through Christmas

How to get through Christmas

Posted on Posted in general

Getting through Christmas as a Triathlete can be tough going!  All those parties, rich food, wine, beer and mince pies.  The athletes southern hemisphere has different challenges to the those in the north.

In Australia its race season.  Its also summer and hot.

In Europe and America its the winter... its dark in the mornings and evenings... oh and its cold!

Different challenges but not really.  So how do you get through the Christmas Period?


Consistency is key.  Balance is key.  Sustainability is key.  Oh... and moderation is key!

Lets start with training.

Its tough, as everyone around you is doing lots of celebrating.  You have various family activities planned.  Maybe the mother in law (;-)) is coming to stay... and she will not understand your need t turbo or run or swim really early in the morning.  Your mind is gnawing away you telling you to be good, you have to get up and train... you have a race coming up... or you will put on weight.

For a start one mince pie will not add 5kgs!

So enjoy one or two (moderation).  As for fitting in training around all the family stuff, sit down with your partner / kids and have a chat about when you can train.  Get them to support you.  Encourage them to help where possible... maybe your kids will do your washing?!  If you can agree how much time you have, then your coach can schedule in your training for your plan (balance).

What will really help is doing something everyday - or almost everyday.  Ask your coach what are the key sessions you need to do.  Discuss them in the family meeting above.  Try and make sure there is time for those sessions.  Then agree how much time you have on the other days.  Even if it is just 30 min.  I know coaches can provide a hell of a workout in 30 minutes.  If that is all the time you have, accept it... but know that you are keeping your body ticking over and working out (consistency).

Thinking about a Triathlon coach?

Christmas can be draining.  

No... not just the wine out of the glass... it can be demanding of your time.  It can, stupidly, get stressful.  Use your training time to help de-stress and give you focus.  Make the most of the time you have.  However, if you have only been set a 30 min session... don't then go and do an hour.  This will:

  1. piss off your partner!
  2. mean you have been bad and Santa won't bring you any presents
  3. frustrate your coach as you have deviated from the plan
  4. make you more tired than you should be

Being tired is what we are trying to avoid.  Doing what you are set, feeling the session but able to wake up the next day ready to go again is far more productive to Triathlon, than going out there smashing one session then being sore the next day (sustainability).

Couple of other bits of coaching advice:

  • Christmas comes once a year... enjoy it
  • Its family time... enjoy it
  • Its party time... enjoy it, but... just do not go mad

AND: If you are drinking - try and alternate your beverage of choice with a glass of water.

GIve yourself something to aim for, or look forward too in 2018.  Pick a race to aim at.  Challenge yourself...

Why not join us at our European Training Camp?

- on the stunning island of Mallorca -

April 7th to 14th 2018 in Colonia Sant Jordi

Paul is a British Triathlon Federation Level 3 Coach based in Western Australia.  Paul is also an IRONMAN Certified Coach and a Triathlon Australia Development Coach.

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