Real Life Runners with Angie and Kevin Brown

332: Training During the Holidays

November 09, 2023 Angie and Kevin Brown
Real Life Runners with Angie and Kevin Brown
332: Training During the Holidays
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Tis the season to keep running! As the holidays approach, it’s easy to let festivities throw us off our fitness track. But what if I told you that you could maintain your running schedule and still enjoy your favorite holiday traditions? This episode promises to guide you on how to prioritize your running routine without missing out on the holiday cheer.

We kick off by sharing strategies on how to balance your training with holiday celebrations and juggle your fitness goals alongside festive obligations. We discuss common pitfalls and misconceptions, like assuming you don't have enough time to run or sticking to the same workout schedule despite the holiday rush. We offer practical solutions like learning to say no, setting boundaries, and adjusting your training program to accommodate holiday events. All while keeping your running shoes laced up and your holiday spirit high!

As we navigate the festive season, we emphasize the importance of planning workouts around your holiday itinerary. Expect useful advice on how to be realistic and flexible with your workout plans, considering factors like travel, family time, and holiday activities. We stress the importance of being ready to adjust your plans, avoiding overcommitting, and seeking help when you need it.

We conclude the episode with a celebration of overcoming limits, as we share the inspiring story of Kevin's race to raise money for the Epilepsy Foundation. Lace up, tune in, and let's dash through the holiday season together!

To support Kevin's 100, click here.


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Speaker 1:

This is the Real Life Runners podcast, episode number 332, Training During the Holidays. If you're looking for ways to bring more joy into your running and you want to be a physically and mentally stronger runner, you're in the right place.

Speaker 2:

This is the Real Life Runners podcast, and we're your hosts, kevin and Angie Brown. Thanks for spending some time with us today. Now let's get running.

Speaker 1:

What's up? Runners, welcome to the podcast. Today it's November, so we want to start talking about the holidays because, if you are like our oldest daughter, she believes that Christmas starts on November 1st as soon as Halloween is over, and she is 100% into Christmas now and the holidays and all the things.

Speaker 2:

I think she wanted to go through Halloween handy with Christmas music going in the background. She was ready for it.

Speaker 1:

I know, and it is fun Before Christmas obviously comes Thanksgiving and we just kind of like to start thinking in November just about the holiday season, because there's a lot going on in November and December between the holidays and the end of the year and Kevin is a teacher, so he's got the end of the school year and lots of days off and crunch time and things going on now like assemblies and all sorts of stuff that disrupt your school day.

Speaker 2:

It's both crunch time and vacation time simultaneously, because we get a whole week off for Thanksgiving now, and then there's obviously the Christmas break, but around that you've got to fit in all the tests and things that still need to fit into a school schedule. As a runner, you're like well, it's great that there's this time off from school, but now my kids are home, so when am I supposed to run? Because there's extra people floating around the house. Schedules just get thrown off. It's all sorts of stuff.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, especially when the kids are still little. Our kids are older now so we can go off and run and leave them home by themselves without adult supervision, and they're totally fine. Back when they were younger, that was much harder to do. We definitely had to do a lot more schedule coordination and figuring out making sure that one of us was home at all times to be with them.

Speaker 2:

And even now I mean they're older we can just say, okay, we're both going to go run and catch you later.

Speaker 1:

Well, because most of the time they're still sleeping, also when we go run in the morning.

Speaker 2:

Fair point. But if they're not, like if we're going to go run in the middle of the afternoon because the weather's finally cooperating enough that it's not like heat stroke, try and go out and run at 3 o'clock it's nice on vacation time for them to be able to spend some time with them.

Speaker 2:

So you want to be like, oh, it'd be nice if I could sleep in because it's a week off of school, but also I want to be able to spend time with my family. So that's part of the conflict that we're covering today.

Speaker 1:

Right and travel and all sorts of things. We all know that things can get a little hectic around the holidays. So today we want to talk about how we can make time for our health and fitness and how running and all the other things that we're doing as far as our health and our fitness and our training and maybe you're training for a race right now how all of those things can fit into an extra hectic time around the holidays. And, believe me, we are not here to try to stress you out and make you think, oh my gosh, it's time, it's on us, because it's going to happen anyways. It's all going to be here, so let's talk about how we can fit everything in Now.

Speaker 1:

When we start to think about this, there's two big mistakes that we often see people making around the holidays. Number one they think they don't have time because there's so much, so many other things going on, so they just let their health and fitness goals kind of fall to the side. They stop working out completely, which causes them to feel sluggished, more stressed and then guilty on top of it all, because they want to be working out in theory, but they don't think that they have time, and so they just don't do anything, or they do way, way less than they normally do.

