Silly season is nearly upon us – a time for eating, drinking and being very merry! Most of us will wait until January to start our new year health kick, and attempt to undo all that overindulgence. But don’t you remember the saying: prevention is better than cure? Instead of giving in to festive fever and cursing yourself come Christmas Day, take on the AdventRunning challenge and then you can eat ALL the food, guilt-free.
So what is AdventRunning, you ask? Well, it’s an annual challenge set up last year by a pair of triathletes – James Poole and Claudia Schroegel – and the clue really is in the name. The idea is that you run for at least 30 minutes every day for the whole of advent, from December 1st to December 25th. That means 25 runs in 25 days. But what if you’re not as batty about running as these two? There’s no excuse, because this year they have broadened the challenge so you can choose to do any form of exercise, as long as you do it for at least 30 minutes a day.
It’s a simple challenge, and simple challenges are often the best. You can track your progress with them on Strava, or just note it down on a scrap of paper. They also want you to share your experiences with other AdventRunners on social media – the hashtag is #runforsprouts (inspired!) – and this is where you’ll find like-minded Christmas-calorie killers also battling their way through to December 25th. Seeing what everyone else is up to is a fantastic way to stay motivated, especially around Day 10, which is apparently when your resolve weakens and you reach for the mince pies instead of your trainers. This year they’re also arranging meet ups in London and daily prizes from sponsors for the best photo, video or write-up of that day’s workout.
I’ll be taking part in AdventRunning because it will be as much a mental challenge as a physical one – 25 days is a lot of days. The idea, though, isn’t to push yourself too hard, it’s just to be active, be consistent and have fun. If I don’t manage every day, I won’t beat myself up about it. I know that just taking on such a challenge will be a boost for my health and wellbeing – even if it only balances out all that Christmas cheer!