Monday, March 19, 2007

The only thing harder than running

A good friend of mine recently hurt his calf. He's training for a pretty hardcore race so he's finding it very difficult to stop training and give it the rest it needs. Sound familiar? If you're into distance racing, you've probably been there too.

It takes a lot of mental toughness to participate in any form of endurance exercise. When you start to get tired, your mind will throw everything it can find at you to convince you to stop. After all, your mind still needs to be convinced of that which you already believe in your heart - that you have what it takes to reach your goal. And so when the going gets tough, we shut of our minds and "just do it."

For the most part, this stubborn determination is extremely helpful. Like any strength, however, it can become dangerous if overdeveloped. I tried to "work through" a sore shoulder and ended up with tendinitis. Now I have to see physio once a week and am not allowed to swim for a while.

I guess you could say pain is the reality check that says we need to start listening to our heads again (briefly!) and get whatever's causing us grief checked out.

It's still hard to stop training though.

The only thing harder than running
is not running

~ Unknown


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