Speaker 2:

You lead with the big excuse of time there's just not enough time, which we've covered. That on previous podcasts is there's always enough time for whatever you want to accomplish, but they lead with there's not enough time and then just go blank on the workout schedule. That, ultimately, is not the goal. Like they want to prioritize running, but they lead with I don't have time for it, and so it just completely screws everything up.

Speaker 1:

Right. And then the second big mistake we see people making is that they try to continue working out with the same exact schedule they were following before, without taking life into consideration, and that also causes so much stress and frustration because they end up missing workouts because life especially around the holidays, things are going to get in the way. It's almost inevitable, right? And so when you miss workouts and let those other things get in the way, then those people also tend to beat themselves up for missing those workouts, and a lot of that is because they weren't flexible in the first place and they were too rigid with the workout schedule that they had.

Speaker 2:

Right. So in both cases you're not getting something accomplished and you get to that guilt aspect of it Right, and both of them are really just you've started in a bad place. You're either gripping too tight to the plan or too loosely to the plan and just saying, yeah, no plan at all, I have no running, or I have to do all of the exercising, and neither is great for a super busy time of the year.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and so today we really want to talk about what's the best way to approach the holidays, and we wanted to get this episode out a little earlier. Like it is the beginning of November, I don't really quite feel like we're into the holiday season yet. How do you feel about it?

Speaker 2:

No, no, no, we're totally there.

Speaker 1:

You're there.

Speaker 2:

Well, here's the thing is I'm already planning out because we have, like, cross country races coming up and then the week off for Thanksgiving, so I have to plan my school schedule around these things. So, I'm completely focused on Thanksgiving happening already. Yeah.

Speaker 1:

I think I've just had so many other things going on that my brain has not had space for that yet. And now that, like, we just had our church's annual festival and I'm on the committee for that, so there was just so much prep and work going in we finally finished that and wrapped that up last weekend and it was amazing Now I have some more room for other things that I can fit into my brain.

Speaker 2:

Yes, Holidays, here we go. All the other things, let's go.

Speaker 1:

Christmas shopping, because I have not started that yet. So let's talk about ways that we can start to set ourselves up for success and being able to experience the most joy and presence during the holidays as well. So, number one set your intention. Okay. Don't go into the holidays thinking, you know, I don't really know what I'm going to be doing, I'm just going to kind of get in what I can.

Speaker 1:

If you don't have a clear goal around the holidays, or if you don't have things in your life prioritize, that's going to lead to a lot of frustration, inconsistency and exhaustion, because you want to be doing stuff but you're not doing stuff and then things just kind of fall to the side. And then we all know that when we exercise we feel better also right and so we want to feel as good as we can. This is not about burning off calories. I'm going to just throw that out really early in this podcast. This is not about you have to make sure you're still running, because you're going to be eating a lot more during the holiday. So if you're not exercising, then you're going to gain weight. That is not what we are talking about today.

Speaker 2:

No, that's not the goal here. This is coming up with what you want out of the holidays. I feel like the holidays just magnify whatever it is that you're getting throughout the rest of the year and a lot of people. If you don't have an intention, you're like ah, you know, I'm going to kind of wing it with exercise this week and I'll run when I run and maybe I'll be able to fit a strength day in, and it just leads to massive inconsistency. So you put that in the pressure chamber of busy holiday season and maybe I'll have a little bit of inconsistent. Training goes to. I'm not going to have any training Like maybe once a week, because that day happened to fall in your favor without intention. Your inconsistency that's like sort of hit or miss just goes to miss, I feel like is a big thing without, without the intention.

Speaker 1:

Right.

Speaker 1:

So what? The first thing that you want to do is you want to set that intention. So what is your goal during the holiday season? Are you currently training for a race or are you not training for a race? I think that's a very good place to start. It's kind of like one of these flow charts right, if you're like training for a race? Yes, direction this way. No, direction this way. Right.

Speaker 1:

If you are training for a race, understand what the goal for that race is. Is your goal to PR or to really enhance your performance, like you're going? You have like a performance goal in mind, or is your goal to complete the race and have fun? A lot of people do turkey trots or jingle jogs or different holiday themed races around this time of year, and some people run those races because they're trying to get a really good time. They're very focused on how they're performing. Other people like throwing on a Santa suit and going out and running three miles and just they don't really care what the time is. So understanding your goal is a really important first step with deciding, then, how you're going to approach training during this time.

