Holiday Eating and the Runner
It is a cruel joke that Christmas holidays fall just around the average runner’s off season.
We cut our activity to approximately a third and people are shoving christmas goodies in our faces. (Ok, I am grabbing the cake and running. But still).
Here’s a reality check – if you are racing seriously in January – don’t even try to justify your treats. Or at least try not to gorge.
But the reality is, as a runner who doesn’t need to seriously race until the spring, you have every right to enjoy treats, you just need to be smart about it.
Here are a few things I have learned to stay fit, healthy yet treat satisfied through the holidays and still rock the races in the spring:
Be Strategic – If you go on a long run, add a treat to your refuelling. Swap out an energy bar for a delicious, home baked goodie. The important thing is to not eat holiday goodies in addition to what you normally eat.
Plan – For me, I make sure it COUNTS. If I am going to go for it, it will probably be fresh out the oven and full of chocolate, washed down with coffee.
Understand the ingredients – Know what you are putting into your body. It is ok to indulge, but don’t have a hundred of them if they aren’t full of whole food ingredients. Actually, don’t eat a hundred of them if they are!
Train – This may be obvious but a holiday season is not a free pass to not train. Stay as consistent as possible.
Fatten Up – By that I mean, eat some quality fats before going to a holiday party like nuts and avocados. This will help prevent you from showing up famished and eating everything in sights.
Drink water- As always, hydrating helps eliminate your body of toxins and helps you make wiser snacking choices.
Remember the big picture – Christmas is one time of the year and it is meant to be celebrated. Enjoy it without going over board, and don’t let it subtract with the time with your family and friends. Remember that it’s what you do on a daily basis that defines your athletic results, not what you do on one day of the year.
80/20 – Whip out the old 80/20 rule. Eat healthy 80% of the time during the holidays and take time to enjoy your favourite treats for the remaining 20%.
Don’t get caught in a rut – When the holidays are over, switch back to your healthy diet. Life is meant to be enjoyed so celebrate wisely. 🙂
Other resources for surviving the holiday:
Holiday Eating Tips – Evolve Nutrition
Avoiding the Seasonal Seven For Athletes – Speed Revolution
What are your tricks for manoeuvring the holidays and staying on top of your game?