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The "Don't Be Sh*t!" Series - Pain

The "Don't Be Sh*t!" Series - Pain

Is the old adage ‘no pain, no gain’ really the best way to train?

And, if so, how do you continually climb back into the ‘hurt locker?

Does pushing yourself to the limit ever get easier?

Or is it always a massive struggle?

Training your mind to have a higher tolerance of pain can be as critical to road racing as the physical training that you do.

If you have put in a decent build up to a marathon, chances are that in the last 10km of the race your performance will not be limited solely by your physical ability but also your tolerance to withstand suffering.

I have learnt over the years to be able to push myself to new levels of pain at the business end of races and although a lot of that has come from embracing certain personal mantras and mind ‘tricks’, my tolerance levels have also increased through repeatedly pushing myself to new limits in training.

Just like all the other parts of my training though, this needs to be planned and controlled.

Going out every day and learning to run through the pain of a serious niggle is not what we are looking for here, there is a time and a place for putting yourself in the ‘hurt locker’ and it should be expected and enjoyed in a strange sort of way!

During my marathon training, I do some very large speed sessions in the middle of the week with a couple of easy days either side of them.

My goal during these sessions is not only to push my physical limits but also my mental ones as well.

Towards the end of one of these sessions I may be trying to hit marathon pace having already clocked up 20 miles on the run so I know that I’m going to have to hit that pain zone, the key I find is to embrace that pain as a planned part of my training and know that I am one step closer to being the runner I need to be for race day, both in body and mind.

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