Speaker 2:

Right. I mean it completely affects your training is is training going to take a priority because you're really buckled down and trying to go for that PR? And here's the thing it doesn't have to necessarily be like a 5k all time PR. There are a lot of people that you know we've worked with on the team and stuff. They do the same Christmas 5k every year and year and year and year and they just want to run faster than the last time. Maybe, like down here this is racing season in South Florida because the weather is cooperating, but if it's cold and snowy where you are, that's probably not setting you up for the fastest 5k you ever run, but maybe you just want to run faster than last year. You're like, oh all right, so I'm not going for a PR, but you are, you're going for a PR in that particular race. So you still have to kind of prioritize your racing, your training, over a few other things in life.

Speaker 1:

Right, because we know that during the holidays there's a lot of extra parties or events or things like that. So if the training is a priority, you might have to say no to some of those other things because you might need to get up early and get in a long run or get in some speed work. Or you might have to say no to alcohol at the party If you would normally go out and have a couple of cocktails. There are just some choices that you're going to want to make. Or maybe, if you go to a party and you know there are going to be a lot of decadent foods that traditionally have upset your stomach, you're going to want to plan your food accordingly so that you are still able to get in the training that you need in order to perform the way that you want to in your race.

Speaker 2:

Right, and this doesn't have to be like the life of a monk. You can still enjoy the holiday season. You just have to set priorities, of saying, okay, well, I have a long run on this day, so this party I'm either not going to or I'm going to really carefully plan out ahead of time that I'm going to go, I'm going to make a plate of the food and then I'm not going to just keep snacking on various things. Like you kind of put some boundaries on you of how you're going to do that party or skip the party if you don't think that you can go there and put boundaries on yourself. That's the biggest boundary is say, I don't think that I can go and enjoy the party and then still get in my training run the way that I need to get it in the next day. Or what if the party is the day before the race? Like you should probably just skip that particular party.

Speaker 1:

And that's okay. It's okay to say no to invitations and I know if you guys are like me, that's a very hard thing to do. If you're like Kevin Kevin's, like yeah, yeah, yeah, we'll just skip that one, no problem.

Speaker 2:

I think I went to a party at your friend's house before like a half marathon I ran. I feel like did that either the day before or two days before one of these races? Really, oh 100%.

Speaker 2:

I sat on the couch, miserable, because it was like all this delicious food and I'm like I cannot be eating any of that, like I am in carb loading so I can have that table but not that table. I don't remember the details of this, but I definitely remember this happening and it was all your friends, like it was not my friend group, it was your friend group but I was like all right, fine, we're going to the holiday party, let's do this thing.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, but I'm one of the people that traditionally likes parties and gatherings more than you do.

Speaker 2:

I'll put a Santa hat on.

Speaker 1:

You are and you're wonderful at these gatherings once you get there.

Speaker 2:

I was going to put a Santa hat on and just stay home and watch a movie. Is that not festive?

Speaker 1:

I feel like that's a good way to celebrate there you go, but it's one of those things where now you have me just imagining you in a Santa hat sitting on the couch watching. Christmas vacations.

Speaker 2:

Sounds fantastic.

Speaker 1:

Yeah. But anyway, if you are someone that wants the holidays to be a priority, if you love all the parties and all the gatherings and you don't want to set boundaries for yourself and you don't want to say no to invitations, that's totally fine too. You might just want to shift your training and shift your race goals to just completing them and having fun without that pressure of a time or a pace or certain level of performance. So it's all about really knowing yourself and choosing, making a very conscious choice of you know what I really want to enjoy the holiday season. So I'm still going to do this race, but I'm not going to worry about the time or you know what this race is really important to me. So I'm going to say no to some of these holiday invitations or I'm going to set boundaries around myself at these parties, because my training goal, my race, is the priority right now and it's just making that choice consciously so that you can feel good about it.

Speaker 2:

And having some wiggle room into your training plan, like if you're prioritizing your training and you know that you have a couple of holiday shindigs that you're going to like my school has the teacher appreciation lunch. Well, I just work my training around that. I make sure that I have a morning run that day, Like I'm not going to do an afternoon run. After all of the dessert table shows up for the teacher appreciation lunch.

Speaker 1:

I love the dessert table Like well. I love what you bring home from the dessert table that day.

