Post Christmas every bugger is on a health kit. Bins are full of half eaten abandoned tubs of chocolates and the odd license is looking like a ghost town. Not drinking in January is no hardship as everyone is full of good intent and gym memberships max out. But come February the flood gates open once more and the pubs say a little thank you prayer to the landlord in the sky and those new shiny running trainers begin to gather dust in the cupboard. If you have your eyes on a triathlon do you need to give up drinking when you are training for a triathlon?
Avoiding the demon drink
What about the committed triathletes looking to venture into the sport for the first time this year or those seasoned veterans who have hopes of a place at Kona? Should we avoid all social occasions until it gets cold once more and give up the demon drink for the best part of the year or is this the straw that broke the camels back?…or broke the spirit of that family member supporting you who just fancied sharing a bottle of wine with their nearest and dearest on their birthday?
Thoughts differ widely on this and the only consistent seems to be you know your own body and you make that decision for yourself. Personally my first sprint triathlon I joined a triathlon club targeted one event in the year and gave up booze for three months before. Did I win? Let’s just say I didn’t need to hang around for the prize giving. Did I enjoy it? Hundred percent. Loved it and still do but did not drinking make a difference? Every time I take a leap into the unknown be that Olympic distance for the first time, a 10km swim or a half iron distance I have knuckled down and given up booze and watched my diet. Unclear from the outset if my body could cope with the training or event itself.
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
I think we all need to make our own decisions and use our own judgement but if it helps here is a set of questions we thrashed out in the Trivelo offices
1) Is this new territory for me in terms of the demands on my body?
2) Does the training plan involve any two hour plus sessions where I need to be on my “A” game?
3) Am I worried about not being disciplined when drinking and not end up in a club at 3am with a funnel of purple nasty in one hand and a midget called Rusty in the other?
4) Does drinking hit me hard with energy levels and might make the difference in outcome I.e. am I pushing podium spots or age group inclusion at international level
If the answer to any of that is yes give it up for the training and crack on for some PB’s and love the sport. If not enjoy the odd drink don’t sweat it and get that balance you need. So do you need to give up drinking when training for a triathlon? The choice is yours!
About the author – Billy is the founder of Trivelo Bikes and no stranger to the pub but a regular punter found with a lime and soda in one hand looking longingly at the pump for a draft peroni