The training period from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day can set an athlete up for success for the next year, or to lead to a prolonged off-season resulting in sluggish results. This year Thanksgiving is early and there are a full 5 weeks between the two holidays. While retailers will cheer, athletes will find it harder to avoid holiday treats, to manage holiday family/religious obligations, and generally miss sleep, and many lose motivation and training momentum.
There are 3 things you can do to hang on to your mojo and stick to your training plan.
- Stay hydrated – It’s amazing, athletes get so dehydrated in the winter. When we go to restaurants we don’t drink as much water because it’s chilled or iced. When we have our water bottles, the cold water sometimes chills us. Furnaces and dry winter air suck this vital life source right out of us, noticed those dry hands? Keep a bottle on you at all times, and note how much you’re drinking each day. Aim for ½ of your body weight in pounds to drink in ounces. E. If you weigh 150lbs, drink 75 ounces per day. When (not if) you exercise, drink 16-24 ounces of water per hour, depending on your individual sweat rate. (Email me here to learn how to determine your sweat rate).
- Be a fiend about your sleep. It’s amazing how one to three late nights in a week will crush an athlete’s motivation to train, or else sap their strength, leading to a less than ideal workout. Pick and choose your parties wisely, and do not hesitate to pull the, “I think I need to go lie down for 20 minutes”. A power nap or focusing on getting your full 8 hours may do more for your energy and waist line than you could imagine. It can be tough, but remember how we guard a child’s sleep? Well, guard yourself too.
- When the going gets rough, or there’s too much togetherness, go for a walk, run, ride or lift. Getting 20-30’ of cardio, even if it’s walking in your holiday outfit (pack shoes and a warm coat if you’re traveling to relatives), get your butt out the door. You do not have to work up a sweat, but if you get your heart rate up your mind will clear, your metabolism will kick up, you will have more energy, and that will lead to even more energy, and voila, mojo to stick to your training plan and workout!
Keep your sanity, your motivation, and cheer through the season by keeping these 3 things in mind when the going gets rough, and you’ll stay on your game.