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your christmas cycling training or damage limitation!

-By: Tomas Swift-Metcalfe

Last modified: April 2, 2014

don’t let Christmas cycling training get in the way of your Christmas (or vice versa!)

The problem with Christmas is the huge quantities of food consumed and time constraints on training and ‘pressure’ to over indulge. As a pro cyclist, my coach would always give us training on Christmas day because of this. It’s hard to ‘work’ in this periods, so think not of the quality of the training but think of it as damage limitation. I found 4-5 hours of specific training would be next to impossible to do with any gusto on Christmas day.

cycling christmasthink of training in the holidays as an escape, a damage limitation exercise!

As cyclist I used to love a short but solid training session on Christmas and I think it was due to this that I’d always be the strongest cyclist on the team right up till March. I’d be flying. It felt good to get out into the mountains, up into the cool air or rain and beautiful views. People don’t understand this, so there’s no point arguing, just get out and do. This way you can also enjoy the food, with worrying too much. Your form wont go backwards.

I’d suggest setting yourself a distance, say a 90km cycle or 16km run. And just doing it as quick as you can manage. This will account for most of the Christmas pudding you consume! You wont train anything in particular, but it’s the realist best we can do. Disturbed sleep, the food and whatever your training status mean following any training metrics becomes next to impossible.

In terms of food choices, Christmas is not the time to diet, however avoiding sweets and the snacks that are spread around. The turkey, ham and garnishing aren’t that bad diet wise.

after Christmas

After Christmas it’s important to get back into your normal training routine as quickly as possible. This is more important than avoiding any excesses over the period. Christmas breaks habits and routines and to train well you need a certain amount of structure and routine around, food, sleep and of course the training itself.

Happy Christmas!

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