Its exactly mid-December today and with the days getting short and the mercury getting low its certainly quite difficult to remain motivated.  At the end of the day though I firmly believe that it is important to give training a bit of a break.  My last race was a half mary in November, which means my season may have ran a little bit later than others, and I’m only about 5 or 6 weeks into my “break” while some of the people I train with are already starting up training cycles for June races.

Of all sports, triathlon is probably one of the most consuming sports you can pick up.  The long hard hours of training for an Ironman take a toll not only on your body, but your relationships.  For couples where both parties are athletes, this isn’t so bad, but when family and friends are thrown into the mix things get a bit more complicated.

Over the holidays, one way to balance your athletic development with the time you want to spend with those you love is to step back and put yourself in “maintenance mode”.  Recognize that you’re going to pull back on the training volume whether your like it or not.  So rather than wrestle with scheduling whatever workouts in that you can, tell your coach, or go into your training plan and limit your workouts to one hour per a day at the most from the days leading up to Christmas, all the way through til the 2nd or 3rd of January.

With an hour a day its not hard to squeeze the workout in right when you wake up, or in that 4:00pm lull where everyone else is using the bathrooms in your house to get ready for the evening’s festivities.  But keeping boring 2.5 hour LSD trainer rides, or 1.5 hour runs on the treadmill in the plan over the holidays is just a recipe for disaster.  Who wants to be doing those things when their kids are getting worked up to build a gingerbread house?  Or your husband actually proposes the idea of watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” by the fire?  Or your wife insists you still put Christmas lights up even though the 25th is days away…

Anyways, I do enjoy going to runs on holidays like Christmas Day and New Years Day, everything is so quiet and peaceful.  But remember, it’s Christmas and it only comes once a year so its time for things like tobogganing, skiing, ice skating, eating, drinking, and being merry 🙂