The Christmas break can be filled with plenty of alcohol, copious amounts of food and lazy days in front of the fire watching those Christmas films with the family. However in terms of the hockey season the Christmas break can be a great way rest any niggly injuries, which are often as a result of over use and to also get back to full fitness before the second half of the season. Many clubs generally have a break over the Christmas period due to facilities not being available so having your own training plan in place is the best way to start the season not feeling sluggish and stuffed to the brim with mince pies and Christmas treats. Although Christmas is a busy time, it is important to remember there is always enough time to fit in some exercise so we have made this achievable training plan for the 12 days of Christmas to help you plan your training in between the festive activities.
This Christmas plan is for the 12 days of Christmas, to give players the ever important time to have a rest, in order to recover from the first half of the season. This rest time isn’t a time where you have to do nothing but to leave your legs feeling fresh to begin the training plan.
On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… A lovely family walk.
So as it is Christmas day, today is a day to be spent with your family so going for a lovely walk is something everyone can enjoy! If possible try to make the walk hilly and fast paced to get your heart rate up.
On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… A speedy interval training session.
Boxing day is generally a busy day, where family who didn’t come over on the big day, so getting out for a long run could be tricky so a shorter duration high intensity interval training session is on the plan for today .
5 min jog at 50%; 30 seconds maximal sprint, followed by30 seconds walking recovery (repeat 5 times); 3 min running at 70%, 2 min jogging at 50%, 30 seconds maximal sprint, followed by 30 seconds walking recovery (repeat 5 times), 2 min jogging at 50%.
On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… A core strengthening session.
The bridge: Lie on the floor with your knees bent hip width apart, tense your abdominals and glutes and slowly lift your back off the floor up the a point where your back is straight and your hips are in line with your knees. Hold the exercise for 15 seconds. This can also be done with your knees underneath an exercise ball to make the exercise harder. 6-10 reps.
The Plank: Lie face down and prop yourself up onto your elbows and onto the balls of your toes. Make sure elbows are below your shoulders and head is in line with your spine so you are not dropping it down. Draw your navel in toward your spine and keep your back straight. Use your core muscles to stabilize your body. Hold for 20- 60 seconds while keeping your back straight. Inhale and exhale in a controlled manner throughout the hold.
The side plank: Lie on the left side, with your body in a straight line. Then prop yourself up onto the left forearm with the elbow underneath your shoulder. With abdominals contracted lift your hips of the floor and keep your head in line with your spine and hips square. Repeat on right side. You can make this exercise harder by lifting and lowering your top leg.
Superman: Begin on your hands and knees and tense your glutes and your abdominals and extend your opposite legs and arms slowly. 6-10 reps.
On the fourth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me … A well earned day of rest
Enjoy a day off!
On the fifth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…A home agility training session
If your have any space at home you can perform some agility drills. Even if you don’t have cones it is still possible to use household objects instead. Spend 3 min on each exercise and repeat circuit 3 times.
Agility diamond: Start on the centre cone and touch all of the surrounding cones, whilst returning to the centre cone in between touching the surrounding ones, in any order. Stay facing forward so sidestep to the cones on the left and right and jog backwards to the cone behind you.
Zig Zag: Either run or sidestep between the cones. Concentrate on fast changes of direction.
T run: T run- Sprint to the middle cone and then run around the two side cones and sprint back from the middle cone to the start.
If you have your own training ladders you can also complete some ladder drills.
On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me… A refreshing endurance run
The run is about getting out of the house and enjoying the fresh winter air. Take it at your own pace and aim to be running for 30 – 40 minutes.
On the seventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…An energising circuit
Complete 20 of each exercise, then 15, then 10, then 5.
Situps, pressups, lunges, squats, ski jumps, crunches, burpees.
On the eighth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… Another day of rest.
Happy New Year. Have a day of rest to recover from the night before.
On the ninth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me.. Another Interval training session.
Repeat the session from day 2.
On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…Another day of rest.
On the eleventh day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… Another core strength session.
Repeat the session from day three.
On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a choice of what to do.
Either complete an endurance run, circuits or agility training or two of the sessions if you are feeling energetic!
Have a great Christmas!