Speaker 2:

Love the dessert table myself, and so I'm going to enjoy the table. I just make sure that I get my run in that morning, because I can't be running that afternoon and really I know that the run the next day is probably not going to go ideal either. So you just you train around the things, even if you want training to be a priority.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and the other thing we want to just remind you of is this idea that stress is stress, and a lot of people feel stressed out around the holidays. Stress is a choice. Stress is one of those things I shouldn't say stress is a choice. That oversimplifies it. It is, in a way, right, because stress is a feeling that we get that's caused by the way that we're thinking about situations and all of the things that are going on in our life and really the way that we're thinking about those. Right, because there are people that can have a lot of things going on and not feel stressed about it, and there can be people that have just a few things going on and they can feel super stressed about it.

Speaker 1:

So it's really the way that we are approaching all of these things, but, as an over a generalization, around the holidays people tend to be stressed out because of all of these demands on their time, financial demands, like all sorts of things going on, and so understanding that physical stress and mental stress are both stress in the body, they both release the stress hormone, which is cortisol, which is a very important part changes the way that your body responds to lots of different things and so a lot of people are like I don't want to gain weight during the holiday.

Speaker 1:

Well, believe it or not, stress has actually more of an effect on whether or not you gain weight during the holidays than if you eat some extra dessert at Thanksgiving dinner or at Christmas dinner, because cortisol keeps that on you and it just it changes the way that your digestion works. There's a whole host of physiological things that happen when we have excess cortisol in the body. So if you're feeling very, very stressed and you're packing your schedule with all of these things, understanding that maybe that might not be the best time for you to be shooting for that PR, because there is a lot of physical stress that you need to put your body under in order to perform in that way.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, I mean you say that the stress generally increases through the holiday season. That's like that's the mental side of stress.

Speaker 1:

That's a big generalization.

Speaker 2:

It's a big generalization, but for a lot of people the holidays are more stressful time from a mental stress at side of this.

Speaker 1:

Yeah.

Speaker 2:

But the physical stress. You're choosing whether to go through races, hard workouts, long runs, whatever it is. So if you, in particular, find the holidays mentally stressful, that is also probably a time to pull back a little bit on training. Or if you're gunning for a PR, recognize that there may be an extra challenge that you're posing to this, which is your own mental stress.

Speaker 1:

Right, and that's a good time to also mention this idea of running is a way to burn off stress. People oftentimes think that, okay, well, I'm extra stressed around the holidays and running is one of the ways that I burn off stress and that I help take care of like that mental side of things, and that can be true. There's a huge mental benefit from that. We get from running and from exercising, for sure. But it's about asking yourself what level of intensity are you participating in during that exercise? Because it's true, there is definitely mental benefits for exercise, but if you're overdoing it and overstressing your system, that's going to start taking away and diminishing those mental benefits for exercise, because you're just going to end up exhausted both physically and mentally.

Speaker 2:

Right, or if you're feeling compelled that you have to go out and exercise to reduce your stress. If you have to go do it, that's just increasing your mental stress on it, because heaven forbid you don't get that run in that you said that you have to do. Now you're going to feel even worse, that there is some guilt on top of it. That's never helping anything.

Speaker 1:

Exactly so once you set your intention, once you know what your goal is for training around the holidays and, like I said, we're getting this episode out so that you can start planning ahead you can start knowing you know when are you going to be traveling, who are you going to be hanging out with? Do those? Certain family members or friend groups tend to increase the stress that you have in your life? You know, is Uncle Joe going to be at Thanksgiving dinner and you always have an issue with him. Like, understanding these things just helps you kind of foresee what is ahead. And that leads us to step two, which is to make a plan.

Speaker 1:

Don't just try to get your workouts in when you can. Having a plan is going to help you be so much more successful at staying consistent, because if you don't have a plan and you're just trying to kind of fit things in again, it leads to a lot of inconsistency because things always tend to show up right. Things always tend to fill up your schedule or fill up your calendar, even when you don't think that those things are there. I mean, I looked at my calendar this week and I showed, I showed our oldest daughter and she said oh my gosh mom. I have anxiety just looking at your calendar, let alone having to do all of that stuff. And we're at the first week of November.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, but I mean you put everything on your calendar so like the days do have lots and lots of stuff. True, it looks super organized, like at first, when I looked at it, I'm like, oh my word, there's like 400 things on today. And then I look at all of them like, all right, that is your like laid out. I'm going to do this, then this, then this. It's essentially like a giant checklist of what you're doing hour by hour.

