Running Traditions During The Christmas Season

As 2011 comes to an end, I cannot help but think about all the New Year’s Resolutions that are being set. If you are wondering how you might be able to keep your new year’s resolution, click here. If you want to get a head start or set some fun goals for 2012, keep reading.

My advice is not much different than it was during the Thanksgiving Season. Did you read Go Back For Seconds On Thanksgiving? It’s a tad harsh, but someone once told me, the truth hurts. By now you are probably fulfilling many of your holidays traditions – may I make a few suggestions for a new tradition or two?

A Christmas Morning Run

My first instinct is to encourage EVERYONE to run Christmas morning. I am a firm believer that food tastes better following a run, therefore, I must run Christmas morning. Have you read my bio at the bottom of this page? I run to eat. This is not to say that you have to earn your food. Certainly not. One of the best reasons to run Christmas morning is to get some alone time or fresh air before the festivities begin. Try it, make it your thing, and enjoy!

A Brisk Family Walk Post Feast

Some of you will be indulging in more than one Christmas feast. If so, listen up. You may be the (only) active one in your family, thus it may be up to you to get everyone out the door for a little fresh air. The walk does not have to be long. The walk will be void of Christmas music and dishes clanging. The crisp air accompanied by the peace and quiet makes time for great conversations as you burn off the second helping of turkey. Try it, make it your thing, and enjoy!

A Goal Sharing Session

This is a great time to share your 2012 ambitions with the ones you love. Vocalizing your goals can be very motivating.  I know what you are thinking, “there is no way I am hosting a goal setting session with my family”. Be bold, take a chance – your family may surprise you.

I enjoy reading running blogs of the slow, fast, and middle of the packers. I love the idea of people sharing their goals, no matter how irrational with the world. The goals do not have to be time or distance based in the traditional sense. Some of your relatives may not have ever set a formal goal in their lifetime.

If you are not sure how to host a goal setting session, click here to learn about setting S.M.A.R.T. goals.

Get creative. Here are a few running goals that I found interesting.

1) Run a sub 5-minute mile every day in 2012 – insert your own mile time
2) Run everyday in 2012- minimum of 5K, which can be split up into 2 runs if you get desperate
3)  Run 5000K in 2012 – this ensures that you are consistent and do not focus on one particular week
4) Run a proper Base Phase –  a lot of folks try to join their training partners mid-season despite skipping the base phase – bad idea

Try it, make it your thing, and enjoy!

Recipe Modifications

This is not my area of speciality, although it is a goal that I have set for 2012.

Check out the following articles for ideas:

Recipe Modifications with Nutrition in Mind: Part 1

Recipe Modifications with Nutrition in Mind: Part 2

These recipe modifications provide people with a means to actually eating better, often times without giving up meals they love.

Keep in mind that a lot of people have great intentions heading into a new year but lack the knowledge to get the job done. Take some time this Christmas to share what running has done for you. You might inspire a family member or friend!

Do you have any running traditions during the Christmas Season? If so, share them on our message board.

About the Author: Brandon Laan is a runner, coach, and entrepreneur. He spent his undergraduate days at The University of Western Ontario where he captained the Cross Country Team before fleeing to Hawaii Pacific University for graduate school. He is a Level II Certified USATF coach and holds personal bests of 1:06 and 2:21 in the Half Marathon and Marathon respectively. He also enjoys running to eat, not eating to run…and always will.

1 thought on “Running Traditions During The Christmas Season”

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