Keeping on top of your fitness and training goals during Xmas can be a challenge with a marathon of Xmas dinners, parties and celebrations. As well as time off work and interruption to your normal routine it can be hard to maintain any fitness over the Xmas period.

Here’s some tips to help you enjoy Xmas and still stay on track with your training.

Take a break: It’s great to have a break for your mental and physical recovery so give yourself permission to do less training and enjoy yourself.  Even the most dedicated athletes need to have some rest and you’ll feel more motivated to get back to it in the New Year.

Have a plan for your training ahead of time taking into account parties, late nights and days when you’ll be busy. This helps you to stop feeling guilty about not training after a late night so that you enjoy yourself more, but also enjoy your training more. It also helps to put a limit around your Xmas celebrations and get you back training quicker.  

A little bit is better than nothing and will help your head as much as your body. This could be as little as 20 minutes.

Fun: I like to plan some FUN Xmas themed training sessions that are not so focussed on times, reps and power outputs.

The Xmas lights run! Run a different route around all the Xmas lights. There’s some spectacular houses in my local neighbourhood so I always run a special Xmas lights route. Another surprisingly popular run has been a group run around the city centre lights. (Who’d have thought running round Coventry City Centre at night could be pleasant?)

A Neighbour’s Xmas Lights

Xmas day park run: A fabulous way to start the day, meet some friends and be part of the local community before sitting down to Xmas dinner and a day with the family.

Xmas day bike ride: There’s no traffic on the roads so Xmas day and Boxing Day are the best days toride a bike and you can ride on some roads that are normally too busy.

Boxing Day dip – outdoors! Join Swimand Tonic for a dip in the Avon.

Join a race!  Hinckley CRC’s Boxingday time trial or CoventryRoad Club’s cyclo cross are great ways to brush away the cobwebs.

Xmas numbers game: Plan a swim session based on the 25-12-18 .This could be 25 x 25m, 12 x 50m, and 18 x 100m.

Xmas Special: A local masters swimming club has a tradition of doing a really tough session every Xmas….100 x100m. But you can make up your own version.

12 days of Xmas: A swim session with 12 different sets each with a different theme or skill.Including all 4 strokes, drills, starts, dives, turns, etc.

Get creative with your sessions.Even the toughest of sessions can be turned festive. It’s surprisingly difficult to get an inflatable reindeer from one end of the pool to the other,or to swim wearing a Xmas jumper.

Socialise: Combine a group training session with a social. Take longer over your training sessions with some social time afterward for coffee or even lunch.

Xmas Challenge: Join a challenge such as the RaphaFestive 500 on  challenges you to Ride 500km between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve. There’s nothing like a competition and the competitive spirit of a leader board to get you motivate. 

Xmas Energy Bars: Replace your usual energy bars with a mince pie or some Christmas cake in your back pocket on a long ride!