Speaker 1:

Depending on what color you're looking at yes, I know. Yeah, so there's some. Some of them are meetings, some of them are calls, some of them are family events and then some of them are just to do items, where I plan out when I'm going to get certain things done.

Speaker 2:

Right, it's just it's a really thoroughly planned out calendar, so it looks packed, but that way you know where everything is and it leads a whole heck of a lot fewer things to slip through the cracks, because there's a spot for them on the calendar.

Speaker 1:

Exactly, and that's really where we want to go with this part of making a plan. Get out a calendar and start to plan out your workouts in advance. Get out that calendar whether you like a digital calendar, a paper calendar, a planner however you like to plan and keep track of your days and figure out, okay, when am I traveling? Put all of it on the, on the calendar that you're going to use. Put in the holidays, put in the travel days, put in any other holiday parties or races or anything that you have that's already on the calendar. That are non-negotiables. Then you're going to go in and you're going to plan out your workout in workouts in advance. So, however many days you're running like this is where having a training plan is really helpful, cause when I look at my training plan I'm like okay, so this week I need to get in two easy runs, some speed work, and then a longer run. Which days is? Are those things going to happen?

Speaker 1:

So for me, for this week is a good example, because normally I run on Monday, tuesday, thursday and Saturday, but this week I couldn't do that.

Speaker 1:

Monday was taking up cleaning up from the church carnival, so I was just cleaning all day long I couldn't run that I shouldn't say couldn't, but I chose not to run that day.

Speaker 1:

Right, I did my normal speed work on Tuesday. Thursday is also a normal running day, but we have our cross-country regional championship on Thursday morning when I normally run, so I could wake up early that day and get my run in early, or I could try to get it in later that afternoon, or I could just shift it to another day. But when I look at all of the events that I have planned that are already taking up that amount of time now, I can go in and put my workouts in and decide okay, I'm going to run on these days, my normal lifting days, I'm going to shift some of those things around. I actually decided this week to take out one of my lifting days because I did so much heavy lifting with moving all of the furniture and boxes and all the things with the fall festival that I don't that counts as a strength training day for me, I mean like lifting up a lot of heavy things and carrying them back and forth and getting.

Speaker 1:

I got in like 17,000 steps that day without running, and most of those steps involved carrying something with me right? So that's going to count as a strength day for me this week, and so I decided today, on my normal strength day, I'm going to do yoga, because that's going to be a better way for me to use my time and just to take care of my body instead of just throwing an extra heavy lifting day on top of it.

Speaker 2:

Right, which leads to your whole. Be realistic with your plan. Like this is what I can actually fit in because I have these other things already built into my calendar.

Speaker 1:

Like I can't move X, y and Z, but I would still like to get yeah, I can't move the cross-country regional championships.

Speaker 2:

No, no, no, that was planned out months ago. Like that's not happening. You can't. You can't plan what weekend the festival is. That is always the same weekend, that's that's locked into place.

Speaker 2:

Okay, so there are certain things that are always that are going to be in place. Put those on the calendar because you can't move them, and then look at your week, look at a few weeks in a row and say, all right, how am I going to make my running work? Maybe you have a week that doesn't work very well. That's why I like if, if you got a really busy, uh, couple of weeks here, I like to look at at training over the course of a couple of weeks, cause maybe one week is like, instead of being able to run four days, I can legitimately fit in Two and like a really short, easy run on the third day, just so that I feel like I've got some movement on that day.

Speaker 2:

Okay, well, maybe the next week I'm not gonna try and make all of that up, but I might be able to get in on extra day, slide in an extra easy day to sort of balance things out over the course of two weeks, so that it's it's your general training plan, but it's it's balanced out over two weeks. It had a low week, it has an up week and then the week after that's gonna have to be low again because you just went up on one week. So you don't have to fit every run in and if you miss a run during a week you don't have to make it up the next week. But if you look at it like two to three weeks at a time, you can kind of gain some overall balance to your training plan.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and that brings us to step number three, which is be willing to adjust. Right, just because you now have a plan, that doesn't mean that everything is always going to go according to your plan. You're human, you know this by now, right? You're an adult. You, we all understand that Despite our best laid plans, sometimes, a lot of times, things don't always go exactly the way we plan them, and so we have to be willing to adjust because if you have this plan and you are so rigid with your plan that when something comes up, it makes you frustrated or angry or feel guilty that you're missing a workout, that's going to kind of cloud and kind of put a shadow on your experience of the holidays and Hopefully the holidays are a joyful time for you.

