Run for the Journey

Run for the Journey

Exercises Between Chocolates

Look, it’s Christmas, you’re going to let your hair down a bit. You’re going to eat more than you normally do and you’re probably going to be a little bit less active than you usually are. We’re all in the same boat. Training over the festive season can be pretty tough after all, what with all the parties, the occasional hangovers and relentless family members trying to make you eat more food even though you’ve desperately pleaded that you’ve had enough a dozen times.

The main problem with Christmas however, is the bit afterwards. The time when all the fun and festivities stop and you suddenly realise that you may have gone slightly overboard with the enjoyment. You may be doing your first run in after a few weeks off, or nipped back into the gym to suddenly realise that you’re not quite a fit as you were the last time you went. “Ah”, you might mutter to yourself “maybe I should have a done a little bit of exercise.”

It’s never going to be easy to maintain a training plan over the peak of the festive season, especially if that means going out for a run when you’ve had a couple of sherries and a box of chocolate liquors, but that doesn’t mean you can’t keep things ticking over with a few handy exercises to do at home. After all, you may as well do something with all those extra calories, why not build some muscle? Heck, you could even turn it into a challenge with your relatives to keep everyone motivated.

With each exercise try and do as many reps as possible. Then rest for one minute and repeat. 15 minutes would be a good time to see home many times you can repeat all three exercises, considering it’s Christmas.

Exercise 1:  Lunges with Bicep Curls

Find something heavy enough to cause some effort whilst curling, then starting with your feet together, step out with one leg so it lands with your leg at a 90-degree bend. Make sure your leg lands on your heel and your full foot is stable on the ground. As you perform the motion, perform a bicep curl with both arms. Push back from your heel and lower your biceps at the same time, finishing in the original position.

Lunges with bicep curl

Lunges with bicep curls

What’s it for?

We’re looking to burn as many calories as possible whilst efficiently working out multiple muscles. So, as well as giving your arms and legs some conditioning work, you’ll be burning through those mince pies.

Exercise 2: Press-up with a Plank Hold

Starting from a press-up position do five reps then hold the plank at the top for 15 seconds, repeat until you can’t do anymore. If you can’t do normal press-ups then carry them out on your knees, raising them to perform the plank.

Plank press-up

Plank press-up

What’s it for?

Press-ups are one of the best exercises to build upper body strength and work the chest as well as the triceps. Add in a plank and you’re helping build core strength, which is extremely important to things like running.

Exercise 3: Squat with a Squat Hold

With your feet firmly on the floor and your legs shoulder-width apart. Lower your body to just below a 90-degree angle before standing up again. Do this five times before lowering again and then staying there for 15 seconds.



What’s it for?

The reason we’re putting legs in here again is that 1) you’re probably a runner and 2) the legs contain the biggest muscles in the body, which means they burn more calories. Which is what you’re going to have loads of for the next couple of weeks.

Once done, resume your seated position in front of the television and carry on with your chocolates/ cheese selection/ argumentative family board game/ turkey basting, smugly confident in the knowledge that you’ve earned it. Well done and Merry Christmas!


If you’re not sure about how to do some of the exercises, or you feel any sort of pain, then remember to speak to a PT to ensure you’re carrying it out properly. Online workouts are good for guidance, but different people have varied needs when it comes to exercise. Remember to warm up and stretch as well. We don’t want you getting injured before any races coming up.

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Tom Wheatley

All Rounder

Combining running with all sorts of other physical activities, Tom ”loves running as a way of exploring new places and enjoys nothing more than spending my Sunday doing any race I can find.”