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How to train for a marathon over Christmas

Stay on track during the festive season

Santa Clause striking a running pose

You’ve got your place, you’ve started your training and then all of a sudden December appears and your diary is getting full. You realise that you’re going to have to get through Christmas.

First, take a breath. Everyone is in the same boat! We’ve put together some top tips on how to survive the holiday season and stay on track.

1. Sign up to a Christmas Fun Run

There are loads of Santa runs around Christmas and New Year. Some are even on Christmas Day! They may not be 26.2 miles, but trying for a PB around a 5K course is all you may need to keep that running momentum going. Why not look one up in your local area and get signed up? You could even increase your fundraising by asking for donations to do one dressed up!

2. Join up the family

Christmas is the time for family… and also the time you find yourself trying to escape the house from your in-laws. But chances are your family are your biggest supporters and would love to help. So, why not get them on board by getting them out training with you. Or if running isn’t their thing, get them to be the pacemaker and cycle next to you.

3. Guilt free eating

Everyone enjoys eating too much over Christmas, and this doesn’t change because you’re running a marathon. Keeping up those longer training runs over the holidays will mean that being a little overindulgent won’t matter as much. So, before you wake up on Boxing Day and can’t be bothered to get up and complete those miles, just think of the extra mince pie you can eat later. Result!

4. Maintain your schedule

Yes, your normal routine is out of the window but it doesn’t mean your running schedule has to be too. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t get out for your 6am training run after a late evening. If it works for you, sleep in until 8am and do it then, or wait until the evening. You don’t have to keep all of your original schedule – just adapt it to work around your plans and your body.

5. Have fun but don’t go crazy

The holiday time is all about having fun, spending time with family and being merry – you shouldn’t feel you need to deprive yourself. While you’re not getting your long runs in, just try and stick to getting out there a few times, getting enough sleep, making time to relax and not overeating. Come 1st January your body will thank you – and you won’t have lost weeks of hard work in your training plan.

Have you gone the extra mile to inspire more people to donate? We’d love to hear your story and top fundraising tips on Facebook and Twitter.

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