On December 3, two-time Olympian Nick Symmonds will attempt to break the Beer Mile World Record at the Flo Beer Mile World Championships. Flotrack caught up with him to impart his knowledge on running four laps with four brews.
"The biggest thing is getting into the best running shape that you can get in. For the amateur person that’s probably going to be the biggest challenge along with learning to run with something in your stomach. That takes a little practice.
The hardest part is drinking five beers in under five minutes. I’m not encouraging this in any way, but if someone can sit down and chug four beers back-to-back-to-back in under five minutes I think that’s pretty good drinking. One of the reasons why people find the beer mile so interesting is that people are able to drink so many beers that quickly."
The First Beer
"The first beer is most likely always going to be your fastest. I found that it’s almost impossible to pour beer out of an unmodified can or bottle faster than eight seconds. The holy grail would be to drink each beer in eight seconds, but of course as space in your stomach gets taken up with beer that gets harder to do."
The Second Beer
"The second beer isn’t too bad. The hardest part is that you’re trying to catch your breath. Remember you’re trying to breath and drink at the same time and it’s really challenging. I would suggest taking one or two calming breaths before taking that second beer. I know it’s going to seem like a waste of time, but those seconds will allow for you to drink your beer faster."
"You’ve got to get it out as fast as you can. The smart thing to do is take it pretty easy and not try to all-out sprint. You need to get the gas out of your stomach before you get to do that. The way I like to do it is with an easy 100-meters and then an almost full-on 250. The last 50 meters are for me to catch my breath. You’ve got to pace it and a lot of people mistake that. It’s about an all-out 250 with a warm-up and a cool-down on each lap."
The Turns and Straightaways
"I think you want the back stretch and the second curve to be the strongest part of your lap. The first and last 200 are supposed to be transitional. The first 100-meters of your lap are going to be focused on burping and the last 100-meters of the lap are to calm yourself down before drinking again."
Keeping the puke down
"You need to take your mind off of it. It’s just like running a 10K or marathon. You have to go into it knowing it’s going to hurt and you’re going to want to puke. You have to fight through that. There’s no point doing it if you’re going to puke, because you’ll get disqualified. We’re trying to go Sub-5, so we’ll really be pressing it. You’ve got to have an iron gut to be able to do that. For the average beer miler expect it to hurt and expect spending a little more time on each beer, especially in your first one."
"I’ve always found one of the toughest part of the whole thing is the fourth beer. The last lap will take care of itself. You’ve got this gut ache, but as soon as you finish the lap it’s all over. I think in my American Record, I think I ran 57 seconds for the last lap. I think that’s pretty good running no matter how many beers you have in your stomach. You really need to press through that fourth beer and your adrenaline will bring you home on the last lap."
Celebrating a successful mile
"I’d go and drink more beers."