Monday, July 14, 2008

4 A Brief Survey On Alcohol Consumption -- Do You or Don't You During Your Race Training?!


I know that there are many people out there with differing opinions on the subject, but I was curious to know how many of my fellow runners out there still drink alcohol during the months they race train?

What are people's different philosophies on this? I'm curious to hear your thoughts.

I know some runners specifically seek out races that provide alcoholic refreshments after the race. It's like a big refreshing reward for all of that hard work! ;-)

And some of the runners from the above group wait until race day to consume, while others simply imbibe throughout their training period. ;-)

And then there are some folks who will have the occasional beer or two during their "off season" but then completely shun the stuff once they enter "race training mode."

And I'm sure there are about as many approaches to handling this topic as there are types of beers in the universe. ;-)

Most regular readers of this blog undoubtedly already know my personal philosophy on drinking & race training: While I'm not exactly a teetotaler, I do enjoy the occasional drink here & there. However, "When I train, I abstain." ;-)

When it comes to drinking, I'm a light-weight anyhow. (That doesn't mean I drink "lite" beers. Au contraire, mon ami. ;-) ) What I mean is that it doesn't take much for me to feel the effects of a single Guinness, but then again, I don't drink dark beer for its alcoholic properties. Yes, that's right. I actually drink it for its taste. Shocking but true. (It's certainly not because it's low-cal, that's for sure! ;-) ) The same goes for the wine, other spirits, & cocktails that I like to drink.

[That why I don't enjoy drinking most hard liquors straight. Most of that stuff tastes like it belongs in a medicine cabinet; not to mention, it smells like it could be used as a substitute for furniture varnish! ;-) ]

And while I'm fairly laid-back about alcohol in general, it doesn't rule my world either. I certainly don't need to drink, & typically don't miss it when I train (except maybe only occasionally on a particularly hot summer's day). However, for me, I also know that the first Guinness I drink during "training season" will typically be my undoing. You can usually tell how serious I am about my race training from the number of drinks I've had over that training period. ;-) And I hate to say it, but the same goes for food consumption: The more unhealthy foods I eat, the less serious I am about my training. And for me, the two actually go hand-in-hand. After all, alcohol lowers the inhibitions (to eat!) & impairs the judgment in more ways than one (!): After a few "drinkee-drinkees," you very well might find yourself gravitating to less-than-healthy food choices -- In other words, a doughnut looks way more attractive with beer goggles on. ;-) It might've taken a few glasses of cab, but hey, now that second piece of cake sure looks sexy! LOL.

But alas, before you get the wrong idea, I'm not here to stand on high & judge the habits of others. I just know that for me, drinking & race training season just don't mix.

Would others like to weigh in?! If you do imbibe during race-training, do you have any guidelines that you typically follow? How do you think alcohol consumption affects your training, if at all?!

Time to chip in your two cents (or should I say "two pints"!) on the subject.......


Andrew is getting fit said...

I abstain while training but having said that I'm pretty close to being a teetotaler. I normally have less than 10 drinks a year. Sad but true.

Blaine Moore said...

I don't think about it.

I don't enjoy being drunk, so I rarely drink enough to even get a buzz on. I do enjoy drinking wine and beer, though, especially with dinner or when hanging around with friends.

My normal consumption is 1 or 2 drinks with dinner a few times per week. That's can easily become 1 or 2 per day almost every day in a week, but then again I might also go for months without having a drink.

The times that I drink less tend to coincide with heavy training, but it isn't something that I consciously monitor or worry about. I just let my body tell me what it wants, and if I don't feel like drinking a beer then I don't bother.

The nice thing about living in Maine is the wide assortment of local craft breweries, so I have plenty of choice for what I want to drink and can keep the money somewhat local. I also used to brew my own beer, although my wife and I have been too busy since we got married and she went to lawschool to keep that up. Maybe once she's out we'll start that up again.

cymrusteve said...

Great topic! I'm almost the same as Blaine; if I fancy a beer I have one, if I don't, I don't.

I usually drink more in the summer and always choose something I'll enjoy drinking, rather than a beer with a few less calories and much less taste.

I also enjoy a glass of wine with dinner (Italian reds are my favorite), but tend to stay away from spirits.

One of my favorite beers is an extraordinary beverage called Samiclaus:

They're so special I won't drink another one until I run a new PR. Maybe they'll stay in the fridge for ever??

kchealy said...

I do pretty much the same as Steve and Blaine - wine or beer with dinner, a few times a week, usually limited to 1.

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