Light Up Your Holiday Running
Let’s be honest, many runs this time of year are completed with the singular goal of burning off whatever we plan on consuming that night. Guilt-free eggnog and peppermint bark are good for a few miles, right? Yet often when it’s dark and dreary outside (or in the basement, where the treadmill resides), caloric burn isn’t always a strong enough impetus to exercise.
For additional incentive, embrace the holiday spirit with your runs. Here are four ways to turn your huffing and puffing into ho-ho-ho-ing.
1. Let there be light: Map out your running route for the best tour of holiday lights. Bonus points if you stop and sing carols! If you’re typically a morning runner, this is a great excuse—um, we mean reason—to sleep in and run in the evening instead.
2. Icing you won’t slip on: Organize a group run with friends and have it end at your house for hot mulled cider and cookie decorating—sampling strongly encouraged. Extra points for a running gingerbread man complete with a race number and laced-up shoes.
3. Jingle all the way: Coordinate a free community or school-wide 5K. In lieu of an entry fee, runners and walkers (adults and children) bring a donation for a food bank. Encourage participants to dress in costume or holiday colors, and give everyone jingle bells for added festive fun. We know of one mother runner who had 44 runners the first year she organized a neighborhood 5K, and she’s got more than 80 folks signed up for this year’s event.
4. Better to give than receive: Run a holiday 5K or 10K, then donate at least the equivalent of your entry fee to a non-profit organization that is near and dear to your heart. After all, that’s the true spirit of this season.
Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell are the authors of Another Mother Runner and official contributors to runDisney.