a hard tempo run or speed session.
As much as you might think that a hard run will help you burn the stress off, to your body stress is stress.
Which means that when you are hammering those repeats your body is feeling the same fight or flight response it does when the inevitable family drama unfolds after too much egg nog.
Give your body a break.
Get outside, grab a few miles (or a few hours!) of solitude, and just keep the pace nice and easy.
That will be enough to not only give you a break from the chaos but it will also give your body a break from the stress that you’ve been under staring down the end of the year.
If you need to go on a run to burn some stress, do it. Just keep the pace nice and relaxed, ok?
How Do You Manage Your Stress During the Holiday Season?
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