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How to keep on running through Christmas

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Monday 18th December 2017
Do you treat Christmas as an excuse to take a bit of time off running and spend quality time with friends and family? Or do you take advantage of a few days’ holiday by disappearing for a run leaving the rest of your family to celebrate (aka ‘slump in front on Doctor Who with a pile of Roses wrappers on the arm of the chair’)? 
If it’s the latter it’s likely that there will be some potential points of friction in your holiday season. For example, you’d like to go for a run but instead you’re required to cut small crosses in the bottom of sprouts. Or you’re about to head out of the door but the relatives arrive an hour early. Or maybe you won’t make yourself popular if you sit in stinking running kit while your house guests try to enjoy their pigs in blankets. 
And of course, the irony of all of this is that while it’s tough to find a time to pop out running over Christmas that won’t interfere with family time, you will spend many hours over Christmas sitting in a room of virtually comatose people watching TV, thinking ‘I could have gone for a run!'. And, to add insult to injury, your elderly relatives will obviously tell you that it’s a good thing you’re taking a few days off because all that running isn’t good for you. It will, yes, ‘ruin your knees’.  
But don’t worry, help is at hand. Here we bring you our guide to ‘running over Christmas without upsetting people’. 
1. The obvious one. Just get up early. Chances are that any members of the family over the age of 14 aren’t going to stir before 10am. Especially the older ones who drained that wine box and mainlined the Quality Street into the early hours. Plenty of time for some early morning miles, followed by a day of feeling virtuous. If you’ve got little ones who are going to have you up at 5am, well, we’re sorry, we can’t help you. 
2. Christmas Day parkrun. Get this one in the diary. It’s a community affair which, importantly, shows that going for a run is an entirely normal thing to do on Christmas Day. Make it part of your Christmas routine wherever you find yourself on the day (find out which parkruns are happening on Christmas Day here) and you can even drag any willing family members along. You can take it easy, just to tick over, or you can make this a tempo effort, ensuring a bit of quality in your Christmas running. 
3. The sneaky run. Christmas Day and Boxing Day are full of reasons to nip out. For example, those batteries you thought were included, unexpectedly running out of milk, forgetting that your niece has gone vegan. And here’s the thing - everybody will be drunk and won’t be able to drive! So if you don your backpack and head to that garage or Tesco Metro a few miles away you’ll not only get a run in, you’ll also be really popular! It’ll look like you didn’t even want to go for a run, but you did it out of the goodness of your own heart. 
4. The bargain. This might be your safest option. ‘OK, so, if I prepare the turkey, get it in the oven, then sort out all the veg, lay the table and construct the prawn cocktails [lay all this on pretty thick] would it be ok if I then use that idle hour before everybody gets there to go for a run?’. Who could refuse that? 
5. The ’I’m only running to be polite’ test of your Christmas presents. Another safe one. If your auntie gave you a running bumbag or a comedy running hat, well it would be really rude not to test those out wouldn’t it? It would just look really ungrateful. In fact, I like this hat so much and I’m so excited about running in it that I’m going to go and test it out right now. You can take it to the charity shop once she’s gone home. 
These are just some ideas. We can’t be held responsible for any fall-out from any of this. I did think about including ‘pretending to go to church’ but decided that was in poor taste. But remember, it is all about peace and love this Christmas. 

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