Christmas wishes

Decided to take a day off training for Christmas? Read this and you might change your mind!

Posted on December 23, 2013 by
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Winter running (Mark Shearman)

There’s only a couple of days left until what everyone seems to have been waiting for, possibly even since Boxing Day last year!

Christmas is a great time for family and friends getting together, but for athletes it is a time for reflection, looking ahead and getting some welcome daylight training done in the time off school or work.

The end of December signals the halfway point of the winter season and hopefully everything has gone to plan with strengths and weaknesses all showing improvements. With any luck, injury and illness will have been avoided, and even if some downtime has occurred, perhaps the abstinence from specific training may have seen some fitness maintained with cross-training, aqua-running, gym work or some form of bodyweight exercises.

With busy lifestyles it’s a perfect period to look ahead and readjust training and racing plans to account for current fitness levels and form. For those targeting the summer season, the next three months are always vital to top up endurance and retain the focus for the spring months that signal the commencement of the track and field season.

“Train twice on Christmas day! Your competitors may only train once.”

Christmas Day falls on a Wednesday this year and for the middle and long distance running fraternity that inevitably means getting out of the door as normal and getting some miles done before the gluttonous lunch that will no doubt be served. After three or four hours and an over-active digestive system, some will be at that door again to burn off the gargantuan calories that will have been consumed.

There is evidence that the normal calorific intake of 2000-2500 per day may be boosted to around 6000 with an over-indulgence of well, everything. No wonder Santa is rotund!

So here is the challenge to every runner of every age and gender – get out the door! As Daley Thompson once said: “Train twice on Christmas day! Your competitors may only train once.” So put some miles in because someone, somewhere will be doing more than you or going faster … don’t let the someone they are beating be you!

Enjoy your run(s), enjoy the day and I hope you get what you put on your list for Santa … athletics memorabilia, of course!

» David Lowes is the coaching editor of Athletics Weekly

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