PBK Christmas survival Part 4:
Christmas is a time of celebration, socialising, and families, generally brightening up the darkest winter days. It is a time of food, drinks and little exercise, which is not conducive to riding quickly.
PBK have put together a four part survival guide to help you through this period, allowing you to enjoy the festivities without the headache of a fatter and slower you on January the first.
Part 4 Training: We’ve dealt with parties, food and drink, now PBK will give you the final festive insight into how to stay active over the Christmas period.
As we all know time is at a premium over Christmas, friends, families and relatives all wanting their share of it. With the short days and long nights (some longer than others depending on how good the party is!) there is little time left to keep the fitness levels ticking over. By following the tips which follow you can be sure that even with the most packed social calendar you will be moving enough to maintain the hard earned pre-Christmas fitness levels.
Short time = high intensity: High intensity training is time efficient. If you have a limited window to get the heart beating and burn off the Christmas excess, then go hard. Either intervals or a flat-out ride (2 hrs full gas) will get your system working, maintaining your fitness levels, giving the all-important endorphin rush and going some way to burn off those addictive mince pies. This can be either done on the home trainer or works just as well outdoors in the winter weather. Training hard and short will leave you knowing that you have been active, and all those wanting your time happy.
Pre-Breakfast training: Training on empty in the mornings is a good way to increase the demands put on your body. When empty your body is forced to burn more stored fat as fuel, which not only makes it more efficient in the long run, but will also hopefully reduce the Christmas belly. Set your alarm 30 minutes early, have your gear and bike ready to go to hit the home trainer for 30 minutes to an hour. This will leave you ready to face any social engagement on your calendar and also a healthy breakfast!
Try something new: It is tough to motivate ourselves for shorter rides, when we are used to riding for many hours. So rather than kick the bike into touch because you do not have enough time to ride, try a new sport, such as running or swimming. These will keep you motivated because they are new, whilst also calling on different muscle groups to cycling, making your body work harder in the limited time that you have.
Walking: We are all at risk of Christmas cabin fever, spending more time inside during the festive period, due to the short days and long nights. Why not take your loved ones out for walks, either in the morning or evening. Not only will this keep you mildly active, it aids your digestion, hopefully meaning that some of that Christmas pudding you ate will be burnt off rather than stored on your body!
Set dates: Set a date with friends to ride, run or just get out into the fresh air. This will give you a little extra motivation when you are tired or if the weather is putting you off. By sharing the suffering you will be motivated to get out even if the deep dark winter throws its worst weather at you.
Change skinny ones for fat ones: Another way to increase your work out effort when you are limited for time is to head to the fat tyres of a mountain bike. With the muddy and wet trails forcing you to push harder on the pedals you will get a good work out in a short period of time. Even if the weather is bad the slower speeds and higher effort will mean that you will keep warm.
Training over the Christmas period is less than simple, but with a little bit of thought and motivation you can keep ticking over, even with the most hectic calendar. Remember these thoughts; it is actually harder to leave the house, 9 times out of 10 it is never as bad as you think when you get outside. Hangovers make training tough, but once you are moving and sweating it is actually a great cure for them. And finally those extra moments in bed may feel good when the alarm drags you from your warm slumber, but they are not as good as those addictive endorphins you will release by getting up and getting out!