Alcohol – Is it worth it?

Alcohol after the Dublin Marathon

Alcohol after the Dublin Marathon

Alcohol – I love it and hate it.

Mostly I love it, but it’s the effects it has on me that I hate.  It effects my sleep, it effects my eating, it effects my exercise.

There have been three times in my recent history where I have chosen to be T-Total.  The first time was when I was losing weight, I felt the beer was negating my progress to lose weight.  The second was when I was training for my first marathon, if I hadn’t have stopped drinking I wouldn’t have been able to train properly for the race and lastly there was the lead up to my Ironman.

I found that if I was going to drink, I’d have to plan it around my exercise schedule as it’s not only the immediate day after, but I found that I could be feeling the negative effects a couple of days later.  It’s not like I don’t exercise when I’m hungover, which by the way is inevitable after a drink.  I do and I am capable of getting going when I’m hungover, in fact I find it cures it – almost. It’s also the nutrition that doesn’t help things as invariably I will be eating junk food before and after and probably during.

However, it is the planning that can cause issues, I don’t get up early to exercise, so I usually exercise after work, so I will miss out a session if I have a drink, same with cycling, if I know I’m going to go out after work, I won’t cycle to work.

Then there are the lasting effects, I can usually feel a reduction in performance up to three days after a good drinking session.

I’m not saying I want to stop drinking, but it’s good to recognise that a good drink will mean that I won’t be exercising much the next day or be doing very good a few days later.

I was out drinking last night, in fact I had a few good whiskies and a couple of beers.  I didn’t sleep well after my initial passing out, which meant from 3am-4am I was awake rehydrating with a cup of tea, back to bed I woke up at 8:50am.  Park run starts at 9.30am which meant a quick turn around and out the door to make the start.  I made it and I managed a fairly quick run of 20:50, actually my slowest parkrun overall but a quick run non the less. However, I could have done better, and I felt awful.

But the drink was worth it 🙂

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