Make time for long runs over the festive period

by | Dec 10, 2021 | Technical Articles

Here’s how to maintain your long-run fitness during the most magical time of the year!

2021 was the year you dedicated your running training to half marathons and long runs, so the last thing you want is for December to scupper your progress. You’re right that this is a busy time of year, but it’s easier than you think to maintain your fitness and even make progress with your half-marathon goals.

Plan your weeks

It pays to look at your calendar now so you can identify clear space for longer runs. Pencil these in (and let the family know) so you don’t get double-booked. If you can carve out time for 2-3 longer (5-10 mile) runs every week over Christmas, your fitness and emotional health will feel the benefit.

Try to maintain your schedule

As far as possible, try to stick to your usual running schedule in terms of days and frequency. This will make it much easier to get back on track after New Year.

Run early in the day

Let’s face it, Christmas is busy. Work dos, kids social stuff, shopping, prep, visiting guests all eat into your diary and make the weeks whiz by. It’s a good idea to get your runs out of the way early in the morning. As an added bonus, you’ll see some stunning sunrises at this time of year!

Sign up to a fun run

Fun runs might only be 5K, but they will give you a tangible focus for training. And on the day itself, they serve as an opportunity to unleash your race pace and get some faster miles in the bank.

Get the family involved

If you can’t quite justify heading out for an 8-miler, get the kids and other half on their bikes and run along with them. Everyone wins and you get to spend some quality time together too!

Clear it with guests

Are you hosting Christmas? Any visiting friends or family will already know about your passion for running, and won’t be surprised to hear that you’re heading out for an hour’s run tomorrow morning. In fact, they might be a bit jealous of your discipline! If you’ve got houseguests, let them know that you’ll be heading out for a run at 8am tomorrow morning. It’s just simple courtesy and will alleviate any feelings of guilt you might have.

Pack your running shoes

Are you the one being hosted by another household over Christmas? Pack your running kit and explore local routes beforehand. Take the opportunity to discover some new runs and see different scenery. Maybe there’s a local fun run or parkrun whilst you’re there? Discuss with the host, make it clear that this is important to you, and clarify that you won’t be long. Any good friends will be happy to support your healthy fitness goals!

Set your January training plan

Spring is a super time for half marathons and 10 mile races. Sit down before Christmas to pick out races, add them to the calendar, and then set a training plan for January and February. This will give you the confidence that – whatever happens over Christmas – your normal running lifestyle is waiting in the wings when you get back!


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