“The Pain Game”
You will feel uncomfortable if you want the most out of your workouts. You will be gasping for breath and your muscles will burn and get tired. That’s what you want. That’s how you’ll know it’s working.
Understand that your body will be sending signals to your brain telling you that it is tired, hurting or struggling. This is a protection mechanism, used to keep us out of danger.
You get to decide how you want to respond to those signals. It’s likely that the more experience you have training, the better you will be at deciding when it’s a good idea to push on and when you actually need to pull back.
The burning muscles, fatigue and heavy breathing are simply signs and reactions to you pushing yourself. These expressions of discomfort are very different from a sprained knee, or a hamstring pull (injury that is not worth pushing through in your daily training).
If you have trained most of your life, or played sports, you know that pain (that is not related to an injury) is often fleeting. It comes and goes. Just knowing that the pain will not last forever is sometimes enough to push through it.
In order to ride out that unpleasant and uncomfortable feeling you get in the middle of the workout, you have to have a strategy that helps you. The athletes that do this are able to persevere when things feel ‘tough’ and they are going to get the most out of themselves.
Plan. What’s Your Strategy?
During difficult moments, remind yourself that the discomfort is temporary. Therefore, if you can keep moving, you will reach the finish.
You can learn to interpret the discomfort as a positive, a good thing. The better you are at responding to the pain, the better you’ll be at pushing yourself and reaching new limits.
First, embrace the fact that the uncomfortable parts of training are both necessary, and good for you. They are an integral part of you reaching your performance potential.
Then, you can work on a strong response to the discomfort. When you start feeling that burning feeling or healthy pounding in your chest… smile and know that it’s a good thing. Tell yourself this is awesome —> you are exactly where you want to be.
- WHY do I want to keep doing physically “hard” things? Do I actually want to be in the “suck?” Why or why not?
2. Why do I want to get uncomfortable and then stay there? How is this good for me or benefitting me?