4 Ways for Cyclists to Get Through the Holiday Season

4 Ways for Cyclists to Get Through the Holiday Season

Stay in your rhythm and don't overindulge

by Patricia Schwager, ALP Cycles Coaching

The Holidays are here! It's that time of the year to enjoy time with family, friends, and loved ones. The holidays are joyful and exciting, but can also bring on stress. It's easy to get out of your normal rhythm and routine with overindulging in bad eating habits and by neglecting training. It's also a prime time to get sick with flu and colds. 

Below are a few tips on how to manage and keep on track, while still having fun. 

1. Get your training done before the family events.

This might mean waking up a few hours earlier, spending part of it (or all) on a trainer - or - splitting your workout over 2 sessions. Point is that you are more likely to get your workout done if it's done first thing and before the holiday events and commitments take place.

2. Be accountable during your training. 

  • It's easy to skip workouts with the holiday stresses, but try not to overcommit and overlook yourself. Practice saying "no" to numerous invitations and attend to 1 quality event per day vs struggling to get to several.
  • Have some company to join you during rides or workouts so that you're more accountable.

3. Eat smart and mindful - Avoid over-eating and indulging in bad food choices.

  • Pile your plate 3/4 full with veggies, fruit, and carbs - then just a "fistful" of protein.
  • Hot tip: spread the food flat across your plate (not piled high) to make it look full.
  • Alcoholic drinks are ok in moderation, but can add to the added calories and weight! Try other drink alternatives, fore example: Non-Alcoholic Beer (try beers by Athletic Brewing - they taste like craft beers!), Kombucha or fizzy water with fruit juice (get creative mimicking a cocktail). If you do drink alcohol, remember to have 1 glass of water per beverage and limit to 1-2 max per week. 

4. After the dinner (or lunch)

Take a walk after dinner or lunch vs nap. You'll burn more calories and feel more energized. It's also a nice way to engage the entire family and friends!

Protect your health - Flu and Cold seasons in full-swing

  • This time of the year is the peak of flu season and becoming sick with colds. You're even more susceptible if your immune system is already suppressed from being stressed around the holidays. Remember, if you're sick to shut it down, rest, and engage your coach ASAP.
  • Read our sickness protocol, written by ALP Cycles Coach Brianna Walle for more tips on what to do if you're sick. 
  • Aim for enough sleep (8-9 hours) - take a nap (up to 90 mins) if you're feeling sluggish.
  • Wash your hands, use hand-sanitizer, and proper hygiene! Sing "Happy Birthday" in your head the entire washing duration to make sure you're washing long enough and make sure to clean your wrists and under the fingernails as well.
  • Take your vitamins! Specifically, ZINC, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D, to help boost your immune system during the holidays and stressful times. 

Hydrating and drinking enough during your rides in the cold winter months can be challenging.

Hot Tip: Hydrate with warm liquids in your bottle (insulated sport water bottles): we love peppermint tea with honey for example. Also, electrolytes with warm water is actually pretty tasty. 

From ALP Cycles Coaching, we wish you Happy Holidays!

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Patricia Schwager began cycling in 1998, racing as a junior. After racing on the domestic level and completing her Diploma as Pastry Chef, she got her first pro contract in 2006. 2015 will be here 10th year of professional racing. Patricia has a lot of experience racing in the European peloton. In 2013 she started working with Shawn Heidgen (Current ALP Cycles Coach) as her personal coach. In 2014 she changed her focus to racing in the US. Patricia is a 6 time national Swiss champion and has represented her home country, Switzerland, at the World Championships 12 times.

For 2015, Patricia will race for Team Tibco. Along with racing she’s looking to share and pass on her knowledge in her new role as an ALP Cycles Coach. Visit her online at http://patriciaschwager.com