Speaker 1:

I know the holidays can sometimes be hard for some people with family and you know people that have lost family and those kinds of things like it's. It's definitely one of those bittersweet times of the year, but if we're thinking that things are going to go exactly the way we plan them, that's Definitely going to lead to some feelings of frustration.

Speaker 2:

No, you need that flexibility, you need that willingness and ability to adjust. But you can't adjust without a plan. But you can't just wing it and then make adjustments.

Speaker 1:

I mean you can, it's just not going to be very successful.

Speaker 2:

There's no adjustments because there's nothing to adjust. You're just, you're just winging it, and you're winging it in a more chaotic time. So you need the plan first so that you can adjust, making the adjustments as far easier. If you have things laid out, and then you can see it's laid out, you're like, oh wait, this new thing came onto my calendar and I don't have any control over it. But I can try and tweak and adjust my workouts for the week and figure out what I can fit in, what I can't fit in, take some realistic Actions towards this and say, alright, I'm going to have to simply skip working out on this day.

Speaker 2:

You know, maybe you were not going to stay late at the party, but then extra people showed up from out of town. You haven't seen them in a couple of years and you're like, well, I'm hanging out later at the party. That's going to throw a king in your plans. Like it's just, it's going to. So be willing to adjust. Or Don't put yourself in a situation where you have to get adjusted. Like it might stink to miss that party, but if you have a race the next morning, you might need to skip the party.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, and that I mean that happened to us this past weekend also with the fall festival, right. Like there was a night on Friday night. So I normally run on Saturday mornings. On Friday night I ended up staying late because the the sale that I was working at closed at 9, but all of us were just so fried after that we're like let's go, you know, check out the band, let's go get a drink. And so I went with my friends over and we ended up staying out late, like we didn't get to bed until, I mean, after midnight, and I never get to bed that late, like we normally are in bed by 10 o'clock.

Speaker 1:

So not only had I been on my feet for a very long time, and I was also very stressed out with, like every you know, all the people and the negotiations and all the people that were trying to haggle on pricing and all sorts of things. Right, there was a lot going on. I was like I'm not going to run on Saturday because I'm not gonna be able to get enough sleep, but I knew that time change was happening on Sunday, so I was gonna gain an extra hour and I was also willing to go home earlier on Saturday night I'm. I'm just gonna leave and go home early. You chose to leave earlier because you knew you wanted to get in a 20-mile or on Sunday, so you didn't stay and you didn't listen to the band with me, and that was a well. You did for a little bit, but then you left earlier than I did.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, saturday night, but no one else left with me, and so I still was not able to really get to bed early.

Speaker 1:

So I was still that boundary for yourself.

Speaker 2:

I did set some boundaries, so I wasn't out, I was home. It was, it was better, but it was still. It was not a great weekend. And I knew that it was not gonna be a great weekend of training because, as much as I could have crammed the training in, I would not have been able to recover from it appropriately right, and without that appropriate recovery you're not adapting from it. Could I have woken up and crammed in 20 miles? Yes, I definitely could have done that, but I was trying to get in. I was trying to get in 20 and somewhere right around I forget where it was 13, 14 miles I hit the wall. Just boom, I was just done. It was like and I am out of energy, I could have pushed through and grinded through, but I knew what that weekend had looked like and I'm like this is not the time to continue trying to push through. So I didn't get in as long of a run as I wanted and I could have been all upset about this.

Speaker 1:

But I knew ahead of time that whatever I was gonna be able to get in training wise in this weekend was going to be Just what it was well, and I think that if you know that going in, then you can reframe it and in your mind, in the way that you're thinking, instead of being mad that you didn't get in what you wanted to get in, you can instead see it as well Whatever I get in this weekend is a bonus. Yes, right, like that's gonna be a good thing. And that's that's kind of how I went in, because I'm not training for a race right now, I'm training to just be strong. I'm very much in maintenance mode right now and I like maintenance mode. It's working for me right now and I knew that. Okay, if I can get in Some time running on Sunday, I'm just gonna see how I feel.

Speaker 1:

Normally I get it, get in a longer run. I like to try to get in kind of like a base of like seven or eight miles on on the weekend. But this weekend I was like I don't know if that's gonna be the best choice for me, because my body has been through a lot. I've been up late, I'm eating food that I'm not normally eating, I'm not as well hydrated as I normally am. There's a lot of things going on. So I just went out on Sunday saying you know what. I'm gonna go out and I'm gonna be on my feet for an hour. That's what I'm hoping to get in. If I feel absolutely awful, then I might even cut that short.

