What training should you be doing over this festive season?

What training should you be doing over this festive season?

With the festive season upon us, Coach Parry and Brad discuss how much training you should be doing over this time. If youre qualifying for Comrades or Two Oceans or if you have already qualified - Lindsey breaks it all down for you in terms of when to run, how much to be doing and balancing the family (and over-indulgence) over this time.

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Welcome on to this edition of RUN with Coach Parry. My name is Brad Brown. We've got the coach Lindsey Parry with us once again, Lindsey, how's it?

It's all good Brad. How are you doing?

Very good, Lindsey. This is a bit of time travel that we're doing here because as we publish this, you and I are both pretty much on holiday. We thought we'd take some time off over at Coach Parry, but we didn't want to leave our runners in the lurch, particularly in the build up to Comrades 2019. So we thought we'd record a quick video just with regards to what people should be doing around this time of the year, particularly if they are looking at kicking on in 2019.

It is important to take a bit of a break physically but mostly mentally to get your head right and almost hit that reset switch going into the new year. What advice would you give to runners? I think they would probably fall into two categories, those that are qualifying early in January, you don't want to take too much time off and those that are qualified and maybe looking at running another marathon, maybe late February, what the way to go, Lindsey?


How to train during the holiday season


Yeah, look exactly that. So we're going to split that into two groups, we've got people that are looking to qualify, in late January, early February, and they will be training pretty hard over this period. And they will then take a break after they've qualified. So I'm not too worried about those guys overdoing it now, because they will get that opportunity to just freshen up a little bit mentally and physically, with a 7, 10, 14 day break after that qualifier.

The other group of people who have qualified already, possibly have qualified recently, so they have taken a bit of a break already and they may feel like they really want to take advantage of the extra time etc that you do get in December. And those are the people that I say, look, run, be consistent, get into your training groove but don't go into flat out training, don't do too much training now. Because what will happen is that you'll arrive in January really fit and strong and then we've got six months where we've got to keep you keen and interested and invariably what then happens is that when you hit March and April and the really important training time, you're actually a little bit over running, and you kind of start wishing Comrades away.

So get out there, do your four, five days of training a week, but just limit the volume slightly. You don't need to be doing three hour training runs through December keep it all to you know, your long runs to 20 ish kilometres. And then from January, that's where we want to build up.

I've always been of the opinion Lindsey, I've never wanted to peak for Comrades in December, I want to save the best for last, essentially, we'll save it for June.

Exactly. It's all about the second of June. And it's very hard to train really hard for seven months.


How to get your runs in 


Absolutely. Lindsey, let's talk about this time of the year as well. It's pretty, like as much as people are on holiday, it's family time, and there's often guests around, what advice would you give to people to sort of get their runs in? Is it a case of do it when you can fit it in or wake up slightly earlier before everybody else and try and smash it out before the day gets away with you?

Yeah, I'm an absolute fan of that on a holiday. Get your run done in the morning and then it's done. And it doesn't interfere with going to the beach late in the afternoon, or the kids want to do a picnic in the late afternoon or as you said, you invite your wife or husband, invite a few mates around in the afternoon, it just becomes too easy to push that run aside. And it also causes crankiness about your running with the rest of the family. So if you just get it done nice and early, it's done for the day, it really does mean that for the rest of the day, you can engage fully, be with the family. And it'll make you and everyone around you happier.


Don't overindulge...


Lindsey, this time of the year as well, it's also easy to overindulge. You've got to be quite careful that you don't sort of hang out too long on the dark side, because you don't want to undo all the hard work that you've put in over the last couple of months so you hit January and almost feel like you're starting over again.

Yeah, that really is a good point. A lot of runners run to make space for the booze. But yeah, I think you can very easily overdo it over the Christmas or New year period. So again, I always tell people, a lot of people have a glass of wine or beer or whatever with lunch and once you've had the first one, you tend to just slowly keep going throughout the day. So I try and save it for Sundowners. And that way you invariably end up starting north of 6pm. And that typically means one or two, maybe three beers. And that's not too bad. The risk really is that if you're going to drink for three or four hours every day that you're going to put on three or four kilogrammes through this period.

Absolutely, unless you're in Cape Town, then sundown is a bit of a problem because the sun only goes down at nine o'clock. And for a lot of people that's way too late to start.

Or if you are my friends, you would argue that it's 6pm somewhere in the world already so we can start.

I love it. Well if you are in the process of laying the groundwork for an onslaught on to Comrades 2019, best of luck. Happy festive season from all of us here at Coach Parry. And we hope that 2019 is your best running year ever.

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