Surviving Christmas – Guest Blog Post from Martin Yelling

Photo of Martin Yelling running

December 19, 2012 // Rachel Ellis

We’re delighted to have a guest blog post this month from Martin Yelling of Yelling Performance,  Martin is a former elite athlete with a PhD in physical activity and health promotion who is the founder and co presenter of the UK’s number 1 running podcast ‘Marathon Talk’.

With the festivities and frolics of Christmas nearly here it’s about time you had a think about how, when and perhaps if your training for theVitality Bath Half  is going to fit in. The festive holiday period usually means a little extra time off work but more time spent travelling, shopping, wrapping and worrying about oven times than run times! It’s important to acknowledge the change in workload, family commitments and social engagements and tweak your running to find balance with everything going on without losing a grip on your training, your goals or your sanity! Here are a few tips for staying on top of your training for the Bath Half next year.

Plan. It may sound dull but identifying a time to run in your week will definitely help you protect your opportunity to run.  This might not be the same time you’d normally run at.  It may involve getting up extra early so you can get your run done and your final last minute shopping in, or fitting in your run around family and other festive commitments. Be flexible though and don’t panic if you miss a run here and there.

Party on. Holidays, office parties, family gatherings and other social get-togethers are perfect germ swapping occasions.  Being ill over Christmas is not good in anyone’s books.  Washing your hands regularly, staying well hydrated (with water not alcohol!) and not getting over stressed or over tired will help you combat the dreaded festive lurgy and help you stay on top of your running.

Stuff the turkey not yourself. Christmas may be a time for too many mince pies, a little wine indulgence, time with loved ones, family and friends and of course turkey with everything!  Reaching for another sausage roll, savory bite or sweet treat over the festive period isn’t going to ruin your fitness or your waistline but might affect how you feel when you run.  

Let yourself go. Try and put aside a little time each day to relax. With so much going on around Christmas it’s easy to keep piling on the personal pressure and burn the candle at both ends.  As little as 10mins a day of relaxing downtime can help you meet the demands of a busy Christmas and feel more ready, focused and sharp for any running you.

Doing a little regular running over the Christmas period will certainly help you maintain some fitness into the New Year. Even a little running is better than nothing than at all but don’t stress if you miss running.  Once January hits you’ll certainly be ready and focused for gearing up for the Bath Half in March.