December and early January can be a difficult time to motivate yourself and get into training when there is so much going on around us during the festive period. Here are some of our top tips for avoiding seasonal sluggishness!
For 10k Runners
If you want your BM10k to go well in April, the foundations for a successful day should start now. Why get to January feeling guilty or with a bit of a mountain to climb, when getting out into the fresh air in the running shoes during the festive holiday is an option?
If a total beginner I would suggest you look at our beginner 5k plan and start the journey now. The early weeks of walk/running training sessions fit nicely into this period.
You will then be ready to run a continuous 5k by the end of January and ready to train for 10 weeks leading up to your first 10k in Brighton. You could even ask Santa for a few motivational pieces of running kit and technology to help you.
If an experienced runner you may be training for other events at present or ticking along with regular weekly runs. For you, the real 10k specific sessions and training runs kick in from late January. Plan to meet friends for a run and look to train in the morning on days when you know relatives or friends are likely to visit. If following the plan, be flexible and move runs around to fit in with the late nights, tiredness and festive fun.
Use any plan as a guide and set one simple goal …to arrive in January feeling healthy, motivated and with some training behind you.
For Marathon Runners
There are always marathon runners who wished, in hindsight, they had run / trained over the Christmas period. Although plans often start in early January, the clever runner makes the most of the festive season and free time. If you have time off work you can make the most of daylight running or perhaps the support of friends and family to look after the children while you train.
Starting your marathon plan (whether one of our traditional plans or with the Runkeeper Go app) already in good shape makes your goal so much more achievable and you are less likely to break down with injury or illness through playing catch up and over-training.
Focus on building those long runs up to 60 then 90 minutes before your marathon plan kicks in and work on the threshold sessions and hill running. These plans build strength endurance and form the key ingredient to being a strong and successful marathon runner later in April.
Meet up with friends, ask for new kit on your Christmas list and feel like a runner enjoying and surviving Christmas rather than a runner on hold starting in January…I promise it works and you will feel better for it.
New Year and Rising to the Challenge
Whether you are running the marathon or 10k, January is the month when it all becomes reality and the important training starts to take shape. This is it guys…you are now in full training!
If you do miss some training over the festive season, don’t worry. You are where you are. My question is simple, ‘what are you going to do about it’? It’s time in January to take full control and ownership of your running and your 10k or marathon goal.
Find the plan that looks right for you and start to plan your weeks and key runs. Maybe enter a 5k or target the odd parkrun towards your 10k and make sure a half marathon or two have been entered as part of your marathon prep.
Get organised with your nutrition (check out articles on the Training Blog) and think about that running MOT with a good physio to get everything falling into place. We want you healthy, injury free and ready to build the training on this exciting journey.
Good luck, it’s time to start believing in that goal… make every run count.
Article written by Official Coach for Brighton Marathon Weekend, Nick Anderson