Hey...we have a "short" week this week. Unless you're in the service industry the odds are quite good you're going to have a few extra days away from the office or place where you do your business. Does this mean "road trip?" A little extra time around the table (or the bar) with family and friends? CTS founder Chris Carmichael always seems to have a little something insightful for his athletes and those time-crunched people who want to - in spite of the unreality of such statements - do more with less. I'll take his guidance as a starting point for my own recommendations for - depending on your perspective - a three-day week or a four-day weekend:
Watch your work:
I've always been of the opinion that quality mileage is better than junk miles. If you normally would do an hour of running a day at an average perceived effort level of say, six out of ten, and you’re going to be constrained by social functions, children home from school, shopping, and so on, adjust you intensity level. Shorter efforts? Fine, work a little harder. If your typical workout includes a long, leisurely warm-up or cool-down then shorten the easy stuff and keep "the meat." Something is better than nothing as long as that something is good stuff.
Stay hydrated as you travel:
Whether it’s airline travel or a long road trip, you’ll feel a lot better when you arrive at your destination – and the following day – if you focus on consuming plenty of water as you travel. Enjoy the "spirits" of the season in moderation, and preferably not at all if you're the driver.
Thanksgiving Day is a holiday; it's not a "day off":
If you're in a place, or going to a place where there's a "Turkey Trot" or holiday race, or you know of a group of runners going out in the morning, get out and run. Even a less-than-stellar race situation will make that turkey and stuffing less guilt-laden. Our little training group used to meet up for an easy one-hour run back in the day; now it's a chance for me to boogie down the road with the missus and a few buddies and race a little 5K. It's a certified course (I measured) so I can tell my training progress and adjust my paces accordingly. Even a local trot early in the morning will be great, as most roads will be empty until about midday.
Control your portions:
Holiday meals are made with love and meant to be enjoyed without being overly concerned with nutrition. You have 364 other days to focus on nutrition. But you can do yourself a favor by eating a little bit of everything rather than gorging yourself. And if you ran good and hard earlier in the day...remember that guilt thing?
Take Black Friday OFF!
People go crazy the day after Thanksgiving. If they behave that way in stores, just imagine how impatient and distracted they are on the road. If you’re going to ride or run, go on routes which are not near major thoroughfares, and definitely NOT near the mall.
If you've been at this long enough odds are great your family will easily accept your need to be thankful for the ability to run just as much as your gratitude for the blessings of family and friends. Enjoy it!