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How Do We Survive the Holidays?

Posted by David Hardy
David Hardy
VTR Expert
User is currently offline
on Thursday, December 18, 2014
in Training

This is a fantastic time of year. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Holiday parties, kids back from college, extended vacation time for many, etc. This time of the year there seems to be a party or get together every week from mid-November until after New Years. Many of these parties include great food, countless desserts, and fine adult beverages. This is a great time to catch up with family and friends and look forward to the New Year.


So what is the problem?

The problem is if you are serious about your training this is a very difficult time of the year. For most of us this is the off-season, but we still need to keep up with some base training. The Holidays are geared towards excess in almost every category of our lives with the exception of exercise.  It is tough to keep up with any kind of a training program. After all,  we have every excuse in the book. It is the off-season, Holidays only come once a year, weather is cold and frightful, etc. It is very easy to miss workouts and grab a piece of pie. I am as guilty (or more guilty) than most. If you are guilty of any of the below you probably are already on the wrong road this Holiday season.

1)   How many of you had a piece of pie for breakfast any of the mornings following Thanksgiving?

2)   How many of you had more than one “Thanksgiving dinner” utilizing leftovers?

3)   Is a new part of your routine at work grabbing chocolates out of a dish on someone’s desk?

4)  Are you following the “if I don’t weigh myself I didn’t gain weight” philosophy?

5)  Is it impossible to buy a gift certificate at a restaurant without eating there as well?

6)  Have you missed more than one workout due to staying out too late?

7)  Have you missed more than one workout due to being “over served” at a party?

8)  Have you ordered a donut or muffin in addition to your coffee recently just because it’s the Holidays?

9)  Has a button on your pants mysteriously popped off recently?

10) Worse of all…Have you started to embrace your sedentary lifestyle?

If you are already on the wrong road it is not too late. Don’t write off the last few weeks of this year as a lost cause. Every week lost will take 2-3 weeks to get back. You need to start the long road back to fitness now. Force yourself to get back into a routine of running at least 3-4 days a week. You don’t have to run hard. The key is to get your body moving and start to stem the tide of your Holiday debauchery.


Speaking from experience after a few workouts the racing juices will start flowing again. You will probably be disgusted with your weight and your current fitness but that can all be corrected with time. The key is to start now and don’t make everything worse by waiting until after the New Year. If you are reading this and you know you are on the wrong road then get motivated! Make a decision now to run tomorrow…don’t wait! What could possibly be stopping you from running 30-45 minutes 3-4 times a week?

One word of caution…Start running but don’t step on a scale. Since you have lost fitness you may not be able to handle the shock…wait a few weeks and hopefully the number will improve.

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Lose the Holiday Belly and Return to Race Weight

Posted by David Hardy
David Hardy
VTR Expert
User is currently offline
on Monday, December 31, 2012
in Weight Loss



 As the calendar turns symbolizing the end of the holiday season, every athlete should begin to switch gears from the "off-season" mode to 2013 race season preparation. At VTR we will focus on two athletes who gained some weight this off-season and are starting the process of returning to race weight. This will not be a scientific examination of the process. The goal is to give helpful tips and hopefully some motivation to start losing the extra weight you inevitably gained over the holidays. I think you will find it interesting as both athletes begin to return to race weight in two completely different ways. The focus will be on total weekly mileage, general nutrition strategies, and of course the results of the weekly weigh-in.

This is not a weight loss contest but what usually happens with competitive people is that everything turns into a competition. It will be interesting to see who reaches their goal race weight first but the focus will be to gradually lose the weight and increase fitness as we get closer to serious racing in the spring.

Profiles below:

Athlete #1: Dave   (your VTR host)                                                           

Goal Race Weight:  169         Current weight:  189

Last year: Great season as I completed the Ironman in Montreal on September 10th. In addition completed 18 races including a half-Ironman, 3 half marathons, and a failed Ironman attempt at Vineman.

Off-season: Mostly ran; averaging 100 miles a month since September.

2013 goals: Break 1:30 in the half marathon on April 13th. I want to be at my goal race weight on that date as well.



Athlete #2: Mike (popular juicing blogger)                  

Goal Race Weight:  169         Current weight:  192.5

Last year: Incredible year losing 65 pounds in the first 4 months of 2012. After completing all 10 events in the Good Times 5k Series, started training for triathlons and completed the Montreal Olympic Triathlon in 3 hours on September 10th.

Off-season: Yoga 3x a week and several spin classes. Limited running and swimming.

2013 goals: Finish a half-Ironman. Goal to return to race weight by start of Good Times Spring Series. (mid-April)



 First progress update Jan 6th.....Time to get moving!!!


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