Personally, no, I won’t. As a pole vaulter, most of my sessions involve some type of equipment, be it a pole vault matt, runway and box, weights or even a track, and rarely are these accessible on Christmas day which limits my ability to do any of these sessions. But even if I was a jogger (sorry, a distance runner), and the only equipment I needed to pound out a session was the open road I have a couple of reasons why I still wouldn’t be training.
For one, most athletes will have at least one rest day per week, personally, I have two. How difficult is it to schedule this rest day to coincide with Christmas? I could google now and find the dates for the next 10 Xmas days, then write a training programme which incorporates rest days on all of these. Why not coincide your rest day with when everybody else has a day off and you can spend it with your family.
Gaining the Edge
The old school answer used to be that some athletes liked training on Xmas day because they knew their competitors weren’t training and it gave them the edge. This is absurd logic. Theres only so much training you can physically do. So at some point, when you’re not training because you eventually had to take a break, your competitors may actually be training when you’re not. I mean if you just wanted to train when they weren’t, then why aren’t all your training sessions at 3 in the morning? Or are you good enough so that your competitors are in another country, this gets complicated because of the different timezones. Then don’t forget to take into account British summer time. I mean nowadays you could probably just follow them on twitter, wait till you get a status update about them being out with their friends and sneak in a quick training session to get your “edge”.
Of course I’m participating in a little reductio ad absurdum here, but hopefully you get my point. In fact, if someone who was competing at my level felt the need to train on Xmas day I’d probably see that as a bit of mental weakness and that they felt like they needed to catch up with me in some way by training more, thus giving ME the mental “edge”.
Again, this is probably just as absurd an application of logic, but its the one that results in me sitting on my sofa for the vast majority of Xmas day in a self-induced food coma, so clearly its the one I’m going to go with. I’ll enjoy my day, I’ll justify the extra intake of food stuffs as a “metabolic reset”, and I’ll come back to training mentally refreshed and fueled up ready to go. So the question is, will you be training Christmas day? And why?!?!
Hope you all have a Happy Christmas.