You’ve got a good thing going and have gotten into a groove with your running. Despite the cold and the dark, you’re getting out there and getting it done, building your winter base of miles and feeling strong.
Then the Christmas party invitations start coming in: The office do; Drinks with colleagues and clients; Catching up with family and friends. You want to go and want to enjoy yourself, but you’re also worried about how you’ll sustain your running through the festive period.
If this sounds like you, fear not, as help is at hand in the form of this guide to running through the Christmas party season.
First things first…
This is the sensible tip: Don’t drink too much, eat properly, and get to bed early. But you already knew that. What about for when you don’t want, or are unable to be sensible? Read on…
Run in the mornings
You might already do this, but if you’re an evening runner, switch to the mornings. That way you don’t have to worry so much about scheduling conflicts, or trying to squeeze a run in between finishing work and going out for the night.
If you get home late and just want to collapse into bed, you’re unlikely to get your running kit ready for the next morning. But if your kit is still in the drawer, then it’ll be easier for you to ignore it and stay in bed.
So get your kit ready before you go out in the evening. If you know you’ll be heading out straight from work then get your kit out before you go to work – even if this is 22 hours before you’re going to need it.
If you prepare when you’re awake and sober, you won’t have to do it when you’re tired and drunk. The same goes for preparing your work stuff and getting your breakfast ready for the next morning.
Line your stomach before drinking
Anecdotally, a decent lump of cheese before going out seems to work well. Make sure have a really good lunch and don’t drink on an empty stomach. Don’t neglect the vitamins and minerals.
“One for one” it
For every alcoholic drink you have, drink at least the same amount in water. It’ll help stave of the dehydration that can make a hangover so horrible.
Drink before bed
Related to the last tip, neck a pint of water before you go to sleep. Even better, drop a hydration tablet in for extra athlete points. Yes, you might need to get up in the night to go to the toilet, but for that…
Pop some paracetemol before bed
(Assuming, of course, that you’re OK with such medication, and follow the guidelines in the packet.) Then, if you have to get up in the night to have a wee, you should feel less nauseous and not have a killer headache which would keep you from getting back to sleep.
Set more than one alarm…
…and make sure they’re out of reach so you have to get out of bed when they go off in the morning.
Drinking and driving is stupid and inexcusable. If you run to work on the day of your night out, rather than drive, you don’t need to worry about what to do with the car. Just make sure you’ve done your prep and left clean clothes and your work stuff at your place of work the day before so you don’t need to carry it in with you.
Sweat the booze out
A good run can improve all but the worst of hangovers – even if it doesn’t feel so good to start off. Whether it’s sweating out the poison, getting the blood pumping, or releasing endorphins, a run can work wonders. Trust me.
Tell someone of your intentions or arrange to run a friend. That way, it’ll be harder to back out without losing face.
If it was a heavy night, everyone will be spending the next day feeling rubbish. If you go for a run, at least you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you’re doing better than your mates.
Be safe and enjoy yourself
When our training is going well, or we’re focused on getting ready for an important event, it is easy to make running the priority. This is great from a training point of view, but not so good for our social lives. With a little bit of planning you can combine running and having fun with your friends, family and colleagues.
Remember, you are allowed to have fun outside running, so don’t worry if you have to, or want to let running take a backseat for a while. Follow the above advice though and you might just make it through the Christmas party season without dropping too many runs.
It won’t always be pretty, but at least you will have the opportunity to #humblebrag about it on Strava. Just make sure to use lots of green sick-face emojis.
How is your Christmas season running going? Got any tips we might have missed? Please let us know in the Lonely Goat Facebook Chat Group, the discussions area of the Strava Group, or on Instagram using the hashtags #lonelygoatrc or #lonelygoatrunningclub.