How long distance running and Sober October are similar

Forest Gump Curve in Banner Elk, NC
Forest Gump Curve in Banner Elk, NC
This stretch of road is called Forrest Gump Curve and I took this picture on a trip to the North Carolina mountains several years ago!

Pinterest graphic for Sober October
Four ways long distance running and Sober October are similar

I see so many parallels between long distance running and succeeding at Sober October. And, in honor of October 1 (the first day of Sober October!), I’d like to share them with you.

Sober October is basically a month without drinking. However, according to Forbes magazine, it has been broadened to an overall healthy lifestyle for the month of October as the holidays approach.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and purchase. 

4 reasons preparing for Sober October is similar to long distance running

I love the challenge of preparing for a long distance run. And, alternatively, I really enjoy the challenge of embracing an alcohol free lifestyle – especially since we live in a culture that celebrates alcohol at ever turn! Here are four reasons long distance running and Sober October are similar.

  • Preparation is key
  • It’s a mental game
  • Accountability and support are ideal
  • People who have a shared experience can be your biggest cheerleaders

Reason #1 – Preparation is key

To build long distance endurance, it’s important to follow a plan that includes speed drills, strength training and long distance runs. With Sober October – or completing an alcohol free challenge – preparation is key to setting you up for success. Here are some ways to prepare:

  • Remove temptation and get rid of the alcohol in your house. Or at least hide it, move it to a garage or have a neighbor hold on to it for safe keeping.
  • Take a look at what you have planned for October and get ready to embrace your new normal! Got a Halloween party planned? Date night with your partner or special celebration coming up? Then now is the time to think about what you will drink instead of alcohol.
  • Also, be prepared to answer questions about why you aren’t drinking. Chances are, someone will notice and ask you!

Reason #2 – It’s a mental game

The only difference between me enjoying a long distance run or race and completely hating it is my mindset. If I go out and commit to running 10 miles and I tell myself, “this is awesome” and “this is easy” – then it becomes awesome and easy. Alternatively, if I tell myself “this sucks,” then there’s a good chance it will, in fact suck.

The same goes for embracing an alcohol free season in your life. Try looking at taking a break from alcohol as a:

  • chance to explore your emotions
  • try new things
  • create new habits
  • and enjoy life to the fullest

If you look at Sober October as a boring chore or something you “have to trod through” then it will become just that.

Reason #3 – Accountability and support are ideal

Sure, you could train for and run a marathon all by yourself. But what would be the fun in that?

The last time I trained for a marathon, I told EVERYONE! This was because I wanted a reason to follow through with it! If I stopped training or quit, I knew I would have people to answer to. It’s fun to have people support you on your goals – whether while you are training or during the actual race where people are lined up cheering you on.

During an alcohol free challenge like Sober October, you should ideally tell at least a close friend or family member. That way, when you are feeling weak (or have a success to share!), you have a confidant to turn to. Don’t try to go this alone. There are so many online groups, social media communities and more that are full of people waiting to support you!

Reason #4 – People who have a shared experience can be your biggest cheerleaders

If you’ve run a marathon before and meet someone else who’s done the same, you’ll have a lot to talk about. Whether it’s commiserating over training programs or injuries or sharing fun stories about the actual race experience, there are lots of things you can learn from each other.

Similarly this goes for those who are sober or who are striving to evaluate relationships with alcohol. You can relate and understand the struggles and successes other people are going through – even if your own situation isn’t exactly the same. The last two pieces are so important to ensuring a successful Sober October.


Forest Gump Curve in Banner Elk, NC
This stretch of road is called Forrest Gump Curve and I took this picture on a trip to the North Carolina mountains several years ago!
A book with a wine glass on this
I love Kristi Coulter’s book, Nothing Good Can Come from this! I just recently added it to my list of favorite quit lit reads!

Finally, I’d like to leave you with a recent blog post, which outlines 10 benefits of going alcohol free. Also, if you are looking for some books that are written by authors who do a great job of outlining their sober journeys, here are a few of my favorites (which has been recently updated to include Nothing Good Can Come From This).

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