A skinful of beer a week before a marathon...

This week's Reader to Reader question

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25/03/2007 at 18:05
This week's question was emailed by Martin, who's just realised that his first marathon of the year is six days after St George's Day. Which involves loads of beer. Any thoughts?

Advice from coaches and medical types especially welcome...

"How much harm will a skinful of ale a week before a marathon do me? I'm running my first full marathon of the year on Sunday 29 April, six days after St George's Day. St George's Day means a pressing engagement with a succession of public houses, and drinking loads of beer is a really key part of it. I won't be training much in the week before a marathon anyway, and the alcohol should be gone from my system by mid-week, so will my skinful do my marathon prep serious harm?"
- Emailed by Martin Pac
25/03/2007 at 18:07
Great question and very relevant, as my best mate is coming to stay the weekend before FLM and my liver normally takes a battering whenever I see her :-)

Will be very interested to read the replies!
25/03/2007 at 19:31
I would have thought that as long as you have a couple of days afterwards to completely re-hydrate, you'll be ok.

I've run with mega hangovers in the past, but no more than 8 miles, so I really couldn't say much more.

I had a skinful last night (only my 2nd since the new year, aren't I good?!) and won't be having another until after the FLM.

Will be very interested to see the other replies though!
25/03/2007 at 20:36
6 days before is fine. If it was 2 days before, that would be different.
25/03/2007 at 20:54
You might be risking a twisted ankle, or some other hurt, if you're staggering a long way in a drunken state.

If I were 6 days from the FLM, I'd be cocooned in cotton wool and bubble wrap.
25/03/2007 at 21:35
In the run up to my first marathon I was a saint but a week before my first ultra in January, was a little different - I got slaughtered on a work trip to Malaga (think one tequila, two tequila, floor and you get the picture) but I think it actually helped my nerves.

After that night out, I didn't touch another drop until the event was over and I made sure I drank loads of water though.

Martin - go out and relax but make sure you compensate for it with plenty of water and sleep afterwards.
Do2    pirate
25/03/2007 at 21:42
Depends on how you normally react to a heavy session.

Expereince of last weekend taught me that as I've got older I need more hangover ecovery time - hence being p!$$ed up 12hrs before a long race did not have good effect.

A week though should be fine I'd have thought - not strictly in the "elite marathon runners preparation plan", but in the real world we have many different priorities...
26/03/2007 at 07:32
I ran the London Marathon a couple of days after a mega binge and felt pretty bad.

When I was in my yoof, I ran a mara the morning after a student party the night before and felt fine.

I'm going Lochaber in 4 weeks, I think I might quit the beer after the London Social next Friday.

26/03/2007 at 09:39
I think a lot will depend on his age and drinking habits..........

the older you get, the longer it takes to recover - I tend to be a steady drinker these days than having mega piss ups - the body can't take it any more

if he's a regular drinker as well, then he will probably recover quicker with less damage to his system as he will be used to training and running and drinking.....I think the less habitual drinkers wouyld suffer more and it would blow them out for a few good days..........

anyway - why celebrate St Georges Day?? modern day jingoism...........
26/03/2007 at 09:42
Im a medical type but im not going to give you a responsible answer;)

a week before should be fine
you will be in taper anyway
26/03/2007 at 10:27
Well if I have to walk into a pub in the middle of Yorkshire to find a Leprachaun behind the bar and bl@@dy Clanaad playing on the stereo, and on asking being told "It's St Patricks day" I don't see why we can't celebrate our own Patron Saint (albiet one who was a:North African, and b:Arguably never came to England - rather ironic really considering the English attitude to Johnny Foreigner)

But to answer the question - unless you intend drinking yourself into oblivion I would have thought you'll be OK. As Hipps says: you'll have done all the hard work by then.
26/03/2007 at 10:54
I freely admit I just don't "get" binge drinking.

Is it really obligatory to drink yourself stupid?

Why not just have a few and enjoy both your night out and your marathon? Your liver will thank you for it :-)

26/03/2007 at 10:55
fell running
ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!
26/03/2007 at 11:01
Modern day St. Pat's is a marketing opportunity for Irish breweries.

Just accept it, then ignore it. works for me!
26/03/2007 at 11:02
...The same thing will happen with St. Georges day in the fullness of time.
26/03/2007 at 11:10
Ironically I'll accept any excuse for celebrating with a drink, but whether it's an Irish or a non-English saint, I'd be drinking Belgian. I worship at the altar of St. Leffe.


And to answer the question - a whole week to recover? Fill yer boots!
26/03/2007 at 11:17
a St Patrick's Day piss up is a jolly good way to celebrate my birthday thanks...........

26/03/2007 at 12:35
Well my Birthday's on St Crispins Day

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers
For he today that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother, be he ne'er so vile
This day shall gentle his condition
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here
And hold their manhood cheap while any speaks
That fought with us upon St. Crispin's Day


(Henry V)

St Crispins Day is also the anniversery of the Charge Of The Light Brigade - a somewhat less glorious enterprise but no less lionised Into the valley of Death rode the 600

So as an excuse for a Jingoistic booze up - opportunities don't come much better....
26/03/2007 at 12:38
what's wrong with Clannad??
26/03/2007 at 13:17
what's right with Clannad??
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