With Christmas holidays approaching, festivities abound and there are several distractions pulling you from your hard-core training program. In an effort to help you maintain dedication to personal excellence, I have drawn on my 30 years of coaching experience to piece together a holiday specific training program. The key to success is following it down to the finest detail. While it may not necessarily make you faster, it should certainly keep you entertained!

Dec 24th Christmas Eve:

Run: 4 hour fartlek run and last minute Christmas shop. Run vigorously between shops at half marathon pace. Allow no more than 10 minutes recovery shopping per store to maximize training effectiveness and minimize shopping time. Use of a shopping cart is allowable. Consider wearing extra deodorant in consideration of other shoppers.

Strength: Pull out tomorrow’s frozen turkey (at about 15-25 lbs) and complete lunges, squats, bicep curls (2 frozen chickens will work here), and bench press.

December 25th Christmas Day.

Brick: Bike- teach a kid (yours or somebody else’s) how to ride their new bike. Take turns on the new bike, role modeling good technique on a pint size frame, and alternately running down the street as acting as spotter. Recovery drink of Eggnog for calcium, protein and simple carbohydrates.

December 26th Boxing Day.

Run: Repeat Christmas Eve run, this time returning gifts. For those looking for a few more miles, consider hitting a couple of Boxing Day sales. Refuel every 60 minutes with leftover turkey sandwich.

Mental training: Hone mental skills and focus by tackling a 2000 piece puzzle or a full day game of Risk.

December 27th

Swim: Wear wetsuit (preferably the new one you bought yourself for Christmas) around the house for 30 to 60 minutes. Do 3 sets of 10 pushups. Hop in the shower.

Cross Training: 60 minutes of Ice-skating. Whether you can skate or not, I can guarantee that tomorrow you will wake up sore, and that’s got to be a good thing, right?

December 28th

Bike: After goofing off for a few days, get out for the muddiest, nastiest mountain bike you can find, and spend all day out there. If there is a single clean spot on your bike or body, head back out for another loop. Pack a picnic of Christmas cake and pumpkin pie. Leave the gels at home!

Swim: Do swimmer’s arm circles (i.e. like the Olympic swimmers do prior to racing) while your training partner hoses the mud off you from your mountain bike.

December 29th

Run: Hill Reps. Find a mountain and go tobogganing. Run the up hills; recover on your back, stomach, butt or otherwise sliding down. For added resistance, tow a couple of kids up the hills.

Strength: While in the snow, build a snowman. Challenge yourself by Olympic lifting progressively larger snow-boulders over head with the “clean-and-jerk” technique. Give a good Schwarzenegger growl upon completion of each lift.

December 30th

Swim. OK, you should actually go to the pool today. The goal is to get rid of leftover Christmas chocolate, prior to the New Year. Consume one “Black Magic, Toffeefee, Turtle” or similar for every 100m you swim. The more chocolate you have, the further you swim.

December 31st, New Years Eve

Run: 2hrs of street hockey or flag football. Start easy as your fitness and endurance will guarantee making all the big plays late in the game as your less super-fit friends and family run out of steam.

Cross Training: a minimum of 2hrs “Dancercize”. Make sure and place extra focus on core and hip flexors as you keep your moves funky- swing those hips! Replacement fluid should be triathlete-specific. Consider Vodka and Red Bull, Gin and Gatorade, or Kahlua and PowerBar Protein drink as athlete friendly New Year’s beverages.

January 1st, New Years Day

Run: 1:00am run home from wherever you are. You don’t need to be driving this AM! Completing one mile per adult beverage consumed will keep you honest one way or the other.

Swim: After sleep in, hit the Polar Bear swim! Warm climate athletes fill bathtub with ice.

Good luck with your training, and, don’t forget your New Year’s resolution: a renewed dedication to health and fitness, and contributing to a kinder and more peaceful world.

Happy Holidays From LifeSport Coaching!