Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Hard work and drinking

It is time to start getting stuck in, weather permitting to the hard work that will see me through to Lanza in May. As was the case last year I am currently firing on all cyclinders if a bit gently and under distance for the running. The ice cold weather has made cycling somewhat hazardous and christmas also had some effect on regular training. Nonetheless I feel good about the prospects and have decided to go the month without any alcohol (well except for the first 3 days!!!!).

The aspects of alcohol and training are quite interesting to me. Clearly large volumes of alcohol and good training are not easy bed fellows though I have always found a 2 hr run one of the most effective cures for a bad hangover (once you can overcome the nausea and headache and provided you have large quantities of ribena - the perfect sugary rehydration fluid). The most significant impact of excess alcohol are, I think, the dehydration and the fatigue. Fatigue because the only times I stay up the wrong side of midnight these days are if I am raising hell (or more perhaps more accurately spilling curry into my lap after a night reminiscing about the good old days) or I am working. This fatigue makes successful training the following day unlikely (2 hr runs not withstanding) and eats into free time that could otherwise be put to different use.

Of more interest is the value of alcohol when used in moderation alongside a regular training programme. Does a glass of wine a day really have a dramatic effect on training? Is there any reason why it should impair our benefits from regular training. There is lots written about how harnful alcohol can be but almost none of this refers to moderate or low intake of booze and there has been little research into this. anecdotally the tour de France competitors used to drink heavily during the race. They were almost certainly using the anaesthetic effects of alcohol to help them overcome the pain of extreme fatigue and it is quite a good source of calories too!

Clearly I argue from the basis that a little of what you like is not gonna be to bad for you (is it?). Hence my normal training week consumption of a glass of wine or two on most nights, but I hasten to add not proceeding on to the rest of the bottle which used to be the case. If I abandoned all booze whilst on my training programme, say for the next 20 weeks, would I get fitter? I am not sure but I feel the quality of my life would be lessened so I shall resume a glass or two of wine with my supper from february.
Til next time
Oh and by the way if anyone wants to know what to get me for my birthday, or any other occasion, a bottle of the above would be fine.


Jevon said...

All training and no booze makes Gabriel a dull boy...
Keep on glugging matey.

runtilyoudrop said...

Jev you surprise me!