How to fit training around a busy Christmas schedule

Briony Walsh

There’s no question about it, everybody’s calendar over the Christmas period just goes crazy and it can be difficult to fit in physical activity. We asked ambassador Briony Walsh how she manages to schedule in her training and she gives some top tips for how you can to: 

“I will be completely honest and say that Christmas fits around training for me. I have the Kent Cross Country Championships coming up at the beginning of January, as well as an indoor track season around the corner. However, there is a way to balance your Christmas schedule and training: you can earn the turkey dinner, cheese and copious amounts of alcohol or sugary drinks that will be consumed over the Christmas period. We all deserve a treat and some time to relax and have fun with our families – this is good for you socially and good for your mentality!

When planning your training schedule over Christmas, the first thing you should do is work out when you will be at your work’s Christmas party or when you will be drinking at other social events. On these party days, you should fit in a training session or some form of exercise, which means you can rest the day after and there will be no pressure on you to limit your drinking or eating because you are worried about a class or the gym the next day. However, it is vital to keep your fluids up on that rest day so you are not affected by your celebrations.

If you are going away over the Christmas period, do some research into where you are going. See if there is a parkrun nearby or a gym you can use. Take your training kit whether you have planned to train or not as this will motivate you. If you do get a spare 30 minutes or an hour, at least you will have your kit! 

Christmas day, for me, is an important day to wind down and enjoy with my family. When I wake up, I take on some fluids while opening presents and then I go out for an hour-long run in the morning. The reason I do this is because the roads are quiet, there is no-one around and I will earn my breakfast and Christmas dinner… and I will also earn any other treats that I am tempted by on the day. In the time that I am running, mum is busy prepping breakfast and the other family members are busy looking at their new presents that they have just opened, so they wouldn’t notice my absence.

Other ways of keeping fit over Christmas are community fun runs. Do some research and find a fun, local event near you – maybe even Christmas themed, to stay in the festive spirit! You could do them with your family, so you are spending time together.

It is really easy to fit in exercise and training at Christmas time, you just need to find a healthy balance. Eat and drink what you wish, just do it after your training has been done – earn that food and drink!

Merry Christmas!”

Thanks Briony! Here’s a list of all of the parkruns happening on Christmas Day or New Years Day. Or, you can join the famous Saltwood Boxing Day run, now in it’s 44th year. You can enter by clicking this link!  Please share any pictures of your Christmas training by tagging us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter or by using the hashtag #shepwaysportstrust.