Drink Up! A Runner’s Guide to the Holiday Indulgence

As an athlete I am always mindful of hydration and what I put into my body.  I will be the first to admit that I am NOT the healthiest person to walk this Earth.  I do, however, try to watch what I eat for the most part, and also what I drink.  As the season of cheer is upon us, and more than likely us runner folk will be attending numerous holiday parties and family gatherings, I ask this question.

How will you “hydrate” this season?  Will you uncork a few bottles of bubbly?

image image

It’s true, champagne does have less calories than your regular old bottle of vino.  Plus, the added benefit of your average champagne glass being smaller than a wine glass means less of a pour (unless you drink several glasses, then this negates the positives).  They say that both wine and champagne have benefits increasing heart health.  Sure, that’s not new news, but it doesn’t hurt to mention it.  Champagne contains antioxidants that can lower bold pressure, too.

Maybe you are the type to reach into the fridge, and pull out and crack open a can of beer.  Hopefully only having a few, and not the whole six pack.

image

Many runners believe that beer is a great form of hydration post race.  As long as you don’t drink and drive, beer does have benefits if consumed in safe quantities.  There are reports that brewskis can be heart smart.  Here’s an interesting tidbit.  I read recently that the compounds in hops (used to make beer) may slow the release of calcium in our bones, which for men can be a good thing when related to kidney stones.  I’ve never had a kidney stone, nor am I a beer drinker, so you have to test that theory on your own.  Beer also contains B Vitamins and Fiber.  Yeah for being regular!

Who doesn’t love a nice smooth glass of wine?  Are you a white, red or rose drinker?

image

Wine has a ton of benefits, ask any housewife.  Lol….  She’ll tell you it has pleasant calming effects that makes putting up with the children a whole lot easier.  It may also make putting out a whole lot easier, too.  You’ll have to ask the husbands that question.  Maybe it doesn’t.  Seriously though, wine can reduce the risk of many health related issues from Type 2 Diabetes to Stroke and Colon Cancer.  Some say it also makes you smarter, longer.

image

Step up to the bar, it’s time for a cocktail.  Is there a difference in clear versus darker alcohol?  Sure is.  As research has shown in wine consumption, alcohol can have positive impacts on heart health.  The key here, is to drink a responsible amount.  It can also have great impact either positive or negative on the brain depending on how much is consumed.  Again, be careful, as weight gain, and potential damage to liver function and the likelihood of higher blood pressure compounds as casual drinker turns into habitual drinker.  Some say that alcohol consumption leads to creativity.  Being uninhibited helps the creative juices flow, but too much can lead to pregnancy, STD’s or an overnight stay in a local jail cell.

Moderation folks, moderation….

Probably the best form of hydration for any runner out there is H2O.  Drink plenty of it!  Even when you don’t feel like you need it, because it’s colder outside, you do.  Develop a hydration plan and stick to it, even during the holidays.

image image

Coconut water, chocolate milk and electrolytes are your friends.  They won’t land you on the sofa either for saying something wrong to the spouse.  They are generally great for hydration both before and after a run.

Do you have a holiday hydration plan in place?  What will you be drinking to celebrate the season?

Training week recap

I can’t believe it, but I actually got all of my planned training in this week.  A real relief considering the wacky week overall.  Tons of work, and just sort of a week that felt like I barely had any time to myself to think, much less run.

image

Have you ever had one of those weeks?  Boy, I’ll tell ya.

I got in some great downhill training this week.  Five runs, all focused on downhill training.  Look out Big Cottonwood, here I come!  I also got in a long run of 17 miles, which considering the heat and humidity here in the south, is just awesome.  We actually had a bunch of rain and cooler temperatures this past week, and for the cool off, I am grateful.  

I can really feel the training in my feet at the end of the day.  And quads.  Increasing my pace and stride on the downhill portions of my runs has been key.  I am hoping that factor alone will propel me to an amazing finish in Utah in a few weeks.

Big Cottonwood Marathon is four weeks away now.  The time crunch is ON!  

As I head into another week of preparation for my upcoming BQ attempt, I need to throw a bit more focus on my eating habits.  Time to start really watching my snacking, and my water intake.  More water, less snacking.  Simple!  Well, not for me.  I am a nibbler.  I promise not to buy any corn chips for the next four weeks.  Oh, who am I kidding, that will never happen.  I just have to cut back.  Way back!  I also will limit my nighttime indulgence in ice cream.  My downfall.  I promise to eat it just two times a week.  I must adhere to this!  I really want to drop about five pounds in the next month with better overall eating.

So, that is the plan.  Better, more healthful eating, and sticking to my training plan.  

The only way I am going to see the results that I want to see, is to maintain this focus.

Have a great week everyone!