“Everybody has the will to win but few have the will to prepare to win” – Bobby Knight.  What kind of will do you have this holiday season?

At FasCat we have the will and we’re prepared to show you the way because the holidays are here and the time off work can be an productive time of training.  Oh yea, we’re ready to celebrate to! As cyclist’s we’re also setting goals like eating fewer cookies than hours of training completed from November 23rd to December 31st, or if the piece of pie has more calories than my FTP, skip it. That’s why we’ve prepared the cyclist’s guide to holiday survival.

No matter where you are racing in late 2017 and 2018, you don’t want to derail your foundation with 4-5 bad days of “holiday-ing”. You might be rolling your eyes at the idea of derailing a season with 4-5 days of holiday cheer, but the combination of family commitments, stressful travel, and delicious food can easily turn into a setback that significantly limits your training during the winter months.

As cyclists, here are six tips that we like to follow for holiday survival:

  1. Follow a training plan, but be ready to adjust your daily routine to accommodate what’s really important during the holidays: spending time with family and friends. There isn’t a workout in the world that you “have to do” during the holidays that will make your 2018 season. Recognize this and take a practical approach to adjusting your prescribed training. Be committed to your plan but equally be flexible when family time calls.
  2. Carve out some time for a Turkey ride Thursday morning (see what we did there?). In other words, ride if you have time and have fun: intervals aren’t necessary unless you want to do them. Joining a group ride is a great way to get you out the door and into colder temps on Thursday morning. 60-90 minutes of riding is plenty of time for a productive training session, and it’ll help cancel out some pumpkin pie!
  3. On days that fall on and around Thanksgiving, New Year’s and other holidays, be committed to riding your bike regardless of how long you have. Got 30-minutes of free time? Good, ride for 30-minutes. Keep your legs moving every single day, even if it means riding for a comically short amount of time.  Remember the tortoise and the hare? The tortoise wins every time and in cycling, consistency to your training is the tortoise.  Have all day on New Years Day? Ring in the new year with a 2 hour an 18-minute ride or 2018 kiloJoules or even 218 TSS!
  4. Plan a 4 day block of training at Thanksgiving or a 7 day  block in-between Christmas and New Year’s Day. Live in a cold weather climate? Take on a Rapha /Strava “Festive 500″challenge
  5. Set a “food strategy” that delays the inevitable (eating delicious sweets) as long as possible. You note that we didn’t say “skip the cookies and pie entirely”, instead we’re suggesting that you delay eating those delicious sweets as long as you can. When Grandma sets the pie on the counter, wait for 20-minutes to have a piece and the chances that you’ll eat a second piece will go down dramatically!  Another idea is to set a goal like, “I am going to eat 2 cookies”.  This way you get to enjoy but have a plan – everything in moderation. Don’t forget our Go Fast Food Choices!
  6. Take naps and sleep more. This is a year round tip but during the holidays you actually have the time! Use the downtime to relax and repay the sleep debt you run during the work week. Ask Santa for a Fitbit or Whoop to measure and track your sleep so you can increase the quality of your sleep and develops strategies to get more in the new year. Take advantage of your days off work to sleep in a little longer and pass out on the couch watching football before anyone sees you sneaking that nap!

If you can commit and follow these tips, you’ll come out of the holiday season at least as fit as when you came into it!

Copyright 2017, FasCat Coaching

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To discuss how your holiday survival training, please call 720.406.7444, or fill out a New Athlete Questionnaire to set up a Coaching Consultation. You can also check out our off season training plans here!