10 Tips to Train Through the Holidays

Family... parties... and the flurry and stress to get everything ready for the holidays can make you crazy steamroll many successful training programs. Here are some tips to survive the holidays:

1. Put pen to paper and develop a training plan. What days, what time and what workouts are you going to do? If you are going to an exotic location or visiting family away from home decide before you leave whether you are going to train or not. Note - I did not ask you whether you CAN train (you can ALWAYS train). I am asking you whether you are committed to doing the training. Be honest with yourself. If you are not committed, then just decide that you are not going to do the training and refrain from ruining your trip by guilting yourself everyday for not working out. Too often I hear "Oh, I should be working out" ALL DAY LONG. Just do it or don't but don't kind-of do it. Enjoy your vacation without shaming yourself throughout it. Believe me, everyone around you will thank you for it. 

2. Be realistic. If you are going to the countryside in another country, you probably aren't going to be able to erg, maybe ever. Do your research to find out what is available to you. Is there a CrossFit gym (probably has ergs) or a gym nearby and what time are they open? And then structure your training program according to what is available. If you have a few days with a lot of family activities, it just may be unrealistic to do a 90min workout that day. Plan the volume days accordingly. 

3. Bring the right tools and equipment: running shoes, jumprope, training journal. Those are really the basics. The jumprope will allow you to mix it up from the running and you can find milk jugs or other containers that have some weight to them. If they are "too light" for you- do more, faster to get a better workout. Pushups, squats, jumpies, burpees, situps, hollow rock, tricep dips... none of these awesome exercises need any equipment so you don't have any excuses. 

4. Once you have developed a plan and schedule- share it with your family and friends you will be with. You need them to know your plan both to help you stay accountable, but also to support you. Make sure they know this is important to you and that you don't want anyone sabotaging your workouts. There may be a few days that you have to wake up super early to work out before anyone else is awake. Welcome to rowing. Just do it. Don't feel sorry for yourself, you made the commitment. 

5. Stay on track with your nutrition (See our nutrition blog article). Your training may be less than ideal, but you need to minimize the potential damage from a poor holiday diet. Stick to only one sweet per week and tell your friends and family about your commitment. 

6. Stretch and do core work. You can stretch anywhere so if you're aerobic or strength regime is not ideal, at least increase your flexibility and improve your core strength. Again, no equipment required so no excuses. 

7. Sleep. This is meant to be a recharge time for you- make sure you take advantage of it. Go to sleep early and spend some time daily to relax and meditate. Recharge your body and your mind. If you write, I would encourage you to take some time to write. How are you feeling? Why do you do what you do? Why do you love rowing? Use the time to get to know yourself better. 

8. Get your friends and family involved. I remember at a family gathering asking my brother to join me and after my thirtieth pushup he asked "Who are you GI Jane?" You want to be that person- do the work and inspire those around you to do the work too! It can be fun. 

9. If you are really struck on programming and workout ideas- reach out to us! We offer Virtual Training programs that can get you going. 

10. And have fun. If you have your erg, be creative. Row for an entire movie. If you are watching football- hold a low pushup or hollow rock for commercial breaks. If you are going somewhere in the mountains do hill sprints or hike. If the intensity is not high enough then increase the volume. Take some family members with you. Get outside and enjoy the beauty around you. And be grateful - that you have the privilege and ability to be a part of this great sport.