With Thanksgiving just a few days away and more fun holidays to come, our attention will probably be focused on spending time with family or indulging in hearty rich food, but this also can mean a lot of time sitting around or passed out from a food coma. One thing that I highly recommend everyone try to do on both Thanksgiving and the New Year’s Holidays is to gather the family to participate in a local Turkey Trot or create your own Turkey Trot in your neighborhood. Getting out and doing something active will help keep the body limber as well as keep the mind feeling better about eating a little extra of your favorite foods.
I don’t typically endorse the “Train to Eat, “philosophy but during Thanksgiving and through New Year’s holiday season I think this philosophy is totally fine. This is typically the offseason for most endurance athletes and allowing yourself freedom is crucial to preventing burnout and maintaining longevity in sport. You can get back to the “Eat to Train” mentality as you start the year as you start putting back the focus on race preparation.
Getting involved in some of the holiday trots and jingle bell runs can also help begin traditions and possibly get family members more active and involved in the endurance lifestyle. Making it fun and non-competitive is a great way to change the mindset of those that may not be runners at heart. It helps to take the focus off of the run part of it and put more emphasis on the fun part of the experience. You never know, you may just snag a new training partner along the way.
I have done many Turkey Trots, Light Fest Runs and Jingle Bell runs since my teenage years, and to tell you the truth, I remember these a lot more vividly than the runs that I went out to win or get a personal best.
So on the coming holidays, keep the racing flats in the closet but still put on the trainers and go for a little trot and make it fun for everyone.
Aaron Scheidies is a USAT Level 1 Certified Coach and licensed Physical Therapist. A graduate of Michigan State University with a degree in Exercise Physiology, Aaron has coached World Champion Paratriathletes as well as Ironman World Championship qualifiers. Aaron is an 11 time World Paratriatlhon Champion and has set the World’s fastest time for anyone with a disability at both the Olympic (1:57:24) and Ironman 70.3 distances. (4:09:54).