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Use these tips to balance holiday enjoyment with your needs as an athlete.
It’s often said that the average person gains five pounds during the six-week period from Thanksgiving week to New Year’s Day. Actually, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, the average person gains only one pound over the holidays—but never loses it. So, for the typical American, 20 years of turkey dinners, office holiday parties, and New Year’s Eve toasts add up to 20 pounds of lard around the middle. You don’t want that!
The holiday season coincides with the off-season for most runners. Training is typically reduced at this time, which further increases the likelihood of weight gain. In fact, for the runner who enters the holiday/off-season at a very high level of fitness, a certain amount of weight gain is unavoidable. But what you want to avoid is the common problem of gaining entirely too much body fat at this time of year, which will sabotage your efforts to take your racing performance to a new level next year.
The five tips on the following pages will help you avoid excessive weight gain this holiday/off-season.