HOLIDAY TRAINING: Manage Stress & Hold Your Training Loosely
The holiday season means a lot of different things to a lot of different people and with that comes wonderful experiences with friends and family as well as a multitude of complex feelings and stresses. As athletes, social obligations, preparing the house for hosting family, kids, travel and all the rest can mean significant additional stress and challenges to training schedules. Below, we’ve got some great training guidelines and stress management tips for you all. But, the general takeaway for the next two weeks is to stay flexible and hold your training loosely. A missed run or reduced mileage is not a referendum on who you are as an athlete or human. Your best is always good enough. You are enough. You are loved!!
HOLIDAY TRAINING TIPS from coaches TJ David & Zoë Rom
1. If you are crunched for time, traveling or have family obligations, don’t force a workout! You can always switch your workout to another day if that is what’s best for your long-term health and longevity!
2. Don’t waste your energy on unproductive training. If stress is high, you feel distracted, or unmotivated — enough to really junk up your training session or cause additional, unproductive stress, REST is your best option. Before training, ask yourself “Will this training be productive today?”
3. Take it to the treadmill! TM’s are AWESOME training tools when you want to just get in a short 10-20 minutes in to stay consistent!
4. Never apologize for doing your best! Holidays are tough for everyone, even if they are super fun! This stuff is all about balancing consistency with long-term growth and well-being. If your best is spending an important holiday on the couch drinking cocoa or snuggled up with the family, then give that YOUR BEST, unapologetically
5. Consistency does not mean forcing a run in dangerous or truly shitty conditions. It means doing your best every day with the tools you have. Whenever possible, don’t let one missed run become 4 or 5. Right the ship as quickly as you can given life’s happenings.
6. Don’t sweat the small stuff! A mile over or under is almost never a big deal. Focus on consistency and don’t add extra stress if you are already feeling it.
7. Don’t restrict calories!! The more cookies the better.
HOLIDAY STRESS TIPS from coach Sarah Strong!
1. Even though it is a season of giving to others, remember to give yourself what you need first. Your physical and emotional needs are still the same even though you have extra responsibilities this month.
2. Don’t let running be the first to go just because it’s easy to—remember that taking care of yourself allows you to show up more fully in other parts of your life. Like always— prioritize sleep, eating well and moving your body. Lean into the things you’re passionate about and reflect who you are and what you value.
3. Be mindful of alcohol consumption and sleep.
4. Manage expectations and let go of the idea that things need to be perfect. The holidays will happen and can be wonderful even if some things don’t get executed perfectly. You might make a mistake or a present might be stuck on a shipping container somewhere— that’s ok! Similarly you might miss a run or feel like you’re missing some pep in your workouts— that’s okay too! Show yourself understanding and compassion. Remember this process is about progress, not perfection.
5. Allow yourself the space and time to feel/express big feelings. The holidays can bring up a lot of things for a lot of people and it doesn’t help to pretend otherwise. Acknowledge what you are feeling and reach out to others, too. Ignoring your feelings won’t make them go away.
6. Practice good boundaries and say no to things that feel like too much or that don’t serve you. You don’t have to attend every party or participate in every gift exchange you’ve been invited to. Keep the social calendar and outside obligations manageable. This allows you to focus your time on things that matter to you.
Own your training. Trust the process!!
TJ & The Microcosm Team.