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10 Tips for staying motivated and on track over the holidays

The holidays are here and life has probably gotten a little busier with social and family obligations. Triathlon training can already be tricky to fit into a busy schedule so here are a few tips to get you organized so that you can get through the holidays as fit (and trim) as you were to start with.

Jingle bell runs.  Many communities will put on some sort of running event over the holidays.  Possibly themed with either wearing bells or Santa hats etc.  These events can give you something to focus on and train for while also fun for the whole family as they will usually have a kids run attached to the event.

Do something different.  Take advantage of some time off work and get to a ski hill or a cross country ski area.  Snow shoeing and ice skating are also great aerobic activities to do over the holidays and again these are all great for kids and activities you can do with the whole family.

Take a vacation.  If you are lucky enough to be able to go somewhere warm over Christmas then this is an easy way to stay on task.  Nothing is better motivation than 20 degree weather and maybe a warm ocean to do open water swims.

Try some themed workouts.  Make your workouts fun and different for the holidays.  Maybe the 12 hills of Christmas bike intervals, or a 2014m swim workout on New Year’s Day.  The key is to switch it up so the training doesn’t get monotonous.

Train before your events.  Make a pact with yourself that you will get your training in before you head off to any holiday festivities.  This will always make you feel good about accomplishing something productive and feel less guilty about partaking in some holiday cheer.

Fill on healthy.  Try to eat a healthy meal or snack before you go to an event that will have lots of tempting treats.  This will help you to eat and/or drink less as you will already be full when you get there.

Get yourself a gift.  You deserve it! Sometimes a new gadget such as a GPS or heart rate monitor that shows you something new like pace or distance covered can be motivating enough to get you going.  Maybe a tempo trainer for the pool that is a small ticking device you put in your cap to teach pacing or a new cycling kit to wear inside on your trainer or indoor group workout.  New toys are always fun to play with.

Join an indoor group.  Organized training groups such as a masters swimming group or an indoor cycling facility can be found in most communities.  Training with other people is the best way to stay motivated all year round and you can learn a lot from the coaches that run them. You will get help with technique and new ideas on ways to train.

Ask for a coach from Santa.  If you don’t already have one, a great gift from someone is to sign you up for a coaching service.  Having a well thought out, tailored to your specific goals training plan is sure to motivate and hold you accountable for getting out there and training to your optimal abilities.  Possibly a different perspective and new types of workouts will also re-energize you for the New Year ahead.

These are just a few suggestions on how to keep up your fitness over the holiday break.  Focus on the start of a New Year as well.  Make plans and set goals for yourself for 2018.  Once the holidays are over its only a few short months before you are building your race season again. Stay on top of it and you will have a head start to a great triathlon season.