Yo not-professional runners,
We aren't so different, you and I. I too find it hard to stay fit over the holiday season.
Why the holidays are the spawn of Satan to a professional runner’s fitness:
1. Lack of routine: without a set meeting time, the odds scrimping on the all or part of the workout skyrocket. Why I allow myself to procrastinate until 6 pm to do a workout, I do not know. I will sit on the couch and think, "You will hate yourself when it gets to dinner time, and you have to go workout." And I continue to sit there and have anxiety at the amount of shame I will feel in 8 hours.
Solution: Set a workout time and tell everyone about the time slot you have "to go to work*"
*calling it work is important here. If you refer to it as "practice," You and everyone in the family will condescendingly be talkin' 'bout practice Allen Iverson style.
“I have to go to practice at 8:00.” sounds optional.
“I have to work at 8:00.” sounds only-death-can-get-me-out-of-this mandatory.
2. No training partner: I love training in Seattle because it is my socialize time. At home, it gets reversed, it's my obligation that interferes with socialize time. Running solo sucks.
Solution: Find a training partner.
They don't have to do the workout; they just have to do a workout at the same venue and time. That way, you can both be witness to how great you both are and then complement each other.
3. No coach: The honor system method of training works almost okay until the self-motivation starts to waver. Everyone ever said, "In order to be the best, you have to have freakish robot-like self-motivation." I am proof that this theory is bullshit. I am self-motivated, but sometimes I need external pressure out there to jumpstart the self-motivation. Being your own substitute coach wastes energy that could be allotted to the workout.
Solution: Find a stand in.
Get a friend to tradsies timing a workout for a lunch. I tried this with my dad and fired him within the first 20 minutes. He got too passionate about his new job and went into a yelling rampage. He then challenged me to a race. Apparently he did not understand why in races I didn't pace myself so I could pass everyone at the end.
My friends and family are wonderful. They are also wonderfully oblivious to my career. They celebrate when I celebrate. But that's pretty much it. We are both invested in my track career for the celebrations.
Solution: I have none. Feel lame or feel shame? Your choice.
5. High Calorie Holiday grub:
For those invested in my running career, I am currently a little off the mark when it comes to race weight. Christmas time has so many tempting high calorie nom noms. It's easy to avoid chocolate bars when they aren't around, but when left unattended around those chocolate-chip cookies, I shovel in the goods as if it's my last day before hibernation.
Solution: I tested out 3.
1. Brainwash yourself into thinking you don't like sweets. This worked until I had a sweet and got pissed at myself for the trickery.
2. Throw in some cross trains to negate those bad calories. The conversion rate is 30min bike: 1 snickers bar
3. Green-tea distraction method. I distracted myself by making and drinking green tea every time I had an urge for chocolate bars. This was the best method at a 60% success rate.
6. Alcohol is everywhere:
Let's go over this. Beer makes you fat--Point blank. High calorie beverage=weight gain. Liquor makes you fat--Indirectly. Concentrated alcohol=complete lapse in self-control. I don't know how many times my hot toddy turned into a full on binge of gingerbread sweets.
Solution: Every time you reach for that hot toddy, just make that left turn to lame-ville and go for the green tea instead.
I had a lot of green tea this week.
There you have it. It's so easy to stay fit over the holiday season! Just commit to a lifestyle of a non-social geriatric with diabetes.
Disclaimer to the Bossman, NIKE:
I assure you that I do, in fact, live the dedicated lifestyle of a professional athlete. I have developed a complex self-manipulation system to ensure I stay hardworking and motivated. What I’m trying to say is: don’t fire me.