Running: Step 6 ... Heading Into The Holidays

by Mike Naylor

For years I would either run in a Turkey Trot race somewhere, or just get up and go out for a 5 mile run. Either way it always made me feel good because running on Thanksgiving Day for some reason is one of my favorite memories.

In fact, my granddaughter and I once ran a Turkey Trot together, and I don’t think I stopped smiling for the entire race. How often does one get a chance to participate in an event with their grandkids?

This year, I was hindered a bit by an unusual infection that landed me in the hospital, which ultimately ended in me being operated on to stop the infection from damaging some body parts. Of course they don’t tell you that stuff until after and it doesn’t really hit you until later that night, when you are lying in bed listening to the old guy in the bed next to you hacking and coughing. I don’t want to come up with that excuse each year, so I have vowed to make sure to keep healthy for my family, and to take my medications (for diabetes) faithfully. I urge all of you out there to do the same.

These three holidays coming up, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s, make up the toughest stretch of time if you are trying to keep on a schedule. Whether it be your diet or running/workout program, there always seems to be something going on that tugs at you and knocks you off your path.

What I have found to work is to make some adjustments to your daily schedule, by working out earlier in the day, or going later at night to the gym, pool, or fitness class. You don’t want to be frustrated and have that on your mind when you are trying to have a good time while shopping or visiting friends. You can do both by carefully scheduling your days in advance. And there are not too many races that you are not already prepared for, so they can be fitted in comfortably to your daily/weekly schedule without making any major changes to it.

Also, this is the time to begin planning to participate in spring marathons, and the club’s annual marathon in the Fall. This is one of the best marathon races in the world, and it takes you along a very scenic view of the Capital District and Hudson River. In addition, it has a negative slope to it, so once you get going there are no major hills to worry about, which allows you to enjoy the view the entire length of the course. I feel that a group of committed world class runners could go under 2 hours on this course.

In addition, the club’s Winter Series will soon be approaching and these races are awesome to participate in. They really aren’t races for many participants; they are more like a Sunday run with a group of your friends. For years, I would participate in these races and the only challenging thing was the weather. Wow!!! Some race days would be bone-chilling, with a north wind dropping the temperatures even on a sunny day.

(My kids and I would run this series, and they weren’t too happy about it, but it gave me the opportunity to have an excuse to not be up front running with my friends. “Hey guys, sorry! I had to run with my kids.” Lol.)

Here are some helpful training tips as you approach this unique time of the year. First, have a plan which includes the races you are going to participate in. Use the Winter Series to slowly increase your mileage up to the club’s Winter Marathon or Boston. Be very careful when running at night, and be sure to have reflective clothing on, even in fairly well-lit areas. Try to get to a gym to begin doing some weight training or other types of fitness training. There are so many programs out there now that you might have to try several out to get the right fit. Don’t be afraid to walk away from an activity that doesn’t fit you. Finally, get out to run every chance you get. Try to stay off your butt, and at half time or between games, you can get out for a 3 mile run. Invite friends over for game parties, and have them bring their gear to run. When you get back, it will feel great to down a hot chocolate with some leftovers or dips, and to continue the conversations you started out on your run.

Click HERE for the Race Schedule.

Hope you all have a great holiday! Love you all! Coach Mike.

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