Beer in the off-season

Guest Post by Lewis Taylor

I’ve never known what to do with myself in the off-season until this season when I discovered the answer.


The Kegerator

The Kegerator

Beer is the antidote to a running addiction — a pastime that encourages laziness, gluttony and unintended weight gain. I’ve finally found an activity that breaks the spell of daily runs, monthly races and that all-over achy feeling familiar to any ultra guy or girl. When I’m with beer, I’m not going anywhere. I wake up feeling mildly ashamed that I missed a day of running, but mostly I just can’t wait for the sun to go down so I can revisit the taps in my basement.

The kegerator we installed in an unfinished downstairs room (the Manspace, we’ve been calling it) is the culmination of a lifelong dream of mine. We moved into a new house, the previous owner left behind an old fridge and I drilled two holes in it. Simple as that. Building a kegerator is not hard. Saying “no” to beer on tap is.

But I choose to say “yes” to beer during the off-season. It truly is the best way for me to break that cycle of running addiction. Let’s face it. By the end of the season it really does kind of suck to be that hooked on running. It’s like all you can think about is your next run. I get to the point where I can’t even enjoy the run I’m on because I’m already thinking neurotically about when I’m going to squeeze in a run tomorrow. It’s possible this is just a function of me being a busy guy with an 19-month-old at home. It’s also possible beer’s the thing for me.

When I think back to those other off-seasons when I tried (and failed) to quit running, I think I’m inclined to agree with the later. Now the only problem with my plan is firing up the jets and beginning my running routine again. I know I can’t drink like this AND train for Western States. Right? “Maybe I can?” the rationalizing beer addict in me says.

I’ve unfortunately located my running closet (the RunnerSpace) right next to the ManSpace, so worlds are currently colliding. I’m all confused, I come home and grab a pint instead of a glass of water. I go to grab a beer and get sidetracked organizing my shoes. I still think I’m better off than I was last year at this time, when all I could think about was what kind of mileage I was going to hit for my yearly total. BTW, I drank two beers before composing this post and I don’t have a f-cking clue how many miles I ran in ’08.


  1. Too many distractions. I even convinced lc to bail on a mid day run with the beautiful people to make some turns on the Waldo course (covered in snow). Throw in some skiing and lc is really going to be confused! And I am not talking about getting lost!

  2. I’ve tried before to convince Bev in the past that a kegerator would be more cost-effective than individual six packs, but she’s not buying it yet. And think of all the space you get from not having to save your empties!

  3. My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner. Now all I have to do is go heli-skiing and run WS without getting lost and my Life List is complete. I recommend Perlick faucets. They are more expensive, but they never clog and they are prettier than DK’s glistening calves.

  4. I follow the “beer credits” formula: Pretty simple, the average beer, 150 cals, 10 minutes of running, 150 cals. So, for every extra 10 minutes of running I earn one beer credit. So in the winter using the beer credit method my reasoning goes something this…”I think I’ll go run 30 minutes today…..”…finished running 30 minutes…”You know, I hadn’t really planned on running 30 minutes today….so, I guess I just earned 3 beer credits with dinner tonight!!!”….roughly speaking you earn a six-pack with every hour of running. I sent Craig a nice picture of my six-pack abs!

    There shouldn’t be beer in only the “Off Season” — you need a reward system, come on, your an ultrarunner not a friggen monk, you don’t swear off sex during “the seaseon” do you??? Do you???? I don’t wanna know…anyway… need to have beer in season too, except tied to a reward system around racing, I recommned using the follow rule of thumb:

    50K = 6 pack
    50 mile = 1/2 case
    100K = full case
    100 mile – Keg

    See, beer is important part of the ultrarunning reward system — it’s true classical conditioning, much like Pavlov’s Dog experiements centered around positive reinforcement and a conditioned response. That’s why getting out of shape really has a more technical name, “deconditioning”…see you are in the deconditioning phase of your training, you’re not getting out of shape and getting for me?? I seem to always be in my deconditioning phase up to my races, then of couse I taper from there…..


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