Speaker 1:

I gave myself that option, but I said I'm gonna go out, I'm gonna run, I'm gonna do a little bit of walking in there if I want to, I'm just gonna go out for an hour and do a Time-based run instead of a mileage-based run. Because I think that a lot of times we think, okay, well, I have to get in six miles, eight miles, ten miles, whatever that might be, and that can be very grueling both physically and mentally. But if you're like, okay, I'm just gonna go out for 45 minutes or an hour or whatever that time is, then you can go out and listen to your body and you can adjust and you can take some walking breaks if you need to, you Can slow the pace down, whereas if you're looking to get mileage in, oftentimes we're like, well, if I just run faster, this will be done sooner, right, so we get tired. We're less inclined to listen to our bodies and slow down.

Speaker 2:

Right. I mean, this is one of the big things of effort-based versus pace-based training. If you're heading out for a long run on the weekend and you're like, alright, normally when I go get my long run, I get in, say, ten miles and it takes me two hours. Okay, great, that's, that's your run, instead of saying I have to get in ten miles, why don't you go out for two hours, okay, instead of like, just put it to time, put it to a time equivalent, and say, but if I need to take extra walking breaks along the way, if I need to change this and make it a loop by my house cause that's what I did I was not sure how I was going to do. So I was doing smaller loops so that I could make sure that I hadn't had fuel. I had water to refill at the house, cause I was definitely not hydrated Correct Through the weekend.

Speaker 2:

So I'm like, let's just take all of this into account and take it nice and comfortable. So I had, like I had a lower limit of mileage that I wanted to get in and I had an upper limit that would have been ideal and as, once I cross the threshold of the lower limit, I still ran for several miles. I wasn't like get this in and then be done. It was. I need to get at least to here, and that's going to take me a decent amount of time. I'll be out there on my feet for a while.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, I kind of had the same thing going on Like in my head. I wanted to get in about an hour, but I was like if I'm really not feeling well, if I'm totally tired and spent in all the ways, I at least want 45 minutes right. So I'm definitely going to do that, but I'm hoping for an hour If I feel really good. Maybe I'll do more or maybe not, because it was the last day of the festival and I knew I was going to be again just moving a lot and doing a lot of manual labor and mental labor and all of the things right. So it's also knowing what's coming up ahead of you so that you don't just completely spend yourself with your run or with whatever workout you're doing and you still have energy to be able to show up in the way that you want to for the rest of your things in that day Also.

Speaker 2:

Oh, 100%. Like so many people, they pushed too hard on a long run in the first place and then like, oh, how'd you spend your weekend? Well, I did my long run and then I spent the rest of the weekend recovering from my long run, like that's the good runner's joke. Well, if you have holiday stuff going or you have the last day of the rummage sale that you're trying to mentally be prepared for, you can't spend all of your energy before the sun comes up in the morning. Well, actually, the time changed, so it was after the sun came up. On this particular one, I was like Whoa, suddenly it's getting light in the middle of my run.

Speaker 2:

It's so crazy, it's weird, but you have to make sure that you still have energy for the rest of your day, because you know there's there's only so much energy that you have and caffeine can only cover so much of it.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, absolutely so. Understanding that adjustment is part of the equation when it comes to the holidays and accepting that early on and being totally open to it and willing to do it is a key for success in the holiday. So, just as a recap, set an intention. Make sure you know what your goal is for training during the holiday months. Number two make a plan. Make sure you schedule all the things on your calendar so that you know when you can fit your workouts in. And then, number three, be willing to adjust. That doesn't mean that you just let everything go off the rails. Like Kevin said, sometimes you're going to miss a workout. Let it go, miss it. Move on to the next thing. If you miss a whole week, you might have to adjust the plan a little bit, but be willing to make those adjustments and if you need help, reach out. This is one of the things that we love helping runners to do on a daily basis.

Speaker 2:

Yeah, a hundred percent Like this is is the best. Is I? I have to travel for a week because I'm visiting this family and this family? How do I, how do I get this thing figured out? It's like, well, when? When is the race? Well, it's two weeks after the week long vacation. It's like, all right. So this is how we're going to need to try and plan some things out and move some things around.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, we had one of our clients who just ran the New York City Marathon this past weekend. Congratulations to all the runners of the New York City Marathon. We had several people run it this weekend, but one in particular that I'm thinking of. She was traveling out of the country for I think like three weeks. Three to four weeks, yeah, I think it was almost four.

