Marathon Training and Alcohol


There is one thing that seems to be a hiccup in most training schedules and it is certainly something I’ve had to negotiate, and that is drinking.  I am no saint when it comes to enjoying a drink and I really enjoy a glass of wine with a meal and a night out with friends as much as anyone.  In the past this has meant I simply didn’t go to the gym the next day, or I went and felt… horrific. However, it was just one day and no harm done.

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However, this stopped being the case when I started to commit to running in marathon training and I could feel a Saturday night slowing me down the following Tuesday.  I continued to enjoy the odd glass of wine or night out but it has got to a stage where I now no longer drink.  I’ve been teetotal for two weeks and intend to be so for another four until after the London Marathon.  I have found that this has had a huge effect on my performance in training, not to mention energy levels and bank statement.

I’m not for a minute suggesting that everybody should go teetotal and spend the weekend in Lycra from start to finish.  However, I have really enjoyed having hangover free weekends, and I haven’t had the FOMO that I expected.  One of the things I was apprehensive about was the reaction from friends – I’m a running bore as it is – but they have been so supportive about my decision to stop drinking.

Drinkaware have very kindly provided me with the following information to explain why this happens and how you can benefit from cutting down on drinking to enhance your athletic performance… not to mention an amazing prize to giveaway to one of my instagram followers.  Please visit my instagram for more details on that!

“Drinking alcohol alongside training can have a major effect on your body, and ultimately impact your overall marathon performance. Because alcohol is a diuretic, which means it makes your kidney produce more urine, drinking too much of it can lead to dehydration. You need to be hydrated when you exercise to maintain the flow of blood through your body, which is essential for circulating oxygen and nutrients to your muscles.

“Alcohol interferes with the way the liver releases glucose into the circulation from the body’s stores, which means you have low levels of blood sugar. Exercise requires high levels of sugar to give you energy. If your liver isn’t producing enough glucose, your performance will be adversely affected. In order to perform at your best, try to lower your overall alcohol intake”

Drinkaware have now released an app to help you keep track of your drinking and cut back should you so wish.  All the information about this can be found on their website.

I fully intend to have a large glass of champagne after the marathon (maybe not directly after..) and whilst I can feel a little boring some times, it’s been really great to save some money, wake up feeling fresh and replace socialising with alcohol with some other things – I’ve seen more of London in the last few weeks than I had the last year and a half!

If you’d like to enter the giveaway then head over to my instagram, and if you’re making any lifestyle adjustments for a marathon or any training programme then let me know!

Polly x

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