Is there room for beer in running?

These hashers know what they're running for: beer.

These hashers know what they're running for: beer.

I left something out of my blogger’s bio: I love beer. I have a special fondness for craft brews, and if it’s served in a cold pint glass, all the better. But really, I don’t discriminate.

As you can imagine, my love of hops and barley doesn’t exactly jive with my love of waking up early and getting in a long run. But surprisingly, some people have found a way to make beer and running peacefully co-exist. The Hash House Harriers, an international group (with an Atlanta chapter) that dubs itself as “a drinking club with a running problem,” ends its runs with a pint or five. The Sweetwater 420 5K — which offers participants a free pint of beer at the end — sold out when it took place in April, and an event called “The Beer Mile” — which consists of a variety of rules but starts with competitors drinking four cans of beer and running four laps on a track — has been embraced by those into “digestive athletics.” This blogger drew up a fun list on the partnership between drinking and running.

But while it’s nice to imbibe a bit when you’re doing some casual running, what if you’re training for a competitive race, like, say, the Peachtree Road Race? During the summer I trained for my first marathon, I swore off drinking almost entirely. The second time around, I was a little more relaxed — I allowed myself one drink the night before a long run and one during the week. I didn’t notice a difference in my running, as long as I was vigilant about chugging a glass of water for every beer I drank.

Since then, I’ve tried to find a happy medium when I’m training for a longer run between abstaining altogether and attaching myself at the hip to a keg. In these weeks leading up to the PRR, I’m going to stick to drinking on the weekends only, and limit myself to only one drink per week in the two weeks leading up to the race.

Like with most things, I think moderation is key, as this nice piece from Runner’s World backs up.

What do you think? Do you cut alcohol out of your diet when you’re training for a longer race? Do you notice a difference in your running if you’ve been drinking the night before? And do you think drinking should have any place in running, even as a social element?

8 comments Add your comment


May 24th, 2011
2:21 pm

I got my best Peachtree time in 2008 after chugging two beers at the Mile 1 marker! Really relaxed my muscles.


May 24th, 2011
2:22 pm

As a former Marine, I can personally say there is no greater feeling than running while you’re sloshed.


May 24th, 2011
7:54 pm

I always drink two beers the night before my long run, including the night before running a marathon.

Gen Neyland

May 24th, 2011
8:47 pm

Carbo loading on mass quantities of beer the night before a serious racing event isn’t a great idea, although a couple is good…and never eat fish as a pre-race meal. Bad juju in Mahi-Mahi.


May 24th, 2011
9:11 pm

Beer in Running you mean like the Beer Belly?

Reid in EAV

May 25th, 2011
10:58 am

As a veteran of four half-marathons, currently training for my first 26.2 (with the Peachtree a mile marker along the way), I have never felt my regular, moderate craft beer consumption got in the way of my training or racing. There’s no better way to motivate yourself through a hard tempo run than to know that a glass of Duvel (or something similar) awaits you at the finish.

Then there’s Tim Cigelske, my inspiration. Known as “The Beer Runner,” Tim is currently well on his way to 365 days both running and drinking at least one beer. And the dude is FAST, too. (Follow him on Twitter @TheBeerRunner and oh heck, follow me too: @TheRunDaddy.)

Legalize it

May 26th, 2011
11:28 am

What about medical marijuana? I wouldn’t know but my roommate swears that if he medicates prior to running that it helps.

Purple Drank

May 26th, 2011
10:13 pm

The Peachtree Road Race is not competitive. It’s 50,000 plus getting a t shirt who think they are cool because they are one of fifty five thousand. Big whup….You wanna fight?