Relive every pint and fag with each step
RUN CLINIC:Don’t let a hangover put you off your Saturday run. It will help burn off the calories that accompany a Friday night binge
I like to have a bit of a blow-out on a Friday night, and Saturday morning is one of the best times to fit in a run but is it safe to run with a hangover? Help please, Grit Doc.
If you can make it out of bed, drink water and have something to eat without throwing up, then hell yeah, run with a hangover.
The biggest obstacle you face is actually getting outside, when every fibre of your being is screaming out for the duvet and some banal daytime TV armed with industrial quantities of Coca-Cola and salty snacks.
If you succeed in overcoming this most challenging of obstacles, you will be halfway there already to beating that hungover feeling out of your body (which might otherwise hang around all day with you under the duvet covers).
You may find it has all but disappeared by the time you return from your run so it is always well worth summoning some inner grit and forcing yourself outside.
Having a pre-planned run (ideally with someone who you would feel thoroughly ashamed to let down – a tee-totalling nun perhaps?) can have the added impact of ensuring you don’t completely overdo it the night before.
There are, however, a few obvious precautions. Firstly, you don’t want to be vomiting mid-run or post-run, so hydrate the night before and the morning after, which means try to drink lots of water before you go to bed and first thing in the morning.
If you find yourself heading over to the sink five minutes before setting off, head pounding, palms sweaty, shaking like a leaf and necking pints of water to make up for having not drunk anything non-alcoholic for 24 hours, you are in trouble.
Trying to nail a hill run in this state might not kill you but it will feel as though it’s going to, and is liable to make you feel as sick as a parrot. So, make sure you are properly hydrated before setting off.
Secondly, make sure your run is of the slow, easy variety. Your regular 45 minuter is fine on a hangover, but I wouldn’t recommend progression, hill, fartlek or any kind of racing unless you are a seasoned sado-masochist and love nothing more than a good self beasting. In which case, you may need to see a real doctor.
If, however, you are just a regular person, in reasonable physical and mental health, for whom drinking is not a problem and running regularly has become a habit, there really is no reason not to go hungover.
Expect it to be harder. Expect it to hurt more. And enjoy it all the same.
You will hopefully feel somewhat redeemed afterwards, but depending on how drunk you got, your tolerance to hangovers and your hydration levels, possibly not as good as you would otherwise feel post-run.
On the plus side, the sleep you will have afterwards will be truly epic in a way that a drunken one can never be. Plus, you will have burnt off some of that kebab filth you devoured at 3am and some of the calories from all the beer you drank.
Before you feel too smug about it, try to do some sit ups: just a little soupcon of grit to remind you not to make this a habit and to force you to confront your distended belly.
You might think twice about those shots next Friday. And “mindful” drinking has got to be the better option. Not every single Friday night, but more weekends of the “mindful” drinking variety will make the occasionally wild crazy binge all the more fun.
Running is the antidote that stops the odd blow-out session becoming a bad habit because you just can’t run if you are overcooking it all the time.
Your body just won’t take the strain. And continuing running will help guard against this happening, nothing more so than your brutal run the morning after in which you are forced to relive each pint and fag as the kebab fat literally seeps out of your every pore.
A Grit Doctor Reminder:Sweat is fat crying so try to enjoy this.
RUTH FIELDis the author of Run Fat Bitch Run. Tweet your running query to Ruth at: @gritdoctor.
See also: irishtimes.com/bodyandsole