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Baylor College of Medicine News

Marathon training, holiday eating can go hand-in-hand

Training for the Houston Marathon in January? Those extra holiday calories may not hurt, but lack of training opportunities might, according to a sports medicine expert at Baylor College of Medicine.

“People who are training for the half or full marathon are probably in good shape because they’re hitting their peak training mileage in November and December, so they’re going to need those extra calories because they’re doing long training runs,” said Dr. Theodore Shybut, assistant professor of orthopedic surgery at BCM.

“The challenge is maintaining their training schedule during the holidays due to travel and social events.”

Shybut notes that alcohol and rich foods may disrupt their routine if it is not already a part of their diet, but an extra round of food during a holiday meal should be fine. He also emphasizes that moderation isalways a good rule of thumb, and advises that people in training should stick with foods that they are used to eating during their preparation for the event.

“Most experienced athletes know what components of their diet help best fuel their workouts,” he said.

Shybut says it is acceptable to take the few weeks around the holidays easier than the rest of the year, without derailing your fitness plan He suggests getting people in your social circle involved in more activities, such as walking to look at holiday lights rather than driving, or making group exercise a part of holiday gatherings.