Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Fitness Goals for the Holidays

The holiday season and winter months in general is a time when some people slack on their workouts and eating habits.  Being around family, lots of delicious food, and the cold weather can put a kink in your routine.  Many media sources say the average person gains between 7 and 10 pounds during the season (source).  Edit: Although it is actually less, that extra weight accumulates over the years and is not easily lost (source). 
I seriously love this time of year and will spend time with my family and eat tasty homemade treats, but will continue to be conscious and smart about my choices.  There is nothing wrong with indulging every now and then!  I do want to avoid a big holiday weight gain though (I am just over 20 pounds away from my goal!), so I am joining some online fitness challenges.  

I could wait until the new year, but why put off what you can do today, right?  The holiday season may be a challenge, but I am up for it!  Are you?  

Firstly, I joined the Holiday Booty Buster Challenge put together by Amanda at Run to the Finish.  Essentially you earn points for the exercise you do, which then transfer to entries in a drawing for a variety of great food and fitness prizes.  Just by signing up I have noticed a difference in my workout effort.  Since I am not training for anything in particular I have skipped days when I could have, and probably should have, worked out.  The HBBC just started last Saturday and it has motivated me to be active almost everyday!  If you are interested in the challenge, you can still sign up as a late entry over at Run to the Finish or follow on twitter with the #HBBC stream.  I think this is a great idea and will keep me active over the holidays. 

About two months ago I was lucky enough to be invited to join the FFCheer team. 
"We are a group of Chicago runners, of varied experience levels, from beginners to marathon runners, who want to spread the joy of running. We believe that running changes everything. We are also gear enthusiasts. Want to chat about running gear, how it fits, how it feels? Join us on Twitter @ffcheer or by using hash tag #ffcheer. We are the Fleet Feet Sports Chicago Cheer Team."  
This is just another reason why I love Fleet Feet Chicago.  I have had the opportunity to connect with some other runners and participate in some great events.  
One of the members came up with a great winter running challenge for all runners in the Chicagoland area called The Frozen Tundra 100.  The goal is to run at least 100 miles from December 1st - January 31st.  This is my first winter in Chicago and is predicted to be pretty bad, but I am going to go for it.  If you live in the area you should join along at Daily Mile and you could even win some cool prizes from Fleet Feet!

And finally the Holiday Challenge from Coach Jenny Hadfield.  She is the co-author of Marathoning for Mortals (which I used to train for my first half marathon) and a Runner's World contributor who has great running advice, plans, and tips.  All you have to do is set a mileage goal for the week and post your mileage to her facebook page.  I love reading all of her advice and there are some great prizes up for grabs.  There will be weekly drawings and blog posts from Coach Jenny through January 1st.  This challenge works in conjunction with HBBC and the FT100 so I am thinking between 12-18 miles a week. To join all you have to do is enter your email address here.  

It may seem like a lot, but I think they all kind of work together and I have faith I can do it.  I am a little nervous about the Frozen Tundra 100 having never experienced a Chicago winter or run in the snow before.  I attended a seminar on winter running at Fleet Feet last week, that was really informational, so hopefully all will go well.  Having these challenges and sharing them with you will definitely keep my motivated to keep moving this winter!

Next up on my race calendar is the Rudolph Ramble 8K which is next weekend.  It will be a new race distance and hopefully I will have a chance to meet some fellow FFCheer members. 

Do you have any goals this season to keep you active?  Are you participating in any holiday challenges this year?  Up for joining any of these with me?