For those of you that run with me you are aware that I really enjoy a post race party. There have been times I turned over the keys to my vehicle after struggling my way through 13.1 miles of sun scorched pavement and stopping to recover a little too close to the beer tent. Maybe it’s because I live near one of the largest drinking Mecca’s in the country but many of my fellow runners follow the same philosophy. These parties may not be your “cup of tea” but they are certainly my mug of beer.
I like to think I am a pretty speedy runner depending on the day and consuming alcohol after a race has never led to any real problems. Well, with the exception of ending up dressed in that bunny outfit, but that’s a story for another time. Drinking while training is a completely different issue that effects your quality of sleep and ability to hydrate. I could ramble on about different studies and tests done with beakers of Miller Lite sitting on treadmills but it’s far more interesting to draw from personal experience. My best running performances are attributed to cutting out alcohol a week before a big race. You may be different, I don’t know, but allow me give you a rare albeit extreme example. The night before the Equestrian Trail Half Marathon last year I thought it would be a good idea to drink a little too much wine. Hey, I was in good shape and running fast! I can do anything, right? WRONG! This was one of the most pathetic races I have ever run and my finish time was dismal. In contrast, I did not have a drop of alcohol for a week leading up to the Full Moon Half Marathon and beat my Equestrian time by ten minutes on a far more challenging course.
Many running clubs have been founded upon the premise, “We are a drinking club with a running problem”, most notably the Hash House Harriers who came into being in 1938. Since then, chapters have sprung up all over the world with members who love to run off a hangover and enjoy a few good beers after a workout. Initiating a brief search of the internet will surely turn up a “hash run” near you, or a club that rejoices in it’s members accomplishments with some celebratory suds.
Ultimately it is up to the individual to make the decision on how much to drink while training or after an event but if you choose to drink immediately after a race try to finish ahead of me or all you may find is an empty keg and one buzzed, dancing runner who thinks he’s a bunny.
For the record, I do love a good frosty ale but there are times I wish I lived in wine country. “Run for fun but race to place!” – Dave Schlagman
© Copyright 2012 The Hornet, All rights Reserved. Written For: Adventures In Running