The Running Physio

TRP's Running Blog

Injury management, nutrition, training and running tips.

HOW TO: Survive the Holidays (And Still Feel Healthy)

Ahh, the holiday season. The time where we strive to be festive, cheery, and loving, but end up feeling over-worked, taxed for time, and depleted.

Many of us run for stress relief, but what happens when trying to squeeze it in just can’t happen?

We’ve compiled some of our top December tips to keep you going - literally and figuratively.

1) Treadmill it up. While we are are usually proponents of natural-surface running, if you have a treadmill acting like a clothes-hanger in the basement, or your office or condo has a sad excuse for a “gym”, now is the time to capitalize on it, especially as the weather gets a little more precarious. Try this blitzy little workout on for size:

  • 10 minute brisk walk to easy jog for warm up

  • 2 minutes at 6/10 effort, 1 minute easy

  • 2 minutes as 7/10 effort, 1 minute easy

  • 2 minutes at 8/10 effort, 1 minute easy

  • 3 minutes at 6/10 effort, 1 minute easy

  • 2 minutes at 7/10 effort, 1 minute easy

  • 1 minute at 8/10 effort

  • 5-10 minute Cool down.

2) Just start. If you’re feeling super overwhelmed, tell yourself you’re going to go for a 10 minute run. If you don’t want to continue after that, then you’re done. More often than not though, you’re reminded just how good it feels to be out and you can carry on for a little longer.

3) Don’t be afraid to swap for another activity like a hike, spin class, yoga, or Pilates. Remember, a little rest is good for you! Missing a few runs here and there - while it may feel like you’re “losing fitness” - is totally fine. Don’t let the stress ruin your day and give yourself permission to do something different for a change. Remember that the road is long and there’s plenty of time to bring running consistently back into your routine in a few weeks.

4) Make it social. Got a friend who is in a similar situation and feeling bad for missing runs? Agree to meet up during the week for an easy unwinding run, and maybe end at the coffee shop for a social catch up afterwards. Make a point to keep things fun, and ditch that Garmin at home. (What?!?)

There you have it, folks. Don’t let training make your holidays more stressful and remember the big picture - it’s totally fine to relax for a couple weeks and jump back on the horse in January. Christmas cookies come but once per year… ;)

Happy Holidays!