Making Time for Running in December

At least according to my schedule, the first Sunday long run to kick off training for the 2015 Ottawa Marathon is six weeks today.

Six weeks isn’t that far off, and as I’ve said before, you really want to roll into a marathon training program. Starting training on that day is a big mistake that could come back to bite you once the big runs start in February.

Busy DecemberI get it though – running in December is tough. The weather often stinks and there’s always lots going on including Christmas shopping, office parties, and maybe some travel around Christmas and New Years. As bad as it is now, it usually just gets busier.

Some tips on how to make sure you get some running in

Amidst all that busy, you really need to be getting out for a few runs a week to make sure that you have a decent base of running in place before training starts. There’s no need to ramp up to a full four or five day a week schedule right now, but maybe a couple of runs during the week and a Sunday run would be a good idea.

  • Schedule your runs. It’s a busy time of year! Add your runs to your calendar each week along side everything else you are keeping track of. You’ll be more likely to get out and run if it’s on your schedule (and it’ll help you remember to reserve some time).
  • Keep doing your Sunday runs. It’s a good way to keep yourself from getting too crazy when you are out on Saturday night at a holiday party.
  • Plan some festive running. Grab a few running friends and do a Christmas lights tour, or a Jog ‘n’ Nog that combines a run with an informal holiday social event afterwards.
  • Use a run to escape the hustle and bustle. Take some “me” time and get away from it all for an hour. Hit the treadmill and watch a holiday special, or take an evening run around the neighbourhood. Sometimes it’s easy to get too busy during the holidays so use your running as a way to justify taking some time for yourself.

Come January when training starts, you’ll be rolling into it with a solid base and you’ll have a leg up on many of the other runners who took the month off.

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