How much do I need to DO over Holiday Break?

Training Peaks sent an email yesterday with various articles, including this one entitled,

 ‘How Much Should You Train Over the Holidays?’ 

My first snarky thought was like, ‘Excuse me, Training Peaks.  The Holidays…. well, they are over.’  But I was chatting with a new friend, who is learning to better her swim, preparing for her first triathlon, and the coach in me wanted to share.  

The reality:   

The majority of the athletes I train are on a do as you wish protocol for the one, sometimes two weeks surrounding the Holidays.  

The change in programming is not going to hurt them.  There are no feelings of guilt, if they spent he day sledding and did not run, bike or swim.  There are even less feelings of letting me down should the person likely over-indulge on the treat only made this time of year.  And the change in protocol or programming is empowering and healthy.  

The athlete gets to choose what she would like to do.   I get notes on what they actually did, so the return to regular programming is not brutal.  

It is also provides rest.   Through different activites, and play the individual is able to switch focus away from programs and must dos and just enjoy family, friends and the season.  

And when the choice is to go for a run, bike or swim, it provides an outlet.  Family can get overwhelming at times and we need a break.  Going on an adventure alone, provides that ‘escape’.


Then there are the others with whom I work who have BIG races coming up in January or early February.   

These individuals may not be provided as much or any freedom in their programming.   Programming is a reflection of the goals.  

Before I sound like an uncompassionate ogre, I have a conversation with the client as the Holiday is approaching about training, travel, and plans, so that training is not superseding Holiday Plans.  

I always allow for random days, sets, time within programming to empower the athlete to choose.  I have ‘This is your Day’ days.  The individual chooses.  Something or nothing, it is completely up to him.  And my athletes are happier and healthier for it.  

All snarkiness aside, it was a good article to read, serving as a reminder it is OK to breath.  It is the Holidays afterall. 





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