Balancing Training and Life

I haven’t been talking much lately about wine, although I thought it would be a part of the focus of this blog. I have found that I typically have much more to say about running and training than I do about drinking wine.

wine and compressiondrinking wine in compression socks and compression shorts. perfect recovery plan.

Even though I haven’t talked about drinking wine, I typically enjoy a few glasses 3-4 days a week. During my “off-season” I was less concerned about when or how much I would drink. Now that I am training again, I am a little more careful about enjoying too much before an important training session.


I try not to let training take over my life. I really enjoy having a few glasses of wine after a long day of work, or a few beers out on the weekend. I thought I would share some of my tips for training while still having a life.

Plan your training around your life, and your life around your training

Most of the time I will have a set training plan in place, but if I know I have something to do I will adjust my plan. For example, when I was traveling over the holidays I had to move around my long run to days where I had more time. I made sure that the days when I had to run on a treadmill that they would be shorter runs, so I didn’t lose my mind. If you have more flexibility with your social plans, plan to go out the night of a tough workout, before a rest day, or before a day when you can run later in the day if you are tired. During my training for the Baltimore Marathon I was taking rest days on Thursdays, so on Wednesdays my husband and I would share a bottle of wine. It also gave me something to look forward to during other training days.

Drink water

Whenever I am drinking alcohol, I am always drinking water also. If I am going out to a bar I bring a bottle of water in my bag so that I don’t have to carry around a drink and water. This really helps with feeling ok the next day. But really, just drink water all the time.

Make running your social activity

If you want to hang out with a friend but need to get a run in, see if they will join you. Or get your run done in the morning so you have the evening free. When my sister comes over I make her foam roll with me.

photo 3We tried running together once, but it ended with a broken finger

Know your own limits

I know how I will feel the next day after 2 glasses of wine versus 5 glasses of wine. On another note, I have also found that running is a great way to get rid of a hangover. If you know that drinking will impact your next day’s workout, save the drinks for another day. Or move your run to another day.

Final thoughts

My husband and I have joked that if we drink throughout our training cycles, that the actual race day will feel easier when we didn’t drink the night before. I’m sure there are different views on this, but do what works for you. For some races I had some drinks the night before a race, and I don’t think it made a difference. However, if its your goal race you are probably not going to risk doing anything that can jeopardize your performance. Remember- you’re doing this because it’s fun! Don’t let training take over your life.

And on that note, I am about to go enjoy a glass of sauvignon blanc:)

white wine

How do you balance training and life?


10 thoughts on “Balancing Training and Life

  1. Balance is totally important – and it IS supposed to be fun. I broke my last half-marathon taper because it was so nice and I really wanted to run long … so I did. I had a beer with my wife after picking up my race bib for my last marathon – who cares, right? It is so important to keep life and training in balance! I am also all about moderation – I haven’t been ‘drunk’ (or had more than a couple of drinks) in more than 20 years. I like a drink, but not being drunk (and certainly not hung over!)

    Enjoy your wine … I know I did tonight.

  2. I love your perspective on this, Lisa – so refreshing! I totally agree with the balanced approach, and I don’t want training to take over my life or become unenjoyable. For me personally, I’m fine with wine the night before a run, as long as I load up on water, too. But if it’s a very long run, I really can’t have more than one glass of wine the night before, or my stomach feels it the next day! And I’d be lying if I hadn’t shared your thoughts on race day being easier because there was no wine involved :).

  3. Great post! I feel the same way! I look forward to a drink the night before a rest day! I also save my weekend drinking for Saturday night usually, since I do my long run Saturday morning. If I balance it out with water though, you are right. Balance is everything, but it does take a bit of figuring out.

  4. This has been a tough one for me to figure out over the past couple years, actually balance in general is tough in all areas right?! Anyways, this past summer when I was the only person on my team who wasn’t a professional I got some great insight on what NOT to do. For these athletes training is their life and full time job and it was way too much. I use to avoid social things, be crazy about getting enough sleep, what I ate, when I ate, proper recovery etc… I finally realized when I saw others doing this that you really miss out on other things in life. Now I try to relax a little more when it comes to my training, I try to make sure I am having fun 95% of the time when training and if workouts are not becoming a release for me from other stresses in my life I know its time to take a day off. I remind myself that this is my hobby, meant to be fun!

  5. Balance is something I struggle with too. I try to make my workouts social activities and try to stay balanced with having fun and being healthy by making the best choices for the given situation. It’s all a learning experience!

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