Novelty, Motivation & Beermile

OK, I’ll start with a disclaimer (lawyers like this). I’m not promoting drinking, carelessness or stupidity and if you do any of the following you do so at your own risk.

As you know, psychology and specifically sports psychology is a favorite study area of mine. I’ve posted a few items in the past about motivation, goal setting and visualization. There are plenty more topics to come. This is one example I want to share regarding motivation and doing something novel. Novelty can infuse energy into an otherwise humdrum pattern of life. Now, if you like the routine and don’t like change that is OK too.

Awhile back some members of our running club were apprised of (I think maybe my brother brought it up) a different kind of race. Many of you know of Hash House Harriers – “a drinking club with a running problem”. Well, it came to our attention a couple years ago that there was such a thing as a “Beer Mile.” Not only that, but there were official rules! Everyone being “of age” (at least chronologically) this sounded like something worth investigating further.

The Beer Mile is an international event that can be conducted at any track or accurately measured course. The rules are simple: drink a beer from a can or bottle then run a lap; do this 4 times total. If you cannot contain the contents of your beer to your stomach and they happen to spew forth – you must run another lap. Only standard beers are allowed – no light beers. Only standard containers are allowed – no altering them or pre-opening them. They must be opened at the time of drinking it. Well, those are the main rules. Check out beermile.com for more information.

Records are kept by state, country and beer type. Only official results (kinda like certified real results – see the rules) count for records but other times are recorded on the site. You can even have a Chocolate Milk Mile or Coke (not the snorting type – the drinking type) Mile or whatever if you do not care for beer. However, only beer gets “official” results status.

This is popular at colleges across the USA as you can see from results. There are also people who do this on a regular basis – just peruse the results.

Anyway, we’ve conducted two such runs and fun was had by all… OK, most.

Some lessons learned:

  • The beer cannot be too cold nor too warm.
  • Fast drinkers have an advantage over fast runners.
  • Get the beer with the least carbonation.
  • Alcohol has no effect during the race; even a soft drink would yield the same results… you finish the race before the alcohol even hits you.
  • The 48 ounces of carbonated fluid on your stomach is the main issue.
  • Don’t save anything on the running portion; treat it like hard intervals… on a full stomach.
  • Brand of beer doesn’t matter, buy cheap because you don’t taste it anyway.

[And of course have designated drivers.]

As for motivation, we set state records that day. Most of us do not care to defend out titles. Once is enough. But, it was fun. It is OK to be serious about running and coaching but we cannot take ourselves too seriously. Life is too short.

By the way, as a keynote speaker at a large conference this fall, the conference organizers requested that I organize a Beer Mile for the conference. That I did. Once again it was a blast. But even more fun to watch. Invite me to your next conference to speak, and I’ll throw in the “race director” role for free.

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About Dean Hebert

I’m a mental game coach, author and speaker. I work with individual athletes, parents, coaches, and teams on sports performance enhancement. Beyond my academic post-graduate work in sports psychology - the psychology behind athlete performance – I am a certified Mental Games Coaching Professional (MGCP) and certified hypnotherapist. I’ve authored several books and hundreds of articles. “Coach, I didn’t run because…” (2008) is a seriously light-hearted look at making excuses not to workout and how to overcome them. “Focus for Fitness” (2009) and “Screw the Goals Give me the Donut” (2010) are two of my eBooks on mental game approaches for the everyday athlete. I wrote these because I believe that everyone can benefit from the powerful mental techniques that the world’s best athletes use. I have been cited in Runners World, Best Health magazine (CN), SWEAT Magazine, and the Washington Examiner amongst many other publications. I have been a featured mental games coach in Runner’s World and for the internationally acclaimed trail running resource - trailrunningclub.com. I also regularly appear on sports and fitness talk shows such as LTKFitness, Runnersroundtable and for more than three years I have co-hosted a weekly video series with Coach Joe English for Running-Advice.com. I specialize in mental toughness training. My clients include tennis, synchronized swimming, golf, race-kart, soccer, motocross, volleyball, MMA, cycling (road, off-road, time-trialist), running, duathlon and triathlon, basketball, football and baseball athletes. I have coached world-class athletes and athletes internationally. I have a passion for working with youth athletes and helping them apply mental game skills and techniques to all areas of life. Most importantly, my aim is to have people enjoy sports and life to their fullest through peak performances.
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6 Responses to Novelty, Motivation & Beermile

  1. jim says:

    Thank you for not mentioning that I finished dead last..but at least I didnt spew

  2. Seoirse says:

    Hahahahaha. That is one strange race! Its not so off topic not to metion because it involves drinking, so I just will… when I was working in Africa way back when, because the job was so stressfull we would drink wisky EVERY night (6 months) to sleep if we where not on duty and be very slight / very (depended on the mood) hung over the next morn but we would jog it off and would feel SO good after. A good run is the best hangover cure for sure! As for running with 4 beers in my belly… I will pass thanks. hahaha

  3. Dean Hebert says:

    yes… it is not for any but the most hearty… or stupid whichever the case may be.

  4. Christina says:

    Being the first official DNF in Arizona for the Beer Mile I am proud of my title. Let’s see….who was the first person to “spew” albeit post race

  5. Darren Cayea says:

    In a word… nice top10! 🙂

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