This time of year is always crazy. Historically, I personally push hard to stretch my season out through the end of November/early December. If I can stay 70% fit and avoid consuming too many pumpkin spice lattes then I can usually have 1 or 2 good races late in the year. It can be pretty tough to stay motivated and train indoors with the plummeting temperatures in Colorado. But racing is essentially my job, and thus my income, so I put my head down and train. It is only during this time of year where training feels like actual “work”.
I race late into the year so I can take my “off season” during Christmas. I usually take around 2 weeks off completely from any training followed by 2 weeks of doing whatever exercise I feel like. By racing so late, my prescribed down time overlaps with the holiday season, so I feel zero guilt being lazy and consuming my body weight in cookies, wine, and carbs.
My advice to you is to go ahead and indulge. It is no secret that endurance athletes are hyper focused on weight, training hours, and going to bed early. However, sometimes it is necessary to let loose so that when it is time to be focused we are ready to get back into the regimented routine we all typically feel comfortable with. During December, I say yes to everything- parties, drinks, late nights, desserts, 1 am pizza, and last-minute getaways. Anything and everything is a yes. However, once January 1st comes around, I settle back into a more strict and structured daily routine.
I suggest starting 2019 off right.
I always get blood work done with Blueprint Fit to start the year when my body is nourished, rested, and healthy. I think it is important to have a baseline to refer back to if any health issues arise later in the year when the body is fatigued. The Blueprint One and Nutrition panels are good ones to start with.
I also make sure to start off the year with a fresh new pair of cushy running shoes to avoid any injuries when ramping the miles back up.
During the winter months I try and keep the nutrient consumption up as well to avoid illness. My body typically struggles with the increase in training load and cold temperatures. My go-to morning drink is as follows: ½ c of Beet Performer, 1 scoop of Garden of Life Perfect Food Apple Fiber, a splash of apple cider vinegar, kale, spinach, half a banana, lemon, ginger, celery, cucumber, carrot, turmeric and ice. I get that down before any coffee is consumed so that my cells are filled with vitamins and minerals before the caffeine overload takes over.
In order to shed the pounds gained over December I try to stop eating after 7:30pm and I avoid alcohol, added sugars, and desserts. The introduction of training though usually gets me back to an acceptable winter weight fairly quickly.
Never skimp on the holiday season. Enjoy, indulge and be a yes to everything! 2019 is coming up quick and the following 11 months will be back to the grind. For now, the body needs to heal, gain some weight, and rest.
Happy Holidays to everyone!