When it comes to fitness, everyone is different. We all have different goals, different training regimes. But one thing we all have in common is the fear of losing that hard earned fitness over the Christmas period. We have put in consistent hard graft, and then for some reason or another the festive season crops its head up and sticking to the training plan becomes increasingly difficult.
While it’s inevitable that we will lose some fitness over the month of December it is possible to put in place some damage limitation so you are not in the situation in January where you are cursing yourself for eating too many mince pies and watching one too many Christmas classics on the box.
We enlisted the help of Claire Lee, a cycling coach of Lee Valley Velo Park (who incidentally are hosting the UCI World Cup Track Champs from 5-7 December) to provide some much needed advice in order to come out of the festive season in the best shape possible:
"If you have trained consistently over a period of time then Christmas can actually be a very beneficial time. Rest is a secret weapon. Your body needs time to adapt and really everyone should cut back their training by 50% during a rest week. A rest week should occur every four to five weeks.
Anyone who is serious about their training should plan ahead for Christmas and incorporate it into their training plan using Christmas week as their rest week.
You also need to be sensible about your diet. You should try to eat more protein to assist recovery and cut back on the carbs. Of course at Christmas it can be hard to resist but really try your best to limit bad carbs like sweets, desserts and chocolates. Try to take on good carbs, but don’t load up in the same way that you would if you were heading out on a long endurance ride.
Remember that your time on the bike is all about quality not quantity, so if you find yourself with less time over the festive season, be sure to bear this in mind and plan your sessions accordingly."