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?