Feeling Christmassy? How’s your running motivation?

Some runners find Christmas and the ensuing changes in routine, means finding time to get out, or sticking to a schedule gets much harder. Here are my top tips to keeping going over the festive season – remember, you can still enjoy your running, but you don’t have stick to your normal schedule if it doesn’t work for you and your family…


If you’re following a plan, change it to suit your new schedule. If you have a coach, tell them how your needs are changing, and get your plan adjusted to fit. If you don’t have a coach, get advice from runners on Facebook groups or MH Runners “Ask the Coach” session to help adapt your current training. I know that I’ve been asking my clients what days they want to run over Christmas as some people love running on Christmas Day, for example. Others will never even consider the idea!


Be flexible. You may have other demands on your time – family, friends, pressie shopping, decorating etc, if you have to miss a day or two because life (or the weather) has got in the way, that’s fine. Accept it and don’t try and cram any running you’ve missed – that is a recipe for creating niggles and possible injury.


If you have time but can’t get out (no babysitting etc), consider doing a home workout. Stationary bikes, HIIT workouts etc. Will add interest and keep up your cardiovascular fitness whist not adding the additional stress of trying to find a free moment to get out without kids etc.


If you’re short of time, but can get out, try a tempo run or intervals. Go short and hard, and then enjoy time with your family and friends.


Lacking motivation to get out the door? Change it up a bit and have fun! You could get Christmassy…make a Christmas themed playlist to run to, sign up to a festive 5k or Christmas parkrun and get dressed up…. How about making the most of running in daylight if you’re not at work for a few days? Or going off road? Why not drive somewhere new to run? Lots of new options to try out.


Don’t worry if you need to keep it easy – especially after nights out, or heavy meals. Christmas is a time for over-indulgence, but it doesn’t always work well in combination with harder running. Don’t beat yourself up, just get out the door and enjoy.


Above all, don’t forget that the new year will bring new running goals. Take this time to relax and reinvigorate – it’s okay to take a day off, have a lie in, or simply spend time with family or relaxing rather than exercising. Sometimes a break is just what you need and means you can come back refreshed in the new year.


What are your Christmas running plans and top tips? Please share below to keep us all motivated! 


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Martin Hulbert

Running Coach & Personal Trainer Leicestershire

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