Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tis the Season for Maintenance

Since I started running three years ago, I've always had high expectations for myself come December. This year, my goals included building my weekly mileage to 40 miles per week, getting in a few monster speedwork sessions and the big one, racing a new 5k PR.

Yesterday, reality kicked in. I'm still sick (although getting better!). I still need to buy several Christmas presents. Holiday baking hasn't happened yet. And my apartment? It's a disaster. With all of these other obligations, the time has come to ease up a bit on training. I'm still trying to get over feeling like a slacker, but am telling myself that this time of year, it's a win to just maintain fitness.

So, here's this week's training plan:

Monday: Rest Day - aka Shopping for Christmas Presents//Writing Cards/All the Holiday Stuff
Tuesday: 6 mile run; 60 minutes strength training
Wednesday: 6 mile run (Runch?)
Thursday: 4 mile run
Friday: 4 mile run; 30 minutes core work
Saturday: 10 mile run
Sunday: Rest Day - aka Holiday Brunch/Humane Society Donation

Total: 30 miles

Given this week's frigid temps, snow and ice, I just may have to try runching for the first time ever. Things must be at least a few degrees warmer mid-day, right? :)

As for diet. I'm going to eat healthy for the most part but will not freak out about Christmas cookies, holiday treats, etc. I saw this Tweet from Oiselle teammate Lauren Fleshman the other day and totally laughed at my desk. It's so true!

My questions for you:
  1. How do you train during the holidays? Is it business as usual or do you cut back?
  2. What are your best tips to make time for fitness?
  3. And, just for fun, what is your all-time favorite holiday treat? Both sweet and savory :)

I think the classic treats will always be my favorite!

- ST


  1. I say... take the break. you've done awesome all racing season. you don't want to get burnt out or be kicking yourself when you should be enjoying the holiday season. I have the same problem. however, now that my racing schedule is over I'm taking a break. I plan to maintain at least 20 miles a week no less... as long as I hit 20 I'm going to be happy with myself. sometimes life interferes with our running and I've just recently learned how to be semi-ok with that.

    as for the treat... I like those cookies that people make with the Hershey's kiss in the middle.

    1. It's hard to be okay with doing less - I think as runners we are hardwired to always want to do more! - but you're right, it's good to take a break and the holidays are a perfect time to do so :)

      Yum, I love those cookies!

  2. I would normally say take a break during Christmas, but since St. Jude Memphis Marathon got cancelled, I'm still training for my backup marathon, which is on 12/28. But no big deal. I am of the camp everything in moderation!

    And fav holiday treat? Any and all cookies! People come up with the best cookie recipes during the holidays!

    1. I agree, cookies are the best holiday treat! Good luck at your upcoming marathon - three days after Christmas will make it extra fun ;)

  3. I think maintaining during the holidays is the best you can do. I try to eat as healthy as possible when I am not celebrating and maintain my workouts. I usually look for short but effective workouts like HIIT routines.

    1. HIIT is a great idea around the holidays! I like to think about an 80/20 balance for diet - 80 percent healthy with 20 percent treats. Cookies are a must this time of year :)

  4. I'm so far behind on Christmas... I don't know why but I'm just not in the spirit like I normally am. So now I'm rushing to get presents, find a tree, etc... its not that fun. My training is just starting up as I'm doing a Feb race, but my training plan is pretty flexibility so that helps me manage everything.

    1. I love a flexible training plan, especially around the holidays. Like you, I waited a bit too late to start buying presents so now, it's extra stressful. One of these years I'll learn :)