7 Training Tips For The Festive Season

The festive season can play havoc with our well intentioned training programmes, with Christmas parties and catching up with friends and family, it can be tough to stay on track. What if we put some strategies in place to avoid this happening? How much better will we feel come February when the Spirited Women Adventure Race will only be 7 weeks away? Here are a few tips to help keep your training on track…

1. Set process goals.

It’s natural to set big outcome goals for ourselves (come in the top 5 teams, lose weight, etc.) the trouble with this is the end result is largely out of our control. The holiday season is a great time of year to focus on process goals—smaller, actionable items you can check off your list daily that will help bring you closer to your outcome goals. Examples include: climb a hill with a pack once a week, do 20 pushups every morning (for kayak strength), get to bed by 10 every night there isn’t a party!  Focus on executing your process goals this holiday season, and chances are you’ll be happy with the end result and more likely to reach your outcome goals.

2. Grab a buddy.

The holidays are a great time to catch up with out-of-town friends who might be home visiting their own families for a few days. What better way to make the most of your time together than by going for a run or a ride? Or even heading into the hills for a hike or hiring a double kayak to go on a paddle adventure. If it’s not too far out of everyone’s comfort zone you could suggest a family hike instead of lunch or dinner with the extended family.

3. Establish a routine.

Running around to holiday parties, visiting friends and traveling to see family can make it easy to fall out of rhythm, but establishing a consistent weekly routine to follow can help keep you on track amid the chaos as it takes the guesswork out of your day. Assign a specific focus to each day of the week, for example Monday 1hr mtb, Tuesday 45min run, Wednesday 1h 30min mtb etc. No exceptions, no excuses.

4. Crank up the intensity once a week.

Once a week, crank up the intensity of one of your running or mountain bike workouts with a short, fast interval session. Not only will these types of workouts break up the monotony of slow long distance sessions, but they will also give your fitness level a quick boost and are easier to fit in.

5. Plan ahead.

If you are travelling, do your research ahead of time and scope out popular running or biking routes where you’ll be heading. Let those you’re visiting (or that are visiting you) know ahead of time you’re planning to work out, even encourage them to join you! If you announce your intentions ahead of time, it will create the time and space you need, but it will also create an added level of accountability to actually get off the sun lounger and get it done!

6. Balance the abundance.

It’s easy to get carried away at a loaded buffet table, which is why it’s important to know what you’re in for and plan ahead prior to holiday happy hours. Avoid the temptation to overdo it when the options in front of you are abundant. While it’s OK to allow yourself to splurge on drinks and dessert every once in a while, don’t let it become a regular habit. Going to two parties on the same night? Eat dinner at the first and save room for dessert at the next. Alternate wine with Kombucha or water to stay hydrated and feeling on top of your game the next day!

7. Prioritise your workouts

The best time of the day to fit in your training is early morning before everyone else in the house is awake. You’ll then avoid comments such as, “come on it’s Christmas” or “it won’t hurt to skip this session”. You will also be more likely to get it done as you won’t be as distracted or caught up in the busy-ness of the day.

So no need to sacrifice your precious training over the festive season. By incorporating some or all of these strategies you will still be on track for the Spirited Women by the time February rolls around. Now go and enjoy your holidays!


Kym is a mum of 3 boys, 4, 7 and 9 yrs, trains and races in multisport and adventure racing events and is super passionate about nutrition and wellness. She is the co-creator and retreat leader at NZ Adventure Retreats and is part of the team that has won the Spirited Women Adventure Race long course for the past 3 years.

Kym along with Rach Smith from Navigation North will be running a specific Womens Adventure Race Skills Weekend in Taupo February 23rd and 24th to help with up-skilling in different aspects of the race and helping you become a more confident and competent adventure racer.

Contact kym@nzadventureretreats.com or 0272500435 to register.