Saturday, March 19, 2016

Will Run For Beer

My first beer run of the season is coming up in April, and in honor of running 13.1 miles for beer I am bringing you my Beer Run blog post!  Here are five reasons you should try a beer run (just in case you've been living under a rock and haven't done so already) and some tips on completing a beer run safely!

My first race after college was a beer run.  It was also kind of an accident...  At the time, I had started training for my first half marathon.  There was a local beer run offering a 5K and 10K distance.  I of course wanted to push myself for the 10K distance.  I went out the night before and kept insisting I couldn't drink too much because "I have a race tomorrow!"  Well, thanks to peer pressure I drank more than I wanted and woke up feeling like the 5K was the better option.  I had done many 5K's during high school Cross Country and knew I could complete one just fine. 

I got to the race location and registered for the 5K.  I was kind of jealous of the runners wearing bibs for the 10K but knew I would be running longer distances in no time.  I was so excited to start the race, I didn't even realize I started in the 10K group of runners.  That was my blonde moment of the day.  When did I realize my mistake?  Literally halfway through the race.  I approached 3.1 miles on my app and was nowhere near the finish line.  Then it started pouring down rain.  I was angry, miserable and drenched.  I finished in 1:08:48 though.  Not bad for my first 10K.  Afterwards, I got two free beers from Natty Greene's.  And cheese fries.  I ate an entire order of cheese fries #noshame  So now I'm hooked on beer runs and will register for them any chance I get.

My many beer runs have ranged from 8K to 15K. I mentioned my 13.1 mile beer run coming up which is The Carolina Brewfest Half Marathon.  I'll be running this spring as a guest. I'm really looking forward running through the Triad and enjoying a craft beer festival afterwards!

Here are reasons you should consider adding a beer run to your lineup of races:

1. Beer Runners are Less Pretentious
I prefer the atmosphere of beer races because the runners just seem way cooler.  While there are definitely some fast runners and great athletes who participate in these races, they all seem more approachable and laid back when beer is involved.

I shouldn't even have to elaborate on this reason.  Free beer is waiting at the finish line for you.  Talk about motivation to run faster!

3. Great Excuse to Try a New Brewery
In my city, new breweries are often times featured in the lineup of beer races.  Running a race is a great excuse to try out a new spot and sample new beers.

4. Burn Off Beer Calories
You're guaranteed to feel less guilt about consuming all those craft beer calories when there is running involved.  I allow myself one beer per mile ran.

5. It's a Great Social Event
You're likely to convince friends who are not serious runners to participate in a beer run because of the cold refreshment waiting at the end.  And if they still won't run, they're sure to come cheer you on because BEER.

As much fun as beer runs can be, there is also an increased possibility of injury.  Here are my best tips to get you through the fun while having a a good time and proper recovery.

Limit your beer intake before the race.  I don't think you have to completely give up beer before you start running, but chugging a six pack wouldn't be ideal until after the race.  I've started a beer run with two beers and still kept an 11:18 pace with rain and hills.  Rain tends to be a trend for my beer runs.

Hydrate before, during, and after the race... with water!  Just because beer quenches your thirst, does not mean it provides you with proper hydration.  Drink plenty of water.  I encourage you to drink water in between beers even when you are not running.  Beer will dehydrate you and cause a terrible hangover if you don't take measures to hydrate properly. We don't want anyone passing out post-race due to dehydration from their beer consumption.

Don't forget to stretch.  It's easy to dive into the post-race celebration without stretching.  I've done it before and I ended up pulling a muscle in my leg because of it.  Your post-race celebration can wait about five minutes while you cool down and show yo self some love.  Don't get too drunk that you forget to foam roll when you get home, too.

Bring some body spray.  You'll be ready to jump right into that post-race bar crawl if you freshen up a little bit first.

Now you're prepared to take on your first beer run of the season.  If you're in the area you should join me for The Carolina Brewfest Half Marathon and 5K on Saturday April, 30th in High Point, NC.  Following the race is a craft beer festival where you can sample beers from dozens of local breweries.  Register here to secure your spot in the ONLY brew fest and Half Marathon in the Triad.


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