Speaker 1:

Right, and it was just maybe a month or two ago, so it was like relatively close to the race. It was definitely within her marathon training cycle. Oh yeah, and in the past, when she's traveled out of the country, she's just not run, because where she goes, it's just it's very difficult to run on the country roads and safety and lots of different things and so we kind of had this discussion with her a few months ago with well, this is really going to be right in a core part of your marathon training cycle. What can you do when you're there Instead of not doing anything? Maybe it's not going to be ideal, maybe it's not going to be able to follow the training plan exactly the way it's written, but what can you get in? How can we adjust so that we can figure out what's the best case scenario given the real life circumstances that we're working with here?

Speaker 2:

Right, I mean it started with here's a plan. Well, here's your intention marathon. Here's the plan that's going to actually fit into your crazy schedule, and then the willingness to adjust as you're going through the plan. They covered all three of them. It was excellent.

Speaker 1:

Yeah, absolutely so. If you guys are interested in some coaching or some guidance with your training, reach out to me over on Instagram at real life runners, or you can also go to our website, real life runnerscom, and you can sign up for our Academy interest list there so that you know when we open up the doors for the real life runners Academy, so that you can get all the help that you need to accomplish your holiday goals and all the goals in 2024 as well. So you have anything else that you want to pop in here?

Speaker 2:

No, but you know that goals in 2024 podcast is coming. At some point it's coming.

Speaker 1:

It's coming. I think it's on the schedule for December, but we definitely want to start looking ahead to 2024, which is so crazy because we haven't even finished 2023 yet.

Speaker 2:

It's barely Christmas season, I know, here we are.

Speaker 1:

All right, you guys. We hope you all have a wonderful holiday. We are definitely going to be still releasing episodes every week, every Thursday, throughout the rest of the year and indefinitely into the future Indefinitely into the future.

Speaker 2:

Hey, we got races coming up and we got to talk all about those things too. We do?

Speaker 1:

Kevin has officially signed up for the Daytona 100, which is in December, it's in a month from tomorrow.

Speaker 2:

It's a month from tomorrow. Yeah, which is frighteningly close.

Speaker 1:

Which is kind of crazy, but it's going to be fun and we're actually going to be raising some money for some charity through this race and we'll be sending out some more information. So, if you are interested in supporting Kevin in the 100 mile race, there is a link you could actually go to kevin100.com and you can check out different ways that you can support Kevin, and we're going to be raising money for the epilepsy foundation, because those of you that might not know, kevin does have a history of seizures. He had three unexplained seizures in 2017 that led to that diagnosis, and so it's definitely a foundation and a cause that is close to us, I should say.

Speaker 2:

Yes, I spent a lot of time on their website back in 2017 and 2018. A lot of time on their website.

Speaker 1:

Right, so Kevin's decided you want to talk a little bit about what made you decide to do this.

Speaker 2:

I mean, it is a cause close to me. I am part of what got me into ultra running, all kind of dominoed through. It was something I had in the back of my head, but it came forward more during this time period. One, because one of the people that had to drive me, because I was not allowed to drive myself, was an ultra marathoner. So one of the people driving me into school so that I could keep doing my job, he had run ultra marathons and I was like, yep, that seems like it's something interesting.

Speaker 2:

It reminded me of my interest in the whole idea of running incredibly long distances, and then it just it opens up the idea of feeling so limited that I felt for much of 2017 and 18 of well, I've got this diagnosis, what can I do, what I'm not allowed to do, and limits that were placed on me, and saying, if I train in a healthy way, if I live in a healthy way and I take my medicine, then I don't think that I have as many limits on me as others might. So trying to show that, even with the epilepsy diagnosis, that there are still very few limits on me. Last time I tried an ultra, I think the limit was 65 miles, though, so we're pushing the limits and seeing how we can do this in the most healthy manner possible.

Speaker 1:

Absolutely. If you guys want to support Kevin and his race and help us to raise money for the Epilepsy Foundation, you can go to kevin100.com. And, as always, if this episode was helpful, please share it with a friend, share it on social media, leave us a review so that other runners can find our podcast, and we thank you for being here with us and spending this time with us today. This has been the Real Life Runners Podcast, episode number 332. Now get out there and run your life.

Training During the Holidays
Balancing Training and Holiday Celebrations
Planning Workouts Around the Holidays
Being Willing to Adjust Is Important
Adapting Training During the Holiday Season
Overcoming Limits