Hello and Happy day to you!
As endurance athletes, we deal with pain on a regular basis.
I mean come on!
Long runs can be challenging sometimes.
And speed work… THAT requires some serious mental toughness.
It is important to teach yourself how to become better at dealing with pain.
Otherwise running will probably be a bit challenging.
Learning to tolerate pain is definitely as much physical and it is mental.
Here are three of the most important things you can do to assist in pain tolerating process…
1. It Will Pass
Most of the time, it’s the emotional experience of the pain itself that convinces us to give up. As humans, we have a desire to always feel like we are in control and trying to gain control through quitting is our way of managing the feelings of discomfort, fear, and anxiety. In your mind, you need to establish that you are still in control and the pain won’t last forever. I always tell myself, “I only have ___ more minutes, I can do anything for ____ minutes”.
2. Develop a Mantra
Your thoughts direct your focus, so when you concentrate on the pain you’re in, it makes you want to stop. When you are at the peak of suffering and it’s taking everything you have to keep moving, sometimes the most effective strategy is to create a mantra and repeat it yourself. Doing this occupies your mind constantly with information other than focusing on the pain you are feeling in your body.
3. It Is What It Is
When you expect to be able to handle the pain- your experience of the pain and your perceived effort will be different than if you don’t expect to be able to handle it. The most important thing you can do is be open for whatever run brings, know that you can handle it, and don’t fight against what is happening.
The pain of run is part of the reward.
The effort it takes to get through it is part of the victory.
If it were always easy, the effort wouldn’t be worth it and you probably would even bother to do it.
Overcoming the challenge is part of the draw and part of the challenge is